April 3, 2006
We have sad news this week. Lance, the cat, died last night, in my arms. We don’t know the cause; our guess is old age, something wrong inside like a tumor or cancer or he got around something outside that wasn’t good for him. There was little warning that something was wrong, except the night before he was moving slowly. I had just this past week put his cat box back on the porch as we had him inside all winter, and it was warm enough for him to be on the porch again. Yesterday morning, when Arthur left for work, Jake was there as usual, but Lance wasn’t and I called for him. He came (very slowly) from across the street but wouldn’t come inside. I called him all through the morning, as he was walking (so slowly) back and forth across the side yard. I went out to round him up and bring him in, and he was nowhere I could find him. Finally, he was just sitting at the bottom of the stairs, and I don’t think he had the energy to come up the stairs.
I went and got him, brought him upstairs, bundled him up to dry him off, and put him on the couch. He came in the kitchen where his food and water are and tried to drink his water, but was too weak to manage it. I took away his water bowl and put a flat saucer of water down for him, he took a few sips and his head rather lolled in the saucer dish. It was too late in the day to take him to the Vet, and I called Arthur to tell him that I think Lance is dying. I took Lance, all bundled up and just sat on the couch with him till Arthur got home. Arthur took him, still bundled, upstairs and held him to say his good-byes. I took him back and kept him on couch with me, stroking him, petting him, but he could no longer purr. He tried but it was more a vibration than a purr, and then he gave a couple of small gasp sounds, and there was no more vibration. We had been checking his breathing and when he gave those last gasps, there was no more movemet. He had died in my arms.
Today, I’m so sad because I feel like I lost a friend – really. Lance took to me and went everywhere with me, upstairs, downstairs, outside, kitchen, basement. Every morning Arthur and I turn on our computers in upstairs room, and Lance is right there ready to jump up in my lap. It was part of our morning routine. I used to say ‘not yet Lance, it’s too early’ but he’d jump up anyway. He’d sit and stretch out across my shoulder and purr like crazy. If I went downstairs for another cup of coffee, I’d give him to Arthur and he’d stretch out across Arthur’s comfortable sitting spot on his belly and stretch out across his shoulder. When I came back, Lance would come back over to me and do some more sitting, stretching out, purring, sleeping. Whenever I sat down to watch tv, Lance would always come and jump on me, do that kneading motion on whatever blanket I was using to keep warm, then curl up when he got comfortable and stay with me till we went to bed.
I can’t believe how much a friend a cat can be, and I never wanted a cat, took in Lance, and he took me in is more like it and became good companions. I will miss him much, every single day. We will bury him by the Harry Lauder tree, so he can always be with me in the yard when I am doing gardening and yard work.
Lance lived for about 7 yrs with Bree’s family, and when her family moved to Germany, after Woody returned from Iraq, Lance was fostered out to us. We fostered him to Lica’s family where he was intimidated by her family cats, so back to us. We have had Lance for almost 2 yrs, and he became part of our family in strong way.
by Lietta Ruger