Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rest in Peace, Blanco

Today we buried the best cat in Christendom. Aged somewhere between 13 and 18 years old, Blanco has been with us for 12 years. None of us can really remember Life before Blanco…

Blanco involved himself in every possible aspect of our lives. He was always benevolent, always sociable, always kind to smaller creatures. Our pet doves, our pet mouse, and Marcel the bunny were all nose touching friends to Blanco, who would reach through the bars on the dove cage and pat his little feathered friends on the head.

Head-butting was Blanco’s greeting of choice, and he would approach in a kind, Kingly fashion to touch foreheads with new people and animals. He liked to lie on the couch, reaching down and gently petting the dogs who lay on the floor.

Blanco loved board games and always participated, whether you wanted him to or not. He was certain that the board and pieces had been specially laid out as a lovely resting place for himself. He would lie down in the middle of the proceedings and positively beam his pleasure and general goodwill.

Blanco would rather have fallen from a cliff than to pierce flesh with his impressive claws, but he often used them to grab your clothing in order to get your attention, or move you to where he wanted you to be. He showed them to Tweek, Dot, and their seven litter mates only once, when they came bounding up to him en masse. He raised his paw, claws extended, as if to say, “Careful, children!” He never again threatened any of them, but they had the utmost respect for him.

At his peak, Blanco outweighed Benny, the Chiweanie, and was certainly taller. They were fast friends, playing together and sharing warmth.

Blanco cared for his adopted special needs brother Scooter, grooming him, because Scooter didn’t understand how to groom himself. He was always, concerned, compassionate, cheerful and forgiving.

He had an understanding of shared responsibility with Scipio, the Alpha Male dog, and they always greeted each other pleasantly.

Blanco’s decline was fairly rapid. He succumbed to an evil cancer which consumed his intestine and colon. He never lost his love for visiting us and being close to us. He had lost a great deal of weight in the last three weeks and had been acting “older” for a couple of months, but blood work indicated there was no involvement of his kidneys or liver…yet he continued to ingest less and less, and his doctor suspected cancer. She told me she thought there was a mass in his abdomen, and that in order to know more she'd have to perform surgery. Although he was failing physically, Blanco's cheerful and charitable spirit never waned. Even when forced to take nasty tasting medicine, he merely made a little mad cat face and blew spit bubbles...

This morning the doctor opened him up to determine whether he could have a few quality weeks or even months by removing the mass---however, besides the hideous tennis ball sized mass of twisted tissue and ugly veins at the top of his intestine, most of the lymph nodes in his intestine were already hard and the cancer had moved all the way down to his colon. Seeing the damage made it obvious that there really was just nothing to do---extending his life would have been cruel and selfish.

Seguin and I had held him and talked to him while he went to sleep for the surgery, so we euthanised him rather than waking him up. His last feelings in this life were of drowsiness and lots of love.

Forrest buried him out by the orchard fence.

We will miss him a lot.

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