Losing our boy

Chase Bird, Christmas 2014

I can’t tell you about the last six months without first telling you about Chase Bird. We lost our boy on Tuesday, October 27.
You know that my cats are my family. Larry feels the same way. So the last two weeks have not been easy.
Chase Bird’s death was unexpected. He was referred to a different vet to do dental surgery for stomatitis. During the exam before the surgery, the vet found a mass in his abdomen. We gave permission for her to do exploratory surgery.
He had numerous tumors, including one a little smaller than a golf ball. They could not be removed. Even without doing a biopsy, the three vets there thought it was lymphosarcoma, or lymphoma. The prognosis was very poor, and he was certain to be in pain.
Their recommendation: let Chase Bird go while he was on the table, so he would feel no pain and no fear. We let him go.
My friend Carolyn made this for me.

I want you to know about Chase Bird. He came into our lives in 2007 when he started hanging around our house. Apparently, he had been hanging around the neighborhood for a while.
He was so thin, we started feeding him. One morning, he jumped into my car as I got in to go to work. I remember his little face looking up at me, eyes so bright and eager. He chose us.
On October 20, 2007, we brought him into our house. We named him Chase Bird. He became family.
He was a gentle cat who would snuggle on our laps. He had the longest legs and jumped with such grace. When he purred, he also “puffed” his cheeks and made a clicking sound. That was his “I’m content” sound.
He could catch a toy mousie in the air. His paws could bend and pick things up—you’d swear he had thumbs. He would carry certain toys—only certain ones—in his mouth and looked so cute.
My friend Christi made this.

I am writing this on Tuesday night. We picked up his ashes tonight and brought him home. This ritual is heart wrenching and comforting, a strange mixture of emotions. It’s another reminder he’s gone. But his remains are home.
I have to believe that I will see my boy again. I still talk to him. I believe his spirit lives on.
And I think I heard him tonight.
The crematory service puts the name of the pet and the name of the pet parents on the bottom of the wooden box that holds the ashes and on a certificate stating that the ashes are his.

Chase Bird’s humans were listed not as “Larry and Tina Barbour.” They were listed as “Larry and Tiny Barbour.” Larry and I laughed and cried, probably a bit hysterically, when we saw that. And I’m sure I heard Chase Bird laughing too.
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