Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Theodore

Today we followed through with the decision we made awhile back to finally put Theodore down.  It wasn't really a difficult decision... when the cat starts using the whole house as his litterbox, you know The Time Has Come.  But it was still kind of hard to do.  And even though I will not miss cleaning up poo-poo from all over the house, I will miss my Lovey Boy.  So, here's a little tribute to him.

Once upon a time, there was this tiny little kitten named Theodore.  He was a grey stripey cat in a crate at Petsmart, beside a crate of orange stripey kittens, which Martin and I spotted one day while we were there.  Later that night Martin went back to get me one of the orange stripey kittens--but they were gone! And from the crate next door, this one stole his heart.
 He brought me Theodore in a picnic basket, after inviting me out for a picnic dinner. He was so tiny and scrawny, but very playful and curious. His name was Theodore Wonderful.
 During our first few months together, Theodore and I saw many adventures. I dragged him out from his hiding place under my bed when my stove was on fire.  He helped me finish a quilt, helped me plan my wedding, and was always glad to finish off my leftover dinner. 
He was also a little bit violent, and a scratch on my face a week before our wedding meant he had to pack his bags and live with Martin for the last few days before we were a family.
 When Martin and I got married Theodore gave one of the groomsmen staying with us a vicious allergy attack, which required my first wifely/motherly action of opening a package of benedryl.

For two months, Martin, Theodore and I lived in a "rental" house, which we didn't actually rent because my parents owned it!  During those two months, Theodore had a few fun games he would play.  One of them was "hide the toilet paper."  Another was "shred the hidden rolls of toilet paper until they are barely useable."  A popular game was "chew a hole in the bag of cat food and drag it across the living room so it makes a big mess," but the best game he played was the classic "fetch." He had his own little tennis ball and we could sit in the bedroom and throw the ball out the door and down the hallway into the living room and he'd fetch it.  He always came back a little bit wheezy, but we figured it was good for him.  Maybe if we'd stayed in that house and kept up our games of fetch he wouldn't have become so obese that he was unable to clean himself. Hm.

When we moved from the tiny rental into this sizeable house, Theodore got a lot less mean.  I think he had a bit of cabin fever living among boxes at the other place.  Suddenly he had room to explore and he stopped biting us for no reason and scratching at my face.  And it was a good thing too, because it wasn't long before little baby Anja arrived.
By this time, Theodore was a "big" cat. Much bigger than two week old Anja.  Maybe even bigger than two month old Anja.  But still growing!
This is what he became:
 Theodore's heaviest recorded weight was 31 pounds. Today he was only 27.  He was so, so fat.  Which, for awhile was charming and comical, but then it got to be kind of extreme.  I think probably when he topped 30 pounds was when he stopped taking care of himself and really getting gross.  And pooping everywhere.  That was over the summer, so he became an indoor/outdoor cat for the first time, and he really loved it!  He was a jungle king!
And always so patient with everyone, even when he was made to wear acorn hats or dress up in many, many strands of mardi gras beads. (And before Anja was born, he was my tester for our baby wraps... but I couldn't find any of those pictures.)

 But the outside life wasn't any  better; he kept coming back in with scratches and I knew if he ever were attacked by an animal, he'd just as soon let it eat him than exert the energy to fight back. So we brought him back in to be a fully indoor cat, and we started him on a new diet in an effort to help him lose a few pounds so he could be a normal, clean cat again, but it didn't work.  He couldn't even jump from the floor to the bathroom counter to drink from the sink.  In fact... he could barely jump at all.  He was just too big.  And too poopy.

So he was a really good cat.  A great cat!  And we will always miss him (except Greta, who ONE TIME was standing in his way when he was barrelling upstairs thinking it was mealtime and he accidentally scratched her toe and she hated him from then on and would SCREAM if ever they were caught on the stairs together.)  And our family (and our daily "shows" in which there is a full cast of characters) feels a little bit incomplete and I guess it will for awhile. But eventually there comes a time in an animal's life when it's just being kept around for the sake of sentiment by it's owners, when clearly it would be so much happier in The Happy Hunting Grounds.  So that's where Theodore is now.

Thanks for the good years, Geeg!  We love you!

4 comments:

kels said...

This is so so sweet... what a great tribute to 'ol Theodore. That is such a hard decision and I can't imagine how sad you all are! I know I'll miss him welcoming me home on my front porch every now and again... he was a great cat!!

Jill said...

poor Theodore! I remember reading about him way back when we all used livejournal and you were taking care of that dog Baxter and he ate your flip flops.

:(

Clare said...

So sorry about Theodore! :( It will get easier! At least you have Matilda to help ease the kitty-loss. I know having a back-up cat made it easier on my kids this time. As terrible as that sounds... :( RIP Theodore, you were an awesome, huge cat.

Laurasuz said...

Aawwww....how sad. :(