Yesterday evening my parents had the terrible responsibility of putting my cat Taylor to sleep. I say my cat, but that’s only because I took him with me once I moved out from my parents, when really, everyone in my family had a significant part of their lives with him.
Taylor came into our family shortly after our youngest cat, Katie was stolen during a move. I remember the night we got him, my sister Kathie said there would be a surprise, and all I could imagine was that we were going to go to Toys ‘R Us. Instead we went out and got a cat.
There are two accounts to the origin of his name. One from my mother, who says, due to his beautiful eyes, he was named after Elizabeth Taylor. The other, from my older sister Kathie, who claims he was named after a character from some TV movie that she had a crush on.
Taylor had the unfortunate duty of living in the shadow of Patches, the greatest cat in the world. There was nothing wrong with Taylor, he was very cat like, lots of sitting around, not really caring about you so much. But when you compared him to Patches, the most loving, wonderful cat in the world, he seemed fairly deficient.
But shortly after Patches died, Taylor seemed to pick up the torch. Unfortunately, most of my family never got to see this side of him. Taylor very much became the lap cat. He would join you on the coach to watch TV, he’d nap with you, he’d even stare at you while you sat on the toilet. OK, I guess you had to be there to understand the affectionate nature of that last one.
With Noah coming into the picture, and Taylor’s age weighing heavily on him, we were unable to afford to keep up with the vet in both money and time. He remained a great cat but the maintenance was just too much for new parents. At this point my parents took over his care back in Florida.
I really only ever got to see Taylor one more time. This is what really pains me. My parents ended up with an old, broke-down cat that was too sick feeling to be very affectionate, and the bills for his care. It got to a breaking point a couple weeks ago when Taylor got Ringworm, and the dipping treatment would result in him shutting down and not eating. This meant he had to stay at the vet to be re-hydrated, and a simple dipping procedure would become a 500 dollar weekend at the vets.
So last night my parents took him home, and we had hoped that they would care for him until Saturday, when I could be in town and we could put him to sleep together. Unfortunately, as soon as he got back to my parents house, he began very labored breathing. My parents called the vet, who made a house call, and he was put to sleep.
Taylor was a good cat. It took him some aging to get there, but all in all, he was a wonderful addition to our family. He was already missed by me, and knowing that he’s not still waiting for me to visit him is another little pain I’ll have to deal with.
Thanks for the good times Taylor. Not so much thanks for dragging poop all over everything that one time. That was totally uncool. But I’m sure that memory will fade and I’ll just keep the ones of you hopping up on the coach and attacking my chin with yours, until my goatee was covered in cat slobber.