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I buried my beloved kitty yesterday. He died on Sunday when I was away for work, and my friend and house-sitter took him to the vet after he collapsed and was unable to move (couldn't see, could barely walk, BP almost at nothing). From 3000 miles away I made the decision to to forgo a battery of tests and extraordinary measures to try to keep him going until I got back in town Wednesday, and to put him to sleep. I cried my way through JFK Airport, blubbering so much that strangers gave me kleenex.

He was fine, if feeble when I left 6 am Sunday AM - purring, licking my hand, not able to jump up on my lap any more, but happy to sit near my feet and reach out a paw to me to stay in contact. By 10 am when my friend got to my house he was doing poorly, and by 3 pm when my plane landed he was critical. He was quite elderly and had been diagnosed with lymphoma in April, so the death wasn't a surprise, but the timing of it was a shock. I so wanted to be there myself to say goodbye, but some things you don't have control over and the hour of death is one.

My house-sitting friend was godsend to me. He got rid of the cat box and medicines, gave away my cat carrier and was here to hug me when I got home. Together we dug a grave, went to pick my kitty up from the vet, and buried him. My friend wrote a lovely and funny song "Oh to be living the life of Orion," about him that he sang over the grave.

He was an extraordinary cat. He had not an aggressive bone in his body (never caught a creature), and he wanted to be right with his people always. He talked to me all the time, and purred constantly like a Mack Truck. Even people who didn't like cats liked him as he was so sweet and friendly. He wasn't brave (it took him 6 months after I moved into my house to get brave enough to get to the back of the back yard, and 3 years to go into the front yard), but he made up for that in sheer love.

Goodbye Orion, I will miss you very much and I was so lucky to have you in my life as long as I did.
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