Sunday, May 07, 2006

"Cloey Was Never a Good Boy...

Sunny - Hi 102 Lo 77 for Baghdad, Iraq
Partly Cloudy - Hi 68 Lo 51 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Don't Dream It's Over,
Crowded House


...but he was never a bad boy, either. He was just Cloey." That's what Michael said Saturday morning as we buried our dear cat, Cloey...

Saturday morning, we took Cloey, our oldest cat, to be put to sleep. He was at least 18 years old. He had developed a thyroid problem, a heart murmur and finally his kidneys started failing him this past week. Michael rescued Cloey as a kitten from the home of a friend that had a rottweiler. The rottweiler considered Cloey a play toy and it was only a matter of time before the dog would have shredded his new play thing. Michael's buddy said he was going to take this kitten out to a farm and let him go. Michael has never been known for impulsive behavior, but that very night, Michael made the long drive home with a kitten tucked in his leather jacket. Cloey slept curled up on Michael's chest. Later, we found out that Cloey was not a girl kitty, but a boy kitty... but the name stuck and we suspected the chip he had on his shoulder was due to the fact that he had a girl's name.

It's funny, I always considered myself a dog person. But, I love all animals and cats have a certain mystique- Cloey was no exception. He did things he wasn't supposed to do, but we loved him just the same. Over the years he tolerated all the additions we made to our cat family... Cloey bitched a lot... but he tolerated a lot and he was also affectionate.

I won't bore you with all the funny things he did - if you don't like cats, it would only cause you to roll your eyes and make some awful cat joke. The things Michael and I found endearing about our boy are our personal memories and we'll keep it that way, besides, I am having a tough time seeing the monitor through my tears as it is...

It's funny what one thinks about, but the duration of our relationship with this little cat has surpassed the longevity of some friendships and it certainly lasted longer than many marriages of friends and family over the years. To think of all the things Cloey was witness to... all the ups and downs... and he still tolerated me... uncanny...

So Saturday morning, we had a 9am appointment with Cloey's vet. It was a long painful good bye. I suspect Michael had been preparing for this moment for quite some time. I wasn't prepared at all - I kept expecting him to bounce back from this latest set back... Afterall, Cloey had proven that he had many lives... far more than 9... but not this time. Friday night, our boy couldn't walk... but he attempted to do all the things he had been doing all the previous days of his life... He wanted to eat... He wanted to drink... He wanted to sleep and stretch out in the sunny spots in the house. He wanted to meow and gripe at me in the morning... Instead, all he could do was cry and he was in pain - he was suffering ... it was time...

We had gone through this a few years prior with another beloved girl, Rosie. She was euthanized also - Her kidneys failed her too... I wasn't present when she was given the injection... I regretted that decision, but had made a promise to myself that I would never let another of our pets die surrounded by strangers.

Cloey was looking in my eyes when he passed and I knew the exact moment when his life ceased...

Michael asked me afterwards if I thought we had done the right thing by prolonging his life for many months. We had him on prescription medication and supplements. We had him on a special diet... No doubt in my mind... yes we had done the right thing. Cloey's quality of life had been good up until Monday...

I am a Christian (although not a good one- and by some standards a back slidin' heathen). My husband, Michael isn't a Christian... isn't Jewish, Buddhist or Muslim... In fact, he is an atheist. Not agnostic... he doesn't believe there to be a God. No Heaven. No Hell. Now, there are times when I feel horribly for my husband. When someone dies - for him... they simply die... there is never an opportunity in his mind to meet that loved one again. I find that to be unbearable- unthinkable. I on the other hand, have the knowledge that I have the opportunity to see my loved ones again.

But then what about animals, our beloved pets? I was always taught that animals don't have souls and therefore don't go to heaven. How awful. How dreadful. These creatures that provide unconditional love and devotion and give us so much pleasure and joy, not be in heaven? I admit... this is something that I have always had difficulty with. So, Saturday, instead of enjoying the sunshine..... I read various articles arguing both sides of the Christian argument on whether or not there is a place in heaven for animals...

I believe that God created these wonderful and amazing creatures... I can not begin to understand Him - He is infinite, I am finite, but I can't imagine He would "throw away" some of His most beautiful creations. No... they don't have human souls... but I do believe they have souls... I know every single animal I have ever had as a pet has had a distinctive personality... yes, of course some of it is instinctual... but there are some things that simply can not be explained away because of instinct.

"You know God has a purpose for every part of his creation and I believe God uses pets to help humans learn about God's love and faithfulness. When I enter my house after being gone all day, the one thing I can count on is being greeted by my dog Molly with her slobbery tongue of love.

From our pets, we also learn mercy, compassion, patience, and understanding -- and we also learn what it means to receive unconditional love. If pets are a means by which we are taught about love, must we assume that once we have learned the lesson, we're then forced to lose that love forever?"

excerpt from Pastor Wade

"Would God take away from us in Heaven what he gave, for delight and companionship and help, to Adam and Eve in Eden? Would he revoke his earlier decision to put animals with man, and under man's care? If he remakes the New Earth with new men (who look very much like the old men, only perfect, without violence), wouldn't we expect him also to make new animals (who will presumably look like the old animals, only perfect, without violence)?

I once read Billy Graham's response to a child's question, "Will my dog who died this week be in Heaven?" Graham replied, "If it would make you any happier, then yes, he will be."

excerpt from

So, I will definitely be happier if all the pets I have known and loved throughout my life will meet me in heaven. They gave me so much joy on earth... Heaven would seem awfully quiet without them.... imagine the size of the dog park and since it is Heaven... no kitty litter box!

Blogs and Links to Check Out This Week:

Pastor Wade: Do Pets go to Heaven?
Pets do go to Heaven
Pets don't go to Heaven
Clarifying Christianity

The Conservative Cat
Desert Cat's Paradise
Kitty Litter

Update: Rob did a nice tribute to our boy here.

I wanted the Sunday Song this week to be "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash, but I couldn't find a videocode for it. Although, Cloey would not find it amusing, I know Michael would have... so instead, I'll have to settle on the lyrics...

"A Boy Named Sue"

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' How do you do!
Now your gonna die!!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."

He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sue.'"

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George!
Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!

We'll miss you, Cloey.

1988 - 2006

Have a great week everyone!


Jedi Master Rob said...

The first time I ever saw him I exclaimed, "Damn, that's a handsome cat!" And he was. You could see the lion in him. I'll miss that little cranky lion.

Laura said...

It is *so* hard to lose a beloved pet. I am very sorry to hear of your great loss.

My own feeling is that since Heaven is a beautiful, perfect place, God will want us to have our beloved pets -- his creations -- there with us...

Thinking of you,

Anonymous said...

I loved him. He was a fantastic personality. I can't image your house without him.


Diane said...

It's been since I was a child since I've lost a pet but I can't imagine losing Kali. My sympathies are with you.

I first heard that song on the mini-series by Stephen King, but it was done by Neil Finn. I love it!

Here's something for you Cathy ;)


So sorry for Your loss.
Having been through a very simular experience, with Kider, I know just how You two are feeling. I was the last thing he saw in this life, and I am sure he will be one of the first I see in heaven.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.
I believe that all of God's creatures have a soul. I watched Kider as his soul left his eyes.
I also was present to watch my beloved GrandMother leave this life, You should have seen what a beautiful thing it was.

Life is a journey, Death is the final destination.

Cathy said...

Thanks to all of you for the kind words. It means a lot.

Diane- thanks for the link to JC singing A Boy Named Sue... perfect...

Cathy said...

Diane: I forgot to mention- Neil Finn was part of this group. Tim and Neil Finn (brothers)were in a group called The Split Enz back in the late 70s... part of the wave of bands from New Zealand... they broke up and went their separate ways... However, Neil formed Crowded House and did this song. His brother, Tim appeared on some of the CH albums. Rumor has it that the Split Enz are going to be reuniting...

I know... TMI... TMI...

Diane said...

LOL NO Not too much info! Thanks for it :)