Not Harry ...

I first met this crazy Black Siamese cat three years ago August. Someone thought it would be a good idea for us to get a pet, a cat, and somehow we ended up with two — this black cat and his litter mate, a tabby. I named them Harry and Dash. They were about five or six months old and full of mischief. Dash was a scratcher and a biter. Not Harry. It took a while, but I broke down Dash's resistance. He's now a cuddle cat. Harry was the alpha cat. He was smart, adventurous, but he was also extremely affectionate. He and I bonded big time.

Dash and Harry in the hamper
Dash and Harry, six months
Togetherness
Brothers

I like boy cats, and like to play with them, but Harry always knew to keep his claws in and not bite too hard when it was me he was "wrestling." His brother can not always be counted on to remember to do that. Harry could jump higher than any cat I had ever seen, doing flips and somersaults in mid-air. But Harry also developed a delicate tummy and had to be on a special diet.

photo
Harry liked to keep up with technology


Last Thursday he threw up multiple times, so I took him to the vet first thing the next morning. They said it was a recurrence of his tummy issues (gastroenteritis) and gave me some anti-vomit pills and some more of his special food. Over the long holiday weekend he didn't bounce back. He was thirsty and drank plenty of water, but wouldn't touch his food. I brought him in again first thing Tuesday morning and after some bloodwork and x-rays it was determined that he had an intestinal obstruction, and that the vet would operate the next morning. The vet offered to bring him to the emergency clinic to stay overnight, but Harry seemed to be doing well, and the vet was going to check in on him later at the clinic anyway at 10pm.

I got a call just after 10 that Harry had passed away, probably a few hours earlier that evening. I am now filled with not just pain, but regret and so many "what ifs?" What if we had agreed that he should go to the emergency vet? What if the vet had been able to operate that afternoon instead of the next morning? What if the damn cat hadn't swallowed whatever it was that he did that caused this whole mess in the first place?

Harry
My gorgeous Harry


None of those questions really matter. Harry is gone and I already miss him so. I have to find a time to tell the kid today. After school. There's really no good time. Dash is sitting at the end of my bed as I type this, in his usual late-night spot. Will he notice that his brother hasn't returned? Or understand my sadness? You were supposed to have nine f**king lives, Harry. You were only three years old. It's so unfair. I'm so sorry. You were such a great cat.

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