Goodnight Darwin

Word of the Day Challenge: Sad

Darwin 2014 Photo A.M. Moscoso

My cat died on Tuesday.

His name was Darwin and he was going to be 18 years old this Summer.

Darwin came into our family when my sons were in highschool, he grew up with my dogs and his two littermates- Blitzer and Micey.

Blitzer and Micey and my dogs Domino and Cerbie went on before him.

My friend who  gave me those three little kittens died about 5 years ago.

Darwin was the last tie to the time when my family were in our youth.

His passing meant so much more then what it appeared to be on the surface.

Darwin used to walk with me and my dog Domino- who was suffering from heart failure at the end of her life.

He sat with her as she died.

Darwin sat with my cat Wolfgang as he passed away too.

Darwin sat with me on the days when I was told my Dad and then my cousin died.

He wasn’t an overly affectionate cat by nature. He wasn’t a cuddler. Darwin never jumped into your lap and asked for attention. He did have his  moments where he would pop up and ask for scritches  and loved to play with toys with us. But Darwin was very independent and we respected that.

But if he knew something was really wrong, he was there and he wouldn’t leave your side if he could feel your grief or fear.  He didn’t crawl into your lap. He didn’t meow or purr. He just sat there right next to you like one of those statutes of the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bastet.

He was watching over you, protecting you.

It really was comforting.

When I came home from work on Tuesday I could see that Darwin was getting ready to leave. So I wrapped him up in his favorite blanket and I opened the blinds on the window so that he could at least feel the Sun.

He was gone about 15 minutes later.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

I could tell you great stories about Darwin- like how he decided he was going to be a dog instead of a cat.

I learned about his plan when I started to notice he developed a horrible dry hacking cough. I took him to the vet fearing cancer. What else could it be?

The Vet listened to his chest and then shook his head. He didn’t hear anything, but maybe we should do Xrays. I was about to agree when a dog walked by the exam room and Darwin jumped up on the ledge where there was a little window overlooking the hallway and he started…to cough and cough and cough.

The Vet said to me, ” You know. I won’t charge you for this visit because I don’t have the heart to bill you for the pleasure of watching Darwin bark.”

Darwin used to be right in the middle of the Welcome committee when I came home from work- there were two big dogs, assorted kids asking for either my car keys or money and in the middle of that giant overwhelming crowd was Darwin- who only ever got to be a little more then half the size of his brothers and had short legs, a short tail and a round head and he never weighed more then 6 pounds.

He kept his footing, he would not be moved. He pushed his way to the front of that pack- and barked too and demanded attention too.

I am sad, broken hearted. My home seems so much bigger and emptier now that Darwin isn’t in it.

Above that all though is the one thing that brings me joy and overshadows that grief.

I was lucky to have had that wonderful Soul in my life and that warms my heart.

Darwin and Domino
Photo A.M. Moscoso

15 thoughts on “Goodnight Darwin

    • Darwin was quite a character and I really do feel like he made our lives a little more interesting. But I will miss seeing my little Bully Boy, and there is no getting around that. Nor do I want to.

      • Yes I totally agree about not wanting to get around missing them–tired of ppl telling me Oh give that love to a new cat! Um they’re not replaceable like that???

      • After my dog died, her name was Domino, it was over a year before I thought i had it in my heart to love another dog. It was a little while after that I found Hamish Macbeth. But there was a time when I just didn’t have it in me to give that devotion to another dog.

      • Yeah I know what you mean. I’m helping take care of two cats for a neighbor and while I like them very much, I’m not getting the pet urge right now.

  1. I’m so sorry about Darwin. We lost our 15-year-old dog a few months back, but our 17-year-old black cat is still with us and I can’t imagine what it will be like when his time comes.

    • You can’t imagine it and you shouldn’t. When I saw Darwin slowing down, all I wanted was for us to have our usual days together, maybe with extra snacks or something like that. So make every day you have a good one.

  2. Our felines do leave an incredible, unfillable hole when they leave and as you say we’re so much greater for having had them. Just as I began to read your post my attention was drawn to the top of the stairs that I can just barely see through my office doors. Several times ‘something’ continually beckoned me while reading your post. Quickly vivid memories came to me of my sweet Gabi running down those steps to greet me and the afternoon sun. I know she is here as I read your words and perhaps she keeps company with your beloved Darwin. May your days get easier.♥

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