He’s not really lost, he’s still alive and well, preserved in my memories, thousands of photos and the remaining energy he left around my home. He’ll live on immortal as long as I don’t let those memories fade.
Dart lived a happy, bountiful life with his bigger brother “Monk” taking care of him every day. While they were only a year or so apart, they both grew up so fast, with Dart taking the dominant lead at the food bowls and watering cooler and Monk passively waiting his turn. He never wanted for anything, and had anything he could need. Not even the Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis he carried for the last year of his life could slow him down.
Dart, I won’t forget the way you’d chatter your jaws at the birds outside the window, or frantically chase the laser pointer across the floor with your oversized paws. The speed you’d get that yellow ball going around the track playing “tunnel-ball”. The way you’d play fetch up and down the stairs with whatever I could get you to grip in your teeth. You’re the only cat I’ve ever had that I taught to play fetch, and maybe you’ll continue to hold that title forever.
I will miss all of our good times together, curled up with movies, spinning you in circles on the floor, sharing fresh canteloupe slices together, watching the way you’d devour whole green olives with the pimento included, or chasing bugs around the lights. You were such an original, weird cat. The silence in my home will no longer be broken with your loud meows from afar or your fast running from room to room.
Monk already knows you’ve gone. He spends the days and nights going from room to room, searching all of your hiding spots, meowing “Marco” in the hopes that you’ll return with a familiar “Polo” so he can find you in the dark somewhere. But nothing other than silence accompanies his calls. I think he’s going to miss you most of all. His little buddy is gone now, and he’s all alone.
I didn’t want to let you go… but you and I both held on until the very last minute. Your organs just started failing you, for reasons that no medicine or medical procedure we tried, could find. I did everything I could to ease your pain and suffering, and I was left with only one choice.
The worst of all choices.
This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was in charge of deciding how many minutes, hours or days you had left in this world. I had to decide when to let you go, to give you peace.
I’m so filled with joy and happiness that I had everyone I love; Ser, Sarah and Monk by my side when you came upstairs this weekend to give us all a final goodbye in your own special way. It was your last burst of energy before your legs could no longer move you to climb even a single stair.
You could have used that energy to eat your last meal, or play with Monk one last time, but you pushed yourself and made sure we all knew it was going to be alright when you moved on.
You were ready, and you were just making sure we were too.
The ride to the vet was eerily quiet, not a single meow the whole way. I’m used to you singing your loud, meow’y tunes the whole ride there and back.
This time there would be no ride back.
Today I carried your limp body into the vet, loosely draped over my arms. You couldn’t even lift your head to look at me any more.
I bent down and stared into your eyes as your face drooped and tried to stare blankly back at me while your cold body lay limp on the sterile blue blanket that the vet provided for your last bed. Your temperature was dropping fast as your body gave up the fight you had fought for so long.
Your organs and your body had already checked out as I stroked your head, your ears and your back. I told you I loved you, kissed your head goodbye and looked into your eyes as the terminal solution slowly entered your veins.
You lifted your head, looked right at me with as much as you could focus, and then slowly faded away as your chin dropped to the blanket for the very last time.
At 1:38pm, you left this world, hopefully to a better, happier place.
Your essence will be preserved in an urn I’ve chosen to represent you in the highest regard. Yes, you were a cat, but you were also my friend.
Some day I too will leave this world, and I can only strive to have lived such a full life as you, with friends by my side the whole way, all the way until the end when my journey ends on my own blue blanket.
Goodbye Dart, you will be missed.
Dart Desrosiers: 11/14/2003 – 9/6/2011 (7 years, 9 months, 24 days)
(click images below for larger versions)