Monday, October 22, 2018

To my sweet Flip

I know it’s the right thing to do, but it’s so hard. Tonight’s your last night with us. Your family. Your protectors. Your people. And we’re helpless.

12 years ago, I saw you online at the APL and we kept thinking about you. But then when we were seriously looking, you were gone. So we stood still. And we waited. And then, there you were again, Raymond. What a terrible name for such a gorgeous kitty. We visited you in a big room with lots of other cats. Many tried to get our attention, but we only had our eyes on you. I put a deposit on you. That way, we could sleep on it, and guarantee you wouldn’t be gone the next day. I admit it was me that was hesitant. I am a dog person and was soon to have 3 cats. But we came back for you. My chances of having another dog went to 0% when we took you home. And that was ok.

You had been surrendered twice to the APL. But it was our time to make you ours. We promised you we would take care of you forever. We had a reason why we adopted you... it was your duty to be Jake’s buddy. But you became so much more.

But you had ringworm. And it really freaked me out. It cost us $25 and 30 days to get you better. And if I could deal with ringworm, I knew you were worth it. 

We kept thinking of names because no way your name was Raymond. I thought Porter might be ok, but it didn't really fit you. We settled on that name for a bid. Then we had to have your front claws declawed  - and I’m sorry. It was our way of making you ours. Joining Rumba and Jake you couldn’t have your front claws. Again, I’m sorry.

While still in your 30 day quarantine, we left the window open a bit in your make-shift home, the upstairs office. Mark couldn’t find you one morning in the room - the screen was gone, and so were you. We were so lucky to find you right where you had fallen -  in our bushes. I’m sorry. You fell an entire story and sat outside waiting for us. You only had your back claws to defend yourself. It must have been so scary for you. We joked about your adventure - it was our way of dealing with how bad parents we were. Names like Geronimo were too silly. Feller was almost your name, too. But we decided Flip was perfect.

Even though I picked you out, and I donated $25 to the APL for you, and you even rode in my Jeep home with me... your soul marked on Mark.

I was ok with it because Jake was supposed to fill the void of Flynn. But it was always you that did that. You and Mark. He was yours. And I didn’t mind sharing. Not like it made any difference because what you two have is something special.

We joked that you lived with Mama and “her”. I was a distant second. But I don’t take it personal. I saw how you adored each other. How you ran to the door when Mark came home. How you’d cry at the front door when he’d walk outside. Your loyalty was fierce. And I was always right there, but you cried for him. I’m ok with that. I really am.

My world was turned upside down and I was suddenly at home. Every day. And I’m sure you wished it was Mark, instead of me. But slowly, day by day, and as the months went by, you and I had our own special bond.

By then Zing had joined us, and eventually we lost Rumba. Zing and Jake were buddies from the start and would snuggle when it was cold or when she needed a friend. You were always the 3rd wheel. While they napped all day, you were always close by me. You followed me to the bathroom all the time. It made me smile. I think it was for yummies, but you received a head scritch, instead. Maybe that was what you needed. Maybe it was what I needed, too.

Flip. Flippy. Flippington, Flipper the tripper. Flipito. Flipopotomous. Buddy. Bubs. All of these names for such a sweet little guy.

We promised you no more crate. And we tried to make you as comfortable as possible these last weeks. We had some good days. We were so hopeful, but your body had other plans. We were on borrowed time. Jake and Zing were jerks when we tried to give you special treats, medicine food and just quiet time. We got mad because we wanted you better. And we didn’t have much time left. 

Hiding under Mark’s bed let us know you needed to be alone. We gave you your blanket under there to let you feel better. I’m sorry I kept lifting the dust ruffle to check on you, but I had to keep checking. You talked to me so sweet and you’d come out. I’m sure it was hard but maybe you knew I needed you.

Everyone says “he’ll let you know”. And we know. We just don’t want to let you go. But you’re ready. Today, you received special treats and very special time with Mark on the porch. I kept the bedroom door open this special night. I also have a light on, so you know you're welcome. And now you’re sleeping in my closet, in your safe place. I put a towel down and a warm blanket for you. I even moved your heating pad and it’s turned on to keep you warm, one last night. Zing has checked on you, and so has Jake. I keep making sure you’re ok, too. You just left after sleeping for a couple of hours. I will leave the door open and my light on, if you change your mind.

Tomorrow is your last day here. I wish we had more time, but your little gray body is giving out. And we can’t let you hurt any more. Even if it hurts us. It’s so hard. You’re not just a cat. You’re our friend and our family. And we promised you we’d take care of you. Tomorrow is our last promise to you. We will be with you. We will hold you as you take your last breath. I know you’ll be brave. You always were brave. I hope you know how much you are loved. We love you so much to let you go.

You get to meet Flynn. You can be buddies and share stories on how much you two loved Mark. And Rumba is there, too. She will also let you know how much she loved Mark. Me, not so much.

And my Alex is there, too. I know you don’t like dogs, but I promise you’ll love him. He taught me how to love animals with all my heart.

Please wait for us at the rainbow bridge. I know you’ll be the first one running to see Mark. Thank you for being such a great kitty. Thank you, Flip for loving us because we’re better people for loving you.