Yesterday, at around 4:45, my beautiful companion, Hummer, left this world. He died quietly, peacefully, in my arms. The days before he died were spent snuggling, crying, and remembering. Maddison wanted to know all of the stories about Hummer that happened before she was born. Things that she never would have known. I thought I could share a few of our stories with you, to honour the memory of a cat who meant the world to us.
Just before my 17th birthday, I decided to get my very own pet. I went to the Humane Society to look for a kitten. There was a litter of grey kittens that had just arrived. Six in total. They were clumsy, playful, and insanely cute. I knew that I wanted one, but how do you choose? I was allowed to sit in a quiet room with the whole litter, to see if there was one that stood out to me. They were all pawing at each other and rolling around. Adorable. One little grey puff ball was not playing with the others. He was sitting, and watching me. He came over slowly crawled into my lap, curled up in a ball, and fell soundly asleep. I felt like he had picked me.
Through the years, we went through so many ups and downs. Hummer was there for me any time I needed him. No words necessary. Just snuggles and kisses. Sometimes, just when I seemed to need it most, when I was sitting on the couch, Hummer would climb up my chest, put his paws around my neck, and hug me. No word of a lie. It would almost make my heart explode with love. He hated whistling, and would smack you in the face if you whistled too loud. Sometimes, when he was meowing, you would swear he was saying “Helloooooooo”. He loved to kiss my face. He used to sit on the ledge of the bathtub while I was bathing, and fell in quite a few times. He loved to drink from the faucet. He loved to curl up in a sunny spot. He loved being bathed.
I was never really worried about how he would behave when I had my children. He was such a kind soul, I know he would love them to bits. And he did. In fact, he grew very protective of them. If anyone but me was holding one of our babies, and they started to cry, he would come flying out of nowhere and attack them. Well, he would try to attack them. He had no claws, so his swinging paws wielded no real threat. Nevertheless, this always made me smile. He loved those babies. As the babies grew into toddlers, he was always so patient and gentle with them. Even when they were less then gentle with him. I can’t count how many times he was carried around in a choke hold. But he didn’t ran away from them. He would just close his eyes, and enjoy the attention. As the toddlers grew into children, he would climb into their beds at night, and curl up in a perfect grey ball near their feet.
Friday morning, I had to make an emergency trip to the vet. He had had some recent health problems, and they told me that the condition itself was treatable, but might spur other problems down the road. Even though you know that something is possible, it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow when it happens. After blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays, they determined that he had developed kidney stones, and there was nothing that they could do for him. He was in a fair amount of pain, which helped us to feel comforted that we were making the right decision to have him put down. As awful as it was this weekend, watching the clock creep ever closer to that dreadful appointment, I am so grateful that we were able to spend the last few days of his life spoiling him like he deserved. I feel so blessed that I was able to have him in my life for so many years. Sixteen in all.
The pictures are not perfect. He wanted to sleep when the light was the best, so I let him sleep. The flash was bothering him, so we didn’t use it. There is noise, the lighting is yellow for some of the pictures, but you can feel how much we loved him. That is the most important part.