Daddy Meow, as many of you know, was one of two parking lot kitties (The Meows!) that I have loved, fed, cared for and considered a part of my family for almost three years now. To call Daddy and his best friend, Little Meow, parking lot kitties is a huge understatement. I was their mommy -- they knew it, I knew it, and so did everyone else in entire office park.
I am still Little Meow's mommy. But yesterday, I did the hardest thing a mommy could ever have to do for Daddy... I had to say goodbye.
Daddy was one of the sweetest cats you'll ever meet. He lived outside, but you could hardly call him feral. He came when I called him (and if that didn't work, a jingle of my keys would do the trick; he knew the sound of my keys from everyone else's), he had breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, I would visit on weekends, let him get in my car with the heater on on cold days and even bring him turkey on Thanksgiving.
Daddy liked to be petted on the top of his head, but he'd sometimes get a little skittish and I'd have to reach my hand out long and lean in slowly to pet him -- and then he was all love. He loved to rub on my legs, and when I crouch down to pet him, he would just go in circles around me, rubbing my thighs, my hips, my hands, my arms... whatever was closest.
Sometimes (a lot of times, actually), Daddy would rather be petted than eat. I would find myself walking over to the food and petting him there so he'd see it and go eat some. He loved to love, and I loved to love him.
Here is a video of him doing just that... There is a pile of his favorite food, but he'd rather me love him. Love at what a gorgeous cat Daddy was! (This video is before Little Meow had her kittens and I got her spayed.)
Daddy's favorite food in the whole wide world was Friskies Seafood Sensations dry food. It trumped even Fancy Feast! What a crazy cat, huh? And when it came to canned food, his favorite was Friskies Tuna and Egg. Mmmm... the gravy in that was especially delicious apparently.
He spent his day sleeping either under my car or on my convertible top. I like to call it their hammock. I could look down from the kitchen in my office and see him and Little Meow on my car, and just love knowing they were there and happy and comfortably stretched out on their safe place. My parking space was his home.
Sometimes when I'd get to work or come on the weekends, Daddy wouldn't be right there waiting. But I knew the other spots in the parking lot he hung out at, so me and Little Meow (she is almost always there waiting!) would walk around the parking lot together, Little Meow prancing right next to me at my ankles and me jingling my keys and yelling out "Daaaaaaadddddddyyyyyy..." until he popped out of his favorite bushes.
Then the three of us would walk over to my car for the regular buffet of their favorites that I keep in my trunk. I always thought it was funny that I'd be walking around a parking lot just yelling for my Daddy. :)
And he loved his water. I always made sure that I stuck around long enough for him to finish eating so he could have his water before any other parking lot critters (we have raccoons and ducks) came over and dumped it being greedy. Food first, then water. He had his routine and it broke my heart if some stupid bird knocked over his water bowl before he had a chance to get to it and I had no more water with me to refill it.
Daddy was a gentle, sweet cat. He hardly ever meowed, and if he did it was soft and delicate. He would just look at me with his big, beautiful green eyes and I could see the love there. He didn't have to tell me; he showed me. I always loved the way he'd look up at me like that while I pet him.
Yesterday morning, I dropped Daddy off at the vet. I had noticed he was losing a lot of weight, and after trying to stuff him and not succeeding in fattening him up, me and a good friend who feeds some other cats in the office park decided we should get him checked out.
I was hoping for worms or, at worst, some mildly major thing that we might not be able to treat but that he'd be able to come back to the parking lot to live out his life with Little Meow, on my car and with my love. But it didn't happen that way.
The vet called around lunchtime with the heartbreaking diagnosis: Daddy had a huge mass in his abdomen the size of a baseball. Cancer. And it was bad. He recommended euthanasia.
My heart shattered.
I wanted him to come back home. He was just purring and loving on me the day before! Now this? I asked 100 questions -- Was he in pain? How long would he live? Would he suffer? Has he been suffering?
The vet didn't think Daddy had much time left, and that the time he had would not be good, so I realized the best way I could help Daddy right now was to help him to the Bridge. And I wanted to be there with him when he went. I didn't want him to go alone.
So we went right to the vet, said goodbye to one of the best cats I'll ever know and petted him and kissed him when the time came.
He is at peace now, and so am I, but it still hurts. Like Dana of The Creek Cats said, there is a huge Daddy-Meow-sized chunk missing out of my heart.
I loved that guy and I'm going to miss him probably more than I can imagine. We are having him cremated and I'm going to spread his ashes in his favorite bushes by my parking space. It's where he belongs... back home with Little Meow.
Thanks for letting me share him with you. I'm so thankful he shared himself with me.