May 052012
 

[See Also: Don-Don, Puppy, Pup-n-Stuf, Jesus, Elephant (while making a trunk with your arm), Golilla (yes, with an l), Puppy Time, Donegal, and Pierre.]

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It was approximately 9:00 AM on a fall morning in 2004 and I was about to embark on my descent down the steps. Don was nestled in the shadows of the top step, unbeknownst to me, when my bare foot began to sink into his furry pudge, and we both freaked the fuck out. He jumped up into the air at the same time I propelled myself skyward in attempt to leap over him. This resulted in Don running away unscathed and cowering under my bed, while I plummeted head first down the steps.

One broken toe, a carpet-burned foot, a purple lower right leg, a bent back finger nail, one bruised wrist, and tons of shame having had this happen in front of Henry. But it was worth it to keep Don unharmed.

***

Marcy gave birth to her first litter March of 2000. One of those kittens was this gray blob with a sweet chubby face and an ashy Afro. I knew without a doubt in my mind that I was keeping him and named him Don, after his Afro doppelgänger Don King.

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Don was one of those cats that even cat-haters couldn’t resist. (You know who else couldn’t resist him? Speck. They dated off and on for years.) Like a puppy who purrs, he’d plop right down in your lap, or against your side, and knock down your feline-abhorring walls. He was charming, the comedic relief of our cat clan, and such a huge part of our family. But if ever came to my house, even once, you probably know all of this already, and more than likely left with an extra layering of clothing made solely from half of his soft coat.

An outgoing people person, he was always in the thick of things. (Unless Chooch was around. In all of Chooch’s years – at least the mobile ones – Don never did come around to him. Kind of like how horses steer clear of evil.) He was loud and vocal, we would often meow back and forth at each other. And if I didn’t get out of bed and feed him RIGHTAWAY every morning, he would head butt me and cry like an extra in a Sally Struthers commercial.

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He had all of these great traits, but what he apparently also had was a large mass taking up most of his side, forcing him to breathe with just one lung. The vet said that it more than likely was this way for some time, but he had become used to breathing off one lung and that’s why nothing seemed off to us. Seeing him laying in that oxygen chamber, the way he looked at me with sad, exhausted eyes, and the fact that he let Chooch pet him through the porthole, all these things painted a pretty gloomy and grim picture of his future.

Today, Don took his last breath while I held him on my lap. The vet gave me some time alone with him and I can imagine it looked like a scene from some awful Lifetime movie, me rocking back and forth, crying and saying, “Why?!” over and over. It was fucking devastating.

But now Don and Speck are together, and I can’t help but wish I was with them, too. It’s just too much to bear right now.

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I will do a proper photo tribute in a few days; I owe him that much. I moved most of my pictures off my phone, and I just don’t have the will to get out of bed right now.

I would fall down the steps a million more times to bring him back to me.

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  22 Responses to “And Then There Were 2”

  1. I’m so sorry. =[

  2. Oh Erin I am so sorry to hear about Don. :(

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope Don and Speck found each other where ever they go.
    The vet said the same about Kiki. That she had the tumor probably since birth and she hid it well until the lungs were to compromised to work properly. I wish cats were not so stubborn to hide such things because I keep thinking if only she let me know sooner I could have gotten it taken care of. She wasn’t in my life as long as Don or Speck was in your life but I hope you don’t beat your self up over another tragic loss. *hugs* I’m thinking of you and sending you get better vibes.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss Erin. I hope your memories bring you some comfort.

  5. :,(
    losing kitties is so dang hard. hang in there.

  6. What a handsome boy. I know how hard it is. My thoughts are with you.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss :(

  8. I was just about to send Henry a message to see how Don was doing when I saw your post. I am just crying my eyes out right now. That last picture really is priceless.
    I am so sorry.

  9. I’m so sorry, Erin.

  10. Fucking crying right now. Don loved the hell out of me when I was there. He was an extra special guy and I know that him and speck are in a special place where everything is food all the time where lula is too. Love you all and I wish I could hug your neck :(

  11. I’m so sorry about Don, Erin.
    He sounds like a great cat. Lots of love to you.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss, Erin.

  13. I just cried like a baby, I am so sorry Erin :(

  14. Erin
    You are such a wonderful soul. Take care of yourself and be sad for a bit. It sucks. A lot. But, it’s part of your tribute to Don.

  15. That’s really sad. He looks like such a sweet little man-cat in all his pictures. Sorry you had to say goodbye to him.

  16. Oh Erin, I’m so sorry! I know how horrible that loss can be.

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. What a beautiful cat! I had a Russian Blue like him, but I am sure Don was much smarter than my Shade was. Most cats are.

    My deepest condolences.

  18. I am so sorry, Erin. I can’t imagine. Don was a manly man–stoic and uncomplaining about his growth. Maybe he was really an African tribal chief and he just humored you calling him Don King. Or, he looks like a Russian Blue, so maybe he was really a Russian mobster and he allowed you to call him Don because it helped with his cover. Or maybe he was the love child of an African princess and a Russian diplomat. (Does Russia give a crap enough to have diplomats?!)

    Whatever his lineage, I’m glad you and Don had each other. <3

  19. So sad Erin…He sounds like such a lover…wishing you some peace. As I type this my kitty,Louise, is rubbing against my hand…she never does that so she must be sending you and Don wishes as well. Take care friend.

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