Monday, July 7, 2014

Eris: 1997-2014

My last year in the Navy, a friend and I got an apartment since the ship was scheduled to be inport the majority of that time due to overhaul and SLEP.  The place felt empty though.  I found what was missing while doing my usual rounds of the San Diego malls.  In a pet shop which I liked to browse through, one day I saw a little, bright-eyed, grey and brown tabby kitten. "Yeah", I thought, "No home is complete w/o a pet" and I had always had pets around up until I went into the service.
So that evening, my roommate and I drove back there and picked her up.  On the way back, we stopped at his sister's place.  I had the kitten in a box for transport (she didn't like that).  When I took the box out and set it on the hood, I pretended like it was almost more than I could lift and leaned against the bumper making the car lower.  Sister asked 'What the hell is in there?" right before I lifted out a tiny ball of fuzz.  The landlord was not happy as we hadn't cleared it w/ them first but they couldn't resist a cute little fuzzdart so she got to stay.
Then a name.  My roommate wanted to name her 'Puppy' but I had a better one.  What name would fit a ball of chaos?  Eris.  Goddess of Discord.
Her first few weeks in the apartment.

She spent about the first year of her life there, happily peeing in my beanbag, shredding rolls of paper towels, and eating ham, her favorite food.  One of our favorite games was hide and seek.  I would chase her into the kitchen where she would hide in a cabinet which was her 'safe' spot. Then I would go and hide in one of about three places. She would come out after a bit, try and find me, and then I would chase her back into the cabinet.  One time I hid in a different spot and she couldn't find me.  Through a peep hole, I watched her check one, then another, and finally the third spot w/o locating me.  She then slowly walked back into the living room, obviously upset, and let out a piteous mewl. I jumped out, startling her, and the chase began again. 
At one point, I did end up spending about a month in Washington state.  A mutual friend watched the apartment/took care of Eris while we were gone.  When I got back, I was outside talking to the landlord and heard a ruckus coming from the apartment.  I looked up and Eris had shoved through the blinds, hearing my voice. She let out a MEOW that could probably be heard blocks away and met me at the door.  She didn't leave my lap the entire weekend.
When I got out in June of '98, we took a very long trip in a Uhaul back to the People's Soviet.  Between her unhappy meowing and the squeeking of a foam cooler, kitty almost didn't make the trip.  She finally settled down, alternately sleeping under the bench seat or sitting on the dashboard.  She did pick up an unfortunate habit of wanting to sit on my lap with the rest of her body through the steering wheel.
We spent the next few years either living at my folks (her first experiences w/ dogs and other cats) or in various college apartments where the 'family' started growing, along w/ her waistline, eventually reaching near 20 lbs, before settling into the 'Trailer' and an ever growing herd o' kitty where she lived for near 10 yrs.

Some of her favorite places was sitting on my lap w/ as much of herself draped across the keyboard as she thought she could get away with, nesting in some blankets next to (or on) my head while I was sleeping, and any shelves with clothing she could shed on.  Over the last few years, she'ld lost some weight and arthritis was bugging her somewhat but overall she remained a content kitty.

A few weeks ago, I found a lump on her chin.  The vet said it was cancer and that w/ her advanced age, she wouldn't be able to handle chemo or surgery. They gave us some steroids and antibiotics to try and stem the growth.  Since then she went from soft canned food to tuna to finally in-vitro fluids and me feeding her baby food w/ a syringe over the weekend as the tumor grew.  Of course over the weekend.

Her last night w/ her daddy

 This morning I took her to the vet where she spent her last moments in my arms. I'm having her cremated so she can spend even more time w/ me as I sit in my cave.

I miss my Eris kitty.


Jay Ater said...

I'm feeling for ya Dude. Sorry for your loss.

We have an appointment for Friday to put down our Newfie and my heart is already aching.

Awelowynt said...

My sympathies to you both. It's always difficult to lose a member of the family.

drjim said...

Losing a pet is hard, but you did the right thing.

It's worse to let them suffer so that we may enjoy their company a while longer.

Anonymous said...

My condolences sir. We have a pair of indoor cats (Burmese and Siamese) and the pair of them really make Life more enjoyable, despite their antics and attitudes (Yep - I did it. Nope - not sorry. Yep, gonna do it again.). I hope in time, you find another cat to fill the void - RIP Eris.

Hat Trick said...

My condolences. Losing a cherished pet is always hard.

The Jack said...

My sympathies.

When the growth impedes their ability to eat, the quality of life issue goes to the front.

My Brittany Spaniel had a similar thing with a growth that pressed on his stomach.

Sorry for your loss. It hurts but you did what was best.

M said...

Feel for you - and thanks for doing Her right by introducing her story to readers.

John said...

Losing a pet is hard. Losing one you've had for so long is even harder. Console yourself with the fact that you did the right thing for Eris and that you did right by her given her long life. Few pets live that long.

Don said...

Aw, I'm sorry, Roy.

Chad said...

Sorry for your loss.