Thursday, September 10, 1998, I said goodbye to a friend of 18 years, a friend I had adopted when she was nine weeks old.
Scooter was a friend who never questioned my choice of friends, my taste in decorating, music, clothes or reading, and only occasionally questioned my choices in feline cuisine.
Born in Knoxville, TN, she endured apartments of varying quality in Knoxville, Owensboro and Murray, KY, and finally, Jackson, TN. Although she loved being around people (for the attention, of course) she was a one-person cat in terms of loyalty and expected me to be a one-cat person in return. She never lacked for attention, but she also gave me attention when I was troubled. I've a lively personality, but I don't exhibit deep emotion outwardly much, so how she would know I don't know, but she did and she responded and she was the difference in my struggles - through doctoral work, job changes, and health crises (mine, not hers.)
She was a lively cat, such a feisty cat until almost the end, for even two months ago, it took two vet assistants to subdue her just to give her a shot. The last two days she was alert but docile, willing to receive massive fluids, probing and blood samples. Finally, almost too weak to hold her head up, she only wanted to rest. And now she can.
A faculty colleague of mine, a fellow animal lover, once said, "Pets only hurt you when they die." That's certainly true, but it's also true that Scooter gave so much to me just by being herself that I couldn't deny her the rest she finally deserved.
She was an 18-year blessing from God and while I can't deny the hurt, I can't deny the joy of being so blessed.