The General

My cat passed away this morning. I named him General Tso but I almost always called him Monkey when he was being goofy (he normally was) or buddy or various non-spellable noises. He was my best friend and a constant aspect of my life since just after college, much of which was living alone.

Skip to the photo album for pictures of joy and cute kitty; sad stuff below!

I spent a couple months living at my parents' house after college, stayed there for one week after getting my first (and current) job, and then got him a mere one week after getting my first apartment. The first year or so when he was a kitten was a little rough, and he liked to eat my headphone cords for several years after that, but the longer he was around the more we bonded. I knew all of his little quirks, his favorite parts of the house to sleep, how he would drink water (pretty much anything other than out of a clean water bowl), how he would greet me when I got him, how he liked to eat his own fur, how he hated any car travel (or being out of the house at all) and would cry terribly, how he couldn't keep lint/dandruff off his butt, how he loved knitted blankets especially if they smelled like me, how he would wake me up in the morning but normally not until after I snoozed the alarm a few times too many, how he liked to watch the squirrels and birds from the window but would be too scared to go out on to the back deck most times, how he hated when I had to give him a bath and the one time he managed to pull me into the tub while he jumped out, how he really liked those wand toys and would carry it around making strange murr noises. As he got older he didn't want to play as much but he did like to cuddle, and mornings and nights where he would get on the bed and sleep with my arm resting against his back were the best memories.

One of the toughest parts was that I didn't get to say goodbye. Looking back it's obvious to see some of his declining health (cats are considered geriatric at 8 too), and how he would want me to pick him up so he could get into the sink and drink from there (I always obliged), or not want to jump up on things anymore. I had thought a few times about what it would be like to have to tell him goodbye, and how I wanted to be there for him when the time came that the vet said he needed to be put down. But I never thought it would happen that he would die without an acute warning. I wasn't ready for this at all.

It's going to be really hard for awhile. I am alone in a big house again. Everywhere I look there is a cat toy, or a tuft of hair, or a blanket for him, or a cat bed, or a place he would claim as his bed, food bowls or stray bits of food, scratch posts, etc. I will probably get another cat or two at some point but right now I can't think of that much. I just want my buddy back.