My Final Farewell to My Teacher, Pal and Best Friend
by Deborah-Ann Milette
This is a story about my very first cat as an adult. I was always a dog owner till this ball of gray fur entered my life twenty years ago. I named him Job (the biblical name) the Chosen (out of the four kittens I chose him). His mother was spayed and set free again because she was feral.
The four kittens were born in a squirrel’s nest in the tree in my front yard in the middle of the city in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Job lived with me until his kitten hood illnesses caught up with him again and I had to make the most difficult decision of my life. Job lived with my servals and caracals and he taught them how to be proper house cats. This was published in the newspaper in Massachusetts when Job the Chosen passed away.
Job the Chosen’s Trials are Over and His Work is Done
I wake up in the morning now feeling so alone. A feeling of someone staring at me always woke me; you knew this. Before I could do anything I had to give you your breakfast because you wanted it “N-o-w!” If I didn’t move fast enough repeatedly you would prance in circles calling “ma, ma, ma!” I wanted to believe you could talk to me even if your vocabulary was only three words, “Now,” “ma,” and definitely “No!” Your bright gold eyes had me believing that I had the best treasure in the world.
Now your gone and even though I have two more in your place, my gold treasure is gone and my heart aches with so much sadness and loneliness. You taught me so much, gave me too much and now I am lost inside. On the 17th of January you cried so much with pains and even growled (something you never did,) refused to eat and wouldn’t purr for me. I couldn’t find it in my heart to bring you again to strange veterinarians here in New York. You needed your familiar vet in Foxboro, Massachusetts and I knew a goodbye trip was immediate.
From 1 to 4 in the morning I held you and cried and tried to comfort you. You never looked at me. After 11 years your communication to me was very clear. That morning at 9 am I called Dr. William Best. He would see you at 4 that afternoon, just enough time for me to get a sitter fro your brother and sister (so to speak, they were a serval and caracal) and make the three hour-long trip.
During the ride you remained very quiet so much unlike you. You loved to scare the toll-booth people, look out the window and sit on my lap or sit in the back window. This time you were silent and stiff with pain in your eyes. I would try to pet you and you would pull away. I stopped at your MeMere’s to let her know we were in the area and she offered to pay for your cremation so you could come home one last time forever. I cried with relief this time because I really don’t want you somewhere I didn’t know. Your Memere couldn’t say good-bye to you because she said “It hurts.”
We quietly waited in the vet’s office waiting to be seen, then it was our turn. I went in with you, took the carrier apart and you just sat and looked down. I kept telling you it was OK, and I loved you very much. Your old friend came in and checked you over and had me sign the papers. That was when everything suddenly became a blur.
Dr Best checked you, gave you a sleeping shot, went out and I held you until you fell asleep. When the doctor returned and he touched you, you growled and he said “That wouldn’t be my old buddy Job if he didn’t give me the last word.” The pink cocktail was given and within 10 seconds my best friend was gone forever.
As I now sit and think about Job the Chosen’s life, he had a very full life for a cat. He did pet therapy in the nursing homes, hospitals and shut-ins in the area of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and now New York. Job had a fondness for being what I called a “movable prop” in the theater doing such plays as “Bell Book and Candle, “Stage Doors” and “Park Your Car at Harvard Yard” with the late E.G. Marshal.
Job won spots in two calendars. In 1995 he was July 24th “winner of the week” for the Workman’s 365 Days of Cats. Then in 1996, he was the month of July for the Humane Association of the Northwestern Rhode Island Inc. Pet Calendar beating over 150 entries. At the one and only cat show he was in, Job took 2 ribbons in the household division and hated it. But continued to win ribbons if they had a photo section to the show and he even achieved “Best Photo of Show” and several others.
For the last two years of his life he became and “educational ambassador” with his best friend Elijah’s Hope my African Serval cat. They would go to the schools to teach children about themselves. You see Job was a feral cat in reality born in the wild city streets this case a tree. He was always a hit with his tricks and acting skills. He taught me a lot, gave from the his heart and left me with a lot of memories of love. How many people can say that of a feral cat? I can with pride and tears.
I will miss him always, my friend, my pal as well as a teacher and so will the community and the people whose hearts he touched. Good-bye my friend, I love you. Dr Best said I gave him the greatest gift. Why does it hurt so much?