Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dale R.I.P. - July 24, 1992 to June 4, 2010

Dale passed away quietly on Friday morning. He has been part of my life for close to 18 years. No need to say that I will miss him dearly.

I remember going to pick him and his sister, Chip, out. He was the eldest of a litter of four. The first time I saw him, his eyes were not open, yet, but I immediately fell in love with this kitten. Two weeks later when we went to see the kittens again, his eyes were open and I saw two shiny green beads staring at me. He came straight to me and meowed at me with his tiny voice. I picked him up and he fell asleep in my hands. His ears were still round shaped so that he looked like a little black bear. I was hooked. I knew he was going to be my cat.

Chip left us first in 2004 at the age of 12, shortly after our move to Reinach. Dale had always been the strong, healthy one, but a couple of years ago, I noticed that his coat was getting felted and he was often quite agressive. We brought him to the vets to get him combed (Dale would NOT let us comb him) and have him checked. As a matter of fact, Dr. Buser (our vet) had to sedate him in order to groom him. That's when we found out that Dale suffered a) from spondilytis and b) of hyperthyroidism which, at that age, is often linked with kidney problems. Both conditions could however be kept under control with the help of medication.

In the past few months, his hind leg muscles started to deteriorate faster and he seemed to have more pain, so we increased his pain killers. As of last week, he could no longer jump on the sofa or on the bed, and was eating less and less, thus not taking in much of his medication. Last Wednesday when I came home from work, Dale came to greet me, meowing as ususal, but then as he walked towards me, his hind legs failed twice on a distance of about 15 feet. I knew that was it, so I called Dr. Buser on Thursday and got an appointment for the Friday morning.

I decided to spend my last night sleepingon on the couch to be closer to him. In the morning, I fed him, but he wasn't really hungry. He went outside any layed in the sun, soaking up the warm rays. When the time came, my good friend Diana picked us up and drove us to Dr. Buser. I'm so glad that she was able to come with me and stand by my side while I said my goodbyes to Dale as he fell asleep. Thank you so much, Di! I really appreciate it.

In a way, I'm glad it happened this way. Now, I can concentrate on my return to Canada and don't have to worry about Dale's condition. It was already clear that it was not an option to take him with me to Canada or for O-X to take him to Holland. He would not have survived the stress.
Now he's in kitty heaven with his sister Chip, TBFs King, Hélène's Merlin and is most likely chasing whatever cats chase up there. He was more than just a cat to me; he was my soul mate. I really, really miss him.