Saturday, January 9, 2016

Goodbye to our Furry Friend

We found Joseph in November of 2002 at a craft fair in Sarasota. We had gone to see Grandmommy and Aunt Diane's ceramics on display and a little girl was wandering around trying to give away a litter of kittens. I fell for the runt of the litter, who fit inside the palm of my hand. What do you name a little boy kitten when you're a preacher and have a cat named Mary? Of course, you name him Joseph (we usually call him Joe or Joe Bear). 

He was deceptively quiet at the craft fair, but after we loaded him in the car for home, he meowed at the top of his lungs the whole hour drive. He was always our vocal boy, wandering around at all hours meowing at the top of his lungs, and he craved the attention of being petted and held. However Joseph was also a big chicken. He was very scared of visitors to our house (hides under the bed) and he's been terrified of the kids every since Parker started to crawl and move around. Joe spent a lot of his day trying to hide away from the munchkins

Joe slowed down a lot in the last few years and became slightly more mellow. He became more of a snuggle bug with Daryl and I; we could hold him upside down in our arms like a baby. But his favorite way to lay was draped around you somehow - on top of the recliner near your head or on your pillow. He slept in the oddest places and ways. He would nip you with his teeth if you stopped petting him before he was ready. Joe was incredibly weird, but he was ours and we loved him. 

Joe started acting stranger than usual a couple of months ago. We took him and Mary to the vet for checkups in December and we made some dietary changes for them and Joe got some shots for some urinary issues. When we came home from Christmas break he seemed really off. The next day when we came home from worship it was clear that something was seriously wrong with our Joe Bear. His eyes were unfocused and he didn't want to move. A trip to the emergency veterinary hospital helped us understand why. Joe had suffered a stroke and was now blind and in organ failure. It was very difficult but we said goodbye as a family to our Joe Bear and had him put to sleep. We've all been having a difficult time because it definitely feels different around our house these days without him after 13 years.

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