Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sidney Our Friend... Our Cat... Put to Rest Tuesday, June 7 at 9:30 am

Oh to lose a family pet. It has been a long time since I went through the pain I am feeling today. The last time I went through this was my senior year of high school. I had a dog named Captain that I had had from the time he was a puppy to his death. With Captain, the decision was "easier" because we knew he was hurting and we could see the sores (cancer) on his chest. He would sleep in the garage and we could see where he had slept by the dampness on the ground from his chest. It was obvious the best thing to do for Captain was to put him to rest. That decision was also not mine, but I knew it was coming when my parents told me the time had come. I cried like a baby and I still miss him to this day.

On Tuesday, June 7, we put Sidney to rest. It was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made. We had watched Sidney age over the past few years and especially this last year. He lost a ton of weight and had been diagnosed with chronic renal failure. This has required us to take him to the vet four times this past year. Three of those were for enemas and those always wiped him out. We could see that he did not have near the energy he had had just a year ago and he slept a lot.

I am going to use this blog post as a memory for Sidney and to help me with my sorrow for losing a beloved pet and friend. I will discuss funny stories that Sidney did throughout the eleven years that I knew him and stories from before I knew him. I hope this brings a smile to your face and that you can relate with me on how great of a cat and friend Sidney was to Carrie and I.

I met Sidney back in October of 2000. I met him when I was dating Carrie and we had our first date after getting back from a cruise where we met. Little Sidney, all of seven years old, was still feeling frisky and that he had all of his man parts. My first meeting with Sidney was me changing the VCR tape (yes, we still had those) and Sidney trying to hump my leg. Carrie was embarrassed as her pet was trying to attack me. This happened a few more times not only when Carrie and I were dating, but up to this past month.
We would be sleeping and Sidney would jump on the bed to try and "get our legs". It made me laugh back when I first met him in 2000 and it still made me laugh a month ago. Carrie did research on it and found that it was a very common trait for cats that are neutered to do. The picture at the left is a picture from 2000-2001 of Sidney in the apartment of Brenda and Carries'. I believe he is drinking some milk in this picture.

Sidney and I lived together for a few months prior to Carrie and I getting married. This was our bonding time. When Carrie and I were dating and Carrie lived in Topeka with Brenda, I would visit their apartment and Sidney would tolerate me. Sniff me and try to hump my leg... He was not sure about this new guy that had started coming around his pad. After I proposed to Carrie and we bought a new home in Lawrence, I closed out my lease on a apartment in Lawrence and moved into our newly purchased house. Sidney moved in with me when Carrie moved back to her parents as we were preparing to get married.

Sidney became used to seeing me every day. I would pick him up and carry him like a baby only for the reason that he seemed to want that and seemed to like it. I would work with him on the computer in the basement and he would want to get in my lap. I would pick him up and work with him on my lap for most of the evening. If I moved for the slightest reason he would get irritated and jump off... only to return thirty or so minutes later wanting back on my lap. I would talk to Carrie and the phone and she could hear Sidney in the background as we spoke. I would share how Sidney and I were getting along living together and what a great kitty he was being.

One of my favorite Sidney stories is one evening (after Carrie and I were living in the house) I sneaked up on him and scared the living daylights out of him. I tried to sneak up on him all the time when we were the only ones in the house before Carrie moved in and then afterwards too. He would never let me do it.... He would hear me coming or see me and my game would be over.

One evening he was sitting at the top of the stairs with his back to the stairs. I was downstairs and I started to come up the stairs when I saw him sitting there. I knew he had not seen or heard me, so I moved cautiously up the stairs. I got on all fours and crawled up the last flight of stairs. He was still sitting there facing the kitchen and not paying any at tention.

I got to the point where I could reach and touch him... still he had no idea I was behind him. So, I reached out to touch him and he jumped five feet in the air. When he landed, he ran down the hallway to our bedroom. He paused before going into our bedroom to look back at me. He seemed somewhat surprised that I had been able to sneak up on him let alone scare him. I laughed and laughed that night. I had to tell Carrie all about it and recreate the scene for her. That was the only time I was able to scare Sidney. He never again let me sneak up on him... in that house or our house in Topeka. He always kept a eye on me and reacted at the slightest sound.

Another favorite story for which I was not present, but Carrie and Brenda told me about had to do with Sidney and Brenda's cat, Casper. Sidney was sitting on a chair minding his business. Casper jumped up on the chair and scared him. When Sidney went flying off of the chair he left a little piece of poop on the chair. Yes, Casper scared the shit out of him and he left it on the chair as proof. This is probably the reason why Sidney would never let me sneak up on him and when I finally did, it only happened the one time.

I still remember Sidney and Casper running through the apartment of Brenda and Carrie. When we would be downstairs and they would run through, it would sound like a party upstairs. They would chase each other through the house and run at full speed from the kitchen to the upstairs.

Anytime Carrie or I would sit down to use the computer (laptop), Sidney would have to jump and find a way to lay on the computer. We were never sure if he was jealous of the laptop or if it was just comfortable to lay on it knowing that we would be paying attention to it and possibly paying attention to him too. The picture to the left is one from a few years ago when he still had some meat on him, but you can see that he would lay as much on the computer as he could. When I would use the laptop, he would not do it as much with me. When Carrie would even touch the computer while on the couch, he would see her and immediately get that look in his eye that he had to get on the couch and be with her. He would circle around her a few times from one side of the couch to the other trying to find that perfect spot to lay down. He took some serious power naps by laying on the computer while one of us was "trying" to use it. He was so cute it was hard to tell him to get off or find another place to sleep.

Another favorite of ours is when Sidney would sleep between our legs. It was one of his favorites. Something he started within the last year was sleeping between my legs at night. I would wake up to find him snuggled up between my legs laying on top of the sheets. He would become irritated if I get up or need to move. The only shot we have of him in this position is another one of his favorites and that was when we were on the couch watching television.

In this picture he does not have the blankets to give the full effect, but you get the idea. He really enjoyed it when I would lay on the couch, or in my recliner, to watch football, golf, or anything else where there was a chance I might fall asleep too. I think he could sense when I was watching something that was going to put me to sleep. Or, as the case may be when I was in bed sleeping and he knew I was going to be there for the night, he would sleep on our bed between my legs.

You can see in the picture to the right how he tilts his head and really gets after the sleep. It was one of our favorites and if you look through his pictures you can see a variety of these poses where he is sleeping with his head tilted.

Another characteristic that we loved was when he was sleeping on the couch, usually by himself, he would put his forehead (or possibly nose) against the couch to sleep. It was almost as though it was comforting to him to be in this position. He would do this same sleeping style in other areas too, but primarily it was when he was sleeping on the couch.

I mentioned it early on about holding Sidney like a baby and so I had to share a picture of me holding him. Carrie and I believe he could have stayed like this for hours, but I usually had to put him down because my arms would start hurting. I think the longest I held him for was 30 minutes and even at that he had no intention of getting out of my arms.

I loved it when he would let me hold him like this and this all started back when Sidney was staying with me prior to Carrie moving in after we got married. He could and would stay like this for hours and hours. It was fantastic and I miss it so much!

As I would hold him, he would tilt his head so I could put kisses on his head. He would look back up in my eyes like I was the best thing that ever happened to him. It made me feel so good. He had just started another new "feature" in the past few months where when I would get ready to pick him up and I would bend over, he would back up into my hands so that I would pick him up. He would stretch out as I lifted him to my chest and began to cradle him. Below is a video Carrie took of us. It was taken on her phone, so the quality is not great, but you get the idea. See more videos at http://www.youtube.com/havertyj

I am not sure when it started, but at some point I started referring to Sidney as "Sidney Bodean". Sometimes I would just say "Bodean". I am not sure when it started, but it sorta stuck as Carrie would refer to Sidney as "Bodean" too sometimes. Or, we would both also always use "The Boy". We also came up with a few songs about Sidney.... Actually, I think it was Carrie that came up with all of the songs regarding Sidney. I love them all! Maybe we will record a few of them and post them at a later time. I am sure you will laugh... er, love them too!

Carrie told me of a story of when Sidney was a kitten and they were in Texas with her parents where Dad Shirron was shaking out a blanket... Little did they know that little Sidney had climbed inside and was sleeping. So, when Dad shook out the blanket out flew little Sidney. I can just see Sidney flying out of blanket and probably running for cover.

Carrie and I loved Sidney so much! He was our "child" and he was our "old man". We looked forward to coming home to him after a trip and to seeing him when we were home for lunch. He made our day, lit our nights, and provided a spark to our holidays. We love Christmas Sidney! I loved it when we would be outside and Sidney would want to go outside with us. He would sit at the front door looking out at us meowing and crying because we were not letting him out.

When I would come home for lunch during the week from work, Sidney would almost always greet me. His favorite thing to do was to go out with me to get the mail, go out in the garage and sniff around, and then finally to beg for whatever it was that I was eating for lunch. I loved it!

I feel blessed to have had Sidney in my life. I will miss him forever! Holding him in my arms when the vet put him down was the best and worst thing I have ever done. I am glad that I was able to provide comfort for Sidney as he went to a better place where he will never be uncomfortable again, but I felt like I was letting him down because he trusted me. I know that what we did was the best we could do our boy Sidney. I love him and miss him so much!

Reminder that the entire set of Sidney pictures can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/havertyj/sets/72157626907720862/with/5816626784/ As we come across other pictures, we will add them to the set.

I hope you have enjoyed my therapy session as I have gone through my memories of Sidney. If you have memories, I invite you to share those with me by commenting on this post.

Thank you!

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