Cry Me a River

Monday has not been a great day.

Thomas Jefferson, on a rare snowy day in north Texas

Thomas Jefferson (our older son’s cat) is not doing well. He’s 14 years old, snuck outside about 3 weeks ago and got into a fight with something – we don’t know what. This I’m sure of, he didn’t start the fight. He’s a lover, not a fighter (by which I mean that he’s a very loving cat; he was neutered when he was young).

This morning we took him back to the vet for the third time. I don’t know if he’s going to make it and it’s breaking my heart. He has lived with Joe and me for a good part of his colorful life.

Packing up for Afghanistan deployment

When Judah was posted to Fort Drum, Joe and I took Thomas with us on the plane. Then when Judah was deployed, we went up and brought Thomas back home to Texas. He was very good on the plane; in fact, he only meowed a couple of times and I think hardly anyone even knew that we had a cat with us.

Joe and Thomas Jefferson

He was not only a very good traveler, he’s been a very good cat. We’ve had very little trouble out of him over the years. He didn’t engage in bad behavior, like some other cats I could name (LaFayette, are you listening??), and he always moved well. Most cats don’t like to move and will run off, but he has moved several times with Judah (and once with us) and he adjusted to his new home just fine, every time.

And now this. I know that pets don’t live forever but even when they live a long time, it doesn’t seem long enough. Their passing just breaks my heart. When I was in 4th grade our teacher read “Black Beauty” aloud to our class. The last chapters in the book where the horse was mistreated were devastating to me. I’ve never watched “Old Yeller”. I just can’t. (SPOILER) When I watch “My Dog Skip”, I ball like a baby; the last time I watched it (it’s a wonderful movie), I quit before the dog died.

A couple of weeks ago, Joe and I went to see “Ramona and Beezus” (which was also wonderful – and isn’t my husband a great guy to take me to a children’s movie, and not even complain? It makes that whole thing about going with him to “Lord of the Rings” not so bad). Anyway, the family in R & B has a cat, and … well, just take some kleenex in your purse.

This is just another one of those things in life that I’m not very good at … saying goodbye.


Filed under Books, Cats, Children's, Family, Fiction, Heros, Military, Movies, New York, Vicissitudes of Life

10 responses to “Cry Me a River

  1. I’m sorry to hear that, Carla. We had to put our beloved Kola to sleep in September. I still miss her. She was a good girl.

  2. Genny

    Carla, I’m so sorry to hear about Thomas Jefferson. Family pets are almost like our kids … we’re still missing Popeye, even though it’s been almost five years. Hugs!

  3. HI,
    I know how hard it is to have a beloved pet ill or dying.
    I hope that Thomas Jefferson takes a turn for good health.
    I also send my prayers to you and your Son, Judah.

    With Kindness,

  4. Carla — I am SO sorry to hear about Thomas. Akela our wonderful Australian Shepherd died 3 years ago and I STILL miss her, but in a good way now.

    I am the same way about movies. Did you see Eight Below? It was about a team of dog sled dogs that had to be left behind. I made it through most of the movie, but about a half hour before it was over I couldn’t take any more and went to wait in the car while Jim, Linda and Doug watched the rest. They kid me about it, but they are also very kind and understanding about my really soft heart for animals.

    • Sandra – I’ve not seen Eight Below, but I’m glad you warned me about it. And I perfectly understand you leaving the theater – if we’d all gone together, you and I could’ve at least visited out in the lobby, because I would’ve left, also. Whenever I hear news stories on the radio about cruelty to animals, I turn it off quicky and I’ve quit going to the Drudge Report for news headlines because he frequently posts not only those type of stories, he often has a photo on the main page. I can’t seem to get that last one out of my head.

      I guess we are softies, but the Bible clearly teaches kindness toward animals and Jesus said that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father knowing.

  5. Carla — Thanks for the warning about the Drudge Report! I’ve heard of it and it interested me, but you’ve made me glad I never visited.

    As soon as I hear the music of those commercials about abused animals I turn them off too. We ARE softies, Carla. But I don’t see that as a bad thing.

    btw, we’ll be visiting Tulsa the last week in October. Would love to get together if you happen to be visiting your mom around then.

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