This day, in 1997, I laid my cat and dog in their final resting place. Cedric, the cat, had cancer of the jaw. Jamie, the dog, had arthritis so bad he could barely walk. Cedric had been with me for fifteen years and Jamie for ten. There was nothing more that could be done for them. I knew I couldn’t go through it twice so decided they’d go together. My vet – and friend – came to my house and did it quickly. I felt like it was Dr. Mengele walking in the door when he arrived with his little bag of needles. It wasn’t painless for me.
Afterwards, four of us carried them to their grave. The vet, me and two friends. Cedric was wrapped in a towel and Jamie was in his bed. Four of us cried, one gave a eulogy, then we filled in the grave.
Next day, we made a perennial bed on the top of their grave. Tiger lilies for Cedric, a tortoiseshell, and orange and yellow dahlias for Jamie. The lilies were mottled in colour and sleek, like Cedric. The dahlias looked happy, like Jamie.
A foundling cat and a determined dog
Cedric came to me soon after my boyfriend dumped me. He hadn’t wanted a cat or dog. I had. So the first thing I did when I got my own place was put out the word that I was cat-hunting.
Friends had a very pregnant cat they had found in the woods. Their own cat terrorized her and they feared what would happen when the kittens were born. I took her. I feared she was going to give birth on the drive home. But it was a week before the kittens came. I was much more nervous than she was, and she was pretty nervous. I had my landlady come help because she was a registered nurse.
Ceddie and I had a good life in many homes. Jamie joined us when he decided he preferred our house to his own. He lived nearby, at the end of a long country lane. A very social dog, he preferred life in the village.
Jamie was a self-sufficient dog. Didn’t have a lot of dog friends but a wide circle of people friends. He’d do his visiting rounds every few days. When he got older, if he was too tired to walk home, someone would drive him or phone me to come get him. He made friends with a couple neighbour dogs. They’d come visit him or he’d go to their place. He walked along beside you, but I don’t think anyone ever trained him. He’d run in the woods after rabbits. Never caught one, and never lost track of you.
Neither Cedric nor Jamie were ever my ‘fur-babies’. They were my friends and, especially Cedric, my advisors.
New pets move in
Less than a month after they died, a young stray tabby and white cat turned up at my house. I wasn’t ready for a new cat, but no one claimed her. Elsie moved in and is still with me. After a year, a German Shepherd pup needed a home. So Jack joined Elsie and me.First posted on my St. Thomas Dog Blog on April 13, 2011. Now, twenty years later, Elsie and Jack are also gone.