In November 2010, my boyfriend (who is allergic to cats) and I took in Morris as a foster cat. He was already a senior with arthritic hips, so I guessed he was around 12 years old. His front paws had been declawed and whoever had him his whole life dumped him at the animal shelter where he would have been the first in line to be euthanized.
He was adopted by a senior couple, then returned a couple days later just because he threw up. Luckily, he was rescued by Lapcats on the spot. We knew our home and life with us would be his final chapter. A month later, we had a senior blood panel done by the vet, who in response claimed he was knocking on death's door and wouldn't be around more than a month or two.
Fast forward four years and Morris was still going strong. I always joked that once he arrived to our home, he decided he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. He spent 4 years and 8 months cuddling with us whenever he could, purring loudly. He would audibly purr and trot over to you the moment he saw you sit down so he could cuddle up in your lap or on top of you. His whole, slow motion process involved sitting on top of you and staying still for about 7 minutes while purring, then finally, and perfectly, cuddling into a ball on your lap, belly, or next to your side. Every now and then, he would get a burst of energy and run around as fast as his old man body would allow him, as though he were a kitten again. It would always last about 18 seconds, then he was done. He couldn't keep himself very clean, so I always helped him with that, and he seemed very appreciative.
In his last 6 months, he really started to slow down, lost weight, and didn't cuddle as much anymore. He slept a lot, but he got special, fresh, canned food several times a day to keep him going. He never lost his appetite, but just couldn't eat the dry food anymore. I prayed he would make the decision easy to know exactly when the time was right to let him go, and that he did. One morning, he came to our bedroom as he always did, but this time instead of standing, he was on his side and could not get up on his own.
In retrospect, he was more likely around 15 when we took him in, and probably closer to 20 when he passed. He had a very comforted, peaceful last few hours at home, eating his favorite food, and looking beautiful and perfect after a gentle bath the day before. He deserved this peaceful, merciful, dignified transition.
It breaks my heart to think of him having been euthanized almost 5 years earlier when he was full of so much life. He gave us the best gift with his love and demonstrated how to age gracefully without ever feeling sorry for yourself. I miss him so, and am so grateful for his love and the life lessons he taught us.
We love you Morris. We hope you are in a very happy and serene place. You deserve it.