Thursday, September 1, 2011

My "Brother" Isaac

I said I'd get back to that sarcophagus I mentioned earlier, so here I am.  Though technically and historically a sarcophagus is made of stone or limestone, this one is carved from a heavy, solid wood.  It was given to dad by his youngest brother, who has been gone for a few years now.  I lived with him and his girlfriend for a while when dad couldn't have cats, and I miss him lots.  I used to climb up on him when he napped and curl up like I do with mom and dad now.
     Anyway, Isaac was my dad's best buddy for years, and he reached the age of about sixteen years.  Isaac was dad's faithful companion and, at times, his only friend, and they grew to be inseparable.  All of dad's kids loved Isaac, a tubby, black and gray domestic short-haired tabby, and it wasn't long before Isaac settled in as a permanent part of dad's family.  Isaac had seen it all over his lifetime with dad- kids, houses, marriages and divorces, and many, many moves.  Unfortunately, Isaac had a tumor growing below his left ear, and, in spite of attempts to treat it, it took Isaac away from dad.  Without his knowing it I found dad's account of Isaac's illness, and the following is an excerpt of that piece, which made me cry when I read it:

     I held up pretty well at the vet’s office,  wanting to get the necessary paperwork out of the way before bringing Isaac in, and when asked if I’d like to be with him during his final moments I responded with a shaky “Yes”, even though my legs were beginning to wobble.  As we tried to hold Isaac down on the table he kept turning and trying to climb up onto my shoulder, which had become a comfortable place for him over the years.  Sometimes, while in my apartment, we would just walk around, his paws on either side of my neck. 
     It was extremely difficult to watch him, clawing at the exam table, trying to get up onto my shoulder, and I began to wonder if I should’ve just left him off and drove away.  I helped hold and comfort Isaac, and as the doctor prepared to do his part I kissed Isaac on the forehead, and he and I just looked at each other- he with confusion in his eyes, and me with sadness in mine.
     When the doctor whispered “He’s gone,” after listening to Isaac’s tiny heart beat for the last time ever my heart sank to a depth I can’t even explain.  The doctor left the room and I was alone with Isaac, who I assured was now in a happier, more comfortable place, and I just sat there with him for about fifteen minutes, petting him, thinking about all the years of unquestioning companionship, and trying to dry my eyes.

     Well, that's it for now.  I have to go.  I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow, maybe.  


Fuzzy Tales said...

The mom can't read that right now, because even though Annie's been gone for 28 weeks and 1 day, it's still too fresh in her mind. So she understands the grief, and knows that our hearts really never heal.

Purrs from us.

Daisy said...

That made my eyes leak, too. Isaac sounds like a truly special kitty. It was brave and kind of your dad to be there with him to the very end.