sittingstill (sittingstill) wrote,

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He picked me out the instant we met, Christmas of 1992 at my brother's house, that tiny tuxedo-clad ball of fur. One look and he knew he had a servant for life. He found his name that day, too, strutting around like Bugs Bunny in the guise of Leopold Stokowski.

As well, he had the shape and regal attitude of a lion. (His brother, who came along for the ride and shares his tuxedo coloring, has the shape and playfulness of a tiger.) He didn't demand attention so much as compel it. He was always elegant--walking, seated, curled up. He was a lap cat, but as long as you skritched his throat occasionally he was content just to have your company.

He aged a little more quickly than his brother, I guess. They both had the kidney disease common in older cats, but Leo lost weight from an overactive thyroid. On meds, he gained weight again, but in the last few weeks he was losing it again. Tests in these last days revealed his spent left kidney as well as what his regular vet from kittenhood confirmed was almost certainly lymphoma in his intestines.

He made his own decision here, too, I think. He ate little last week, and stopped eating entirely at Angell. He could always throughout his life be counted on to sniff out his two favorite foods: deli turkey and tuna. (I stopped eating turkey sandwiches at home unless I planned to give away half!) But today he turned away from even those. I cajoled and coaxed; just in case, I even sucked up my fear and gave him sub-q fluids for the first time. But I think he hurt, and he'd had enough of sticks and meds and car rides. So the last thing I could do for him was to make the call. We went to Winter Hill, where he saw Dr. O'Donnell for the last time.

He was a magnificent cat.

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