Saturday, June 27, 2009

Elmo, 1994-2009


We lost little Elmo today, after years of him cheerfully enduring and ignoring major health problems - diabetes, thyroid malfunction, and a tumor. The tumor returned in force, and that is probably the culprit, along with no longer being able to regulate his insulin well enough.

He was a fun guy, a real pal. We joked that Elmo was a proactive patient, very involved in his health care. He'd come yell at us when it was time for his insulin shot. He was demanding and cranky at times, and we enjoyed that about him.

When we picked him out at the SPCA 15 years ago this summer, he was lank and tiny, like a washrag with a ping-pong ball-sized head. He had a little croupy cold and the attendant shook him at us and said, "This one doesn't come with a health guarantee!" Indeed, not. But he rallied, and became big and healthy.

He and his partner, Scat, whom we brought home from the SPCA that same day, once chased a pack of three rogue pit bulls who'd tried to venture onto our porch. We know because we ran out on the porch in response to the high-pitched wails and screams of the dogs as they ran down the street.

Elmo was calm and sweet on our evacuations these past few years, putting up with all manner of inconvenience and disruption.

He liked to lay in Cherry's arms while she rubbed his tummy. He enjoyed running through the house and crying the hunting song cats make. He liked sitting on the warm bricks of the patio and getting a little sun. And he loved to eat anything tasty. A little thin-sliced ham was his favorite treat, and he'd smack you if you weren't delivering it quickly enough. He ate a slice today, before succumbing to a seizure.

Elmo died in Cherry's arms, getting a belly rub, already made comfortable with fluids and valium, unafraid and knowing he was the center of the universe. Just another day.

God bless you, Little Elmo. You gave us good friendship and love, and made every day in your company joyful.


Scat and Elmo


PeeWee and Elmo form "a sullen alliance," tolerating and ignoring one another. (photo and comment by Cherry, earlier this week.)

13 comments:

Lisha said...

RIP little buddy! I will miss Elmo and fondly remember him performing circus tricks for yummy Pounce.

Deborah said...

So hard to lose a dear friend. RIP, Elma.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry, Beth. So heartbreaking.

That last picture is adorable - I love what it captures.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm talking to St. Francis on behalf of your beloved furry friend. What a loving tribute that captures his feline personality.

Beth said...

Thanks, Deborah. (I love your picture by the way.)

Beth said...

Jennifer, thank you. We always say "Elmo's your pal" because he was so congenial. He didn't like dogs more than any cat does, but he was easy going nonetheless.

Beth said...

Ruth Anne,

Many thanks. We're in St. Francis' parish; the church is just a half block away in fact.

I appreciate your prayers, very deeply.

peter hoh said...

An eloquent farewell to a cat. Well done.

Beth said...

Thanks, Peter.

Getting ready for bed now - his absence is much felt.

howzerdo said...

What a lovely tribute. So sorry to hear about his passing. Your Elmo reminds me very much of my little Ande. And the description and picture of him with your Doxie are precious - also much like both of my cats' relationships with my Basset Hound Sophie.

Alison said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your valiant little pal.

Joan said...

Oh, Beth! My heart goes out to you. Somehow, the cranky ones are every bit as endearing as the sweet ones, aren't they? This was a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing Elmo with us.

Shelby said...

it is so hard losing pets we love.. wishing you well..