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.)