Last week, I had to put Tex to sleep. He now has his freedom in a place not bound by bodies and all things physical. I miss him terribly and I wanted to reminisce a bit about him:
Tex was in a pet store near Dallas, Texas (hence his name!) I bought him on April 28, 1992. The day before I flew standby on American Airlines to Dallas (first class, back when a hot breakfast was served enroute) for a flight attendant interview. At that time in my life I was a travel consultant and thought I wanted to be a flight attendant, or at least interview for one. After the interviews that day, I stayed the night and flew back the next morning. I had some free time in the morning and took the hotel shuttle bus to the nearby mall. I wanted an orange kitten and hadn't been able to find one yet. There was a pet store in the mall, and I met Tex and his brother. The woman owner put me in a room with them (she knows how to sell!) and of course it was love at first sight. I told her I'd keep him if I could fly back with him, so I called the airline and they said yes, I could bring him on board. So, we boxed him up in his cardboard carry on and I had him with me in the cabin under the seat. He was very good, and settled down once we were in the air. Then he had to come home and meet Cleo - my other 6 month old kitten. But he stood his ground and with one swap on Cleo's face with his claws they had their pecking order established.
Tex was fond of chasing rubber balls - he played 'fetch' and would return them (when he wanted to). He also knew his name and would come when called. He slept with me on the bed, and has been there for me since before I was married and longer than most relationships. He survived a hyperthyroid, a stroke - where he miracously recovered after three days when I didn't think he was going to make it - and then high blood pressure, and finally, blindness. He taught me patience - and to never give up. He loved unconditionally. Tex, I will remember you. I still have his photo as my computer screen saver at work. Sometimes people and animals are connected in special ways, I know that is true with Tex. He was 15.
It was hard for me to put him to sleep but the vet was very nice and I had the support of a close friend to drive me around since my car was in the shop. Sometimes I think my car went out on purpose that week because I needed the support of others that I wouldn't have seeked out on my own. We buried him in his backyard near the trees where he will be at peace. Afterwards, we went out to eat and had a toast to Tex - remembering the good times he brought me, along with the other cats in our lives.
(I wish I could scan his kitten photo in here, but alas I don't have a color scanner).
I still have Cleo - she is mellowing out a bit and is more affectionate. She is usually very jealous but I think she misses Tex too.