08 November, 2015

my biscuit

We brought Idris home on a sunny November almost two years ago. He was all fluff and eyes, visibly stripey under the black. We didn't know much about his history, except that he and his sister were found alone, too young to be weaned, with no sign of  a mama. His sister went right away, because she was not black. When we adopted him, he was newly alone in his cage.

You would expect that to engender a little trauma. It did not. He was a gutsy little guy, as kittens tend to be. But he was also very, very small, and to him, the apartment was very, very big (and smelled of Other Cats(tm), the only living one of whom kept hissing at him). So naturally, he decided to sleep under the couch when everyone else went to bed.

The next morning, I came out, got on my elbows and knees, and peered under. "Where's my biscuit?" I asked. "You're MY biscuit."

He chirped and ran to me. And he was, ever after, my biscuit. He loved everyone, but he was mine in that way cats have.

He figured out opening doors before he was actually strong enough to do it. He figured out how to use the mirrors (our closets are mirrored sliding doors) to see who was around the corner. He played fetch with milk-bottle rings for hours. He would jam his head under my chin at night and lick, bite, lick, while I pulled his ears and told him that yes, he was my biscuit, and please stop biting. He never really meowed. Mostly chirps. Occasional squeaks. I could summon him across the house by exhaling hard through my nose, like an irritated mama cat.

Sometimes, he was Idris Dexter Oliver Mephistopheles Beauregard. But he was always, always Biscuit.

He also had a bad, bad chewing habit. He survived one round of obstructed bowels last spring; yesterday, he was not so lucky. This time, the vet guesses it was a longer piece of debris, and that it perforated his bowel and turned him septic. We took him in last night, and elected to bring him home again. It was something soft. It might pass. But we did not want to leave him there overnight, or put him into surgery overnight. We had a feeling that something was just...that we needed to have him home with us.

He spent most of last night under our bed, near the foot. He usually slept at our feet on the bed; last night, the on part was too uncomfortable, so he stayed just under. I woke up (oh, let's be real. I didn't sleep)--I became aware of Something Not Right around 6 am. He crawled out, I went to him, assuring him he was my biscuit, yes he was.

He shoved his head into my hand and stretched out. Then, sometime while I was pulling his ears and petting his head, he slipped into shock. I took him in to the clinic, because...you have to, you know. You can't just fucking quit. But the vet (same as last night) told me they barely had a heartbeat, they couldn't get BP. She was marshaling herself to advise against surgery. I saved her the trouble. She was kind enough to tell me even if we'd done it last night, the speed with which he declined suggests the perforation had already happened. Whatever he ate, it killed him.

They took two tries to get the catheter in him to put him down. I held his head. I pulled his ears. I rubbed my head on his head, which he loved. I couldn't manage to tell him he was my biscuit again. I don't know if he heard me. One eye opened, at the last. I suspect reflex. I choose to believe that, for a moment, he knew I was there.

Hear me, Idris? You're my biscuit. MY biscuit.

Idris, 2013-2015