Our beloved cat, Mouse, passed away a couple weeks ago. He was the first pet that Jess and I got as a couple. He made the move from Massachusetts to Arkansas with us, and came along before either of the girls were born. He also made three more moves with us and went from being an indoor cat to an outdoor cat. He was over 13 years old.
It was difficult, because the girls found him. He lived in our front yard and refused to come in the house, even on the wettest and coldest days. Every morning, he would greet us on our way to school/work. Layne fed him and he was always there to get some loving from us.
That morning, the girls went out to the car before me. As I came out of the house, Layne said to me, "Momma, why is he laying weird like that?" I took one look and I knew - I just KNEW. I told the girls to get in the car and I called Jess (she was on overnight call at the hospital). I told her about the situation and we both started to cry. At this point, both of the girls were hysterically crying. I wrapped him up and brought him in the house. Between the time that I left for school/work with the girls and the time that Jess got home from work was about 30 minutes. She took him to the vet and arranged to have him cremated.
I always imagined that he would just go off somewhere and we would have to assume that he ran away to die. I'd also thought, however, after seeing him lounging so many mornings in the carport, what might happen if we came out one morning and he was dead. It did not happen the way I thought it would.
It was much sadder that I thought it would be, and I felt much sadder that I thought I would. He was loved, and he will be missed.
RIP, Mouse. We love you.