Everything that happened after that was a blur- partially from all the tears- but at some point we ended up at the emergency vet clinic in Cary to leave his body for cremation. Ever since I adopted Harrison from the SPCA I knew that he had cardiomyopathy of his heart and wasn't expected to live a full life. I spent the next 6 years medicating him with heart meds every night, giving him as much cat cat treats and catnip as possible, and letting him sneak outside for a munch of grass.
He had quite a personality for a cat. Despite the heart issues he was always full of energy, and his love for food was a constant battle while trying to manage his weight. He loved to lie in the sun by the doors, catch a snooze on the back of a certain chair, and sit in windows when they were opened to the outdoors. He would chase a catnip ball all over the house, get under our feet in the kitchen while begging, sit on the side of the tub when I took baths, and walk all over tables that he wasn't supposed to. He also had quite the hunter in him- as he would drop a toy mouse in the water bowl and hold it under with his paw until it "drowned". There were times in Greenville when I'd go outside and pull him down off the top of the fencing before he jumped over into unknown territory. There was even a time when I missed class because he had gotten on the roof via the shed and was walking back and forth, watching me, ignoring my calls, as if saying "haha, you can't stop me".
Yesterday AB and I had a little spat and when I went upstairs and flung myself across the bed Harrison jumped right up and flopped down next to my head, occasionally popping my face with his paw. The last time I saw him he was in the cat room diving into the big cardboard box I had saved for him from our move. When I held him and realized he really was gone, there were so many feelings that rushed through me, including guilt for putting him in the room. He had everything he needed in there, but he couldn't stand a shut door- it was always a challenge. Most likely he died of a heart attack- he'd get stressed over anything and the vet always forewarned me that stress might be what would take him away from me eventually b/c of what it did to the heart (and his heart was already weaker than normal). The guilt that maybe I could have prevented him leaving us last night by putting him in the room for a few hours also reminds me that at any point he could have left us- during my many moves, trips to the vet, a new pet in the house, etc.
He held on for 7 years, and although other people considered him evil or annoying because of his mischievous and stubborn personality, he always loved me and gave me affection when I most needed it. Harrison- I will love you and miss you always. You were my baby boy and my katten-meow and nothing can ever replace you.
Rainbow Bridge Poem
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....