I wish this post didn’t have to be written.

I always think that as a knitter, I require a feline companion to always be in my life. This feline gets underfoot in normal life, let alone in knitting life. He’ll try to eat your roving, will lay on the scarf you’re working on, chase the tail of your piece as it moves back and forth while you knit and so on.

My feline companion has been with me since I was four years-old. Bagheera was found in a pet store by a little me peering over the ledge to see this adorable, fluffy gray and white Blue Tabby with giant green eyes and a white spot on his tail. I instantly fell in love with him and got to name him after my favorite cat; Bagheera from The Jungle Book.

Bagheera enjoyed his lap(s) of luxury and took to attacking feet through the end of the bed. He also loved sleeping ON people. Frequently we would find ourselves with a large weight on our chests and as soon as we moved, he would purr and we would know that the weight wasn’t something to worry about; it was just our furry friend coming to steal our body heat.

Bagheera tipped the scales at a pudge-tastic 15 pounds and we didn’t think anything of it until he started getting sick with crystals in his urine. He was put on a diet and we saw pounds come off slowly.

It wasn’t until about six months ago that he started looking sad. He drank copious amounts of water, including water from our dishes. He had really terrible arthritis everywhere in his body and he was very rickety and had gotten down to a terribly underweight 7 pounds. His thyroid seemed to be the problem this time around and we were given a medication. A month later he looked better and had gained a half a pound but they found another problem; his kidneys were failing. An  IV fluid was given to help his kidneys process and to help bulk him up. For the first month it worked beautifully.

Two weeks ago we realized he wasn’t reacting to the medication; he had lost all the weight again and he was so weak he did nothing but sleep and go to the litter box. He could no longer get up on the furniture and his plaintive cries were heartbreaking. He had no fat on his body so he literally felt cold and he cuddled with us all the time to steal our heat.

This past Saturday we decided it was time to end his suffering; that we weren’t doing him any favors by keeping him alive and it was only for our satisfaction that he was still living. He was in pain and we were doing him a disservice by allowing him to continue in this pain. This information was heartbreaking and I thought I would be OK handling it but it broke my heart and I couldn’t sleep; I snuggled with my Big Guy and cried that night.

Mom and I slept in on Sunday; the thought that we were going to be losing our furry friend was hard for both of us. We decided to end his suffering that day and called the Animal Hospital. We cleaned up, wrapped Bagheera in a towel and I held on to him as we drove to the hospital.

I held my best friend of 19 years as the life we had given him left. He went quickly and peacefully and we knew that he was no longer in pain and he’ll be happy and we will see him again.

Bagheera will be returning to us in a couple days when we get his ashes to put next to Sabrina on our grandfather clock.

I didn’t knit all weekend. Monday I spun the gray baby alpaca from Peace of Yarn into a DK to Worsted weight yarn I’m calling “Bagheera.”

I will be making a cabled cowl so I can always have the memory of my furry friend with me.


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