This morning my beautiful Katmandu went to Heaven to join his beloved Taz Psychocat. His condition had been deteriorating for the last few weeks, and it was time. The last half hour of his life he sat in my lap - which a dignified cat only does in very special circumstances - and it was the first time in several days that I was sure he knew who I am. When we laid him down on the table he put his head down and seemed to already be at peace.
Du had been with me since he was born on 05 April 1992; we shared a birthday. He had traveled with me across the country three times, been a house guest numerous times and always the perfect guest, never counter-surfed and never sharpened on the furniture. When he was young he loved to be chased, and we had a game we played that involved me counting to three, at which point he would take off running. As a young cat he was also very fond of sleeping in paper bags.
Until he was 18 months old he was an indoor-outdoor cat (we lived in very rural upstate NY). Then a stray tomcat named Clawed beat him up and he spent 3 days in the hospital, so I pronounced him an indoor only cat. He never once complained about it or tried to get outside.
When we lived on the west side of South Bend there were a lot of crickets in our basement. He would go downstairs, catch a cricket, and bring it to me to approve before he ate it. When the neighborhood kids found out he liked crickets they started catching them and would bring him jars of crickets. Du politely tried to eat them all, but after a while he never wanted to see a cricket again. He would stand on the bed, put his front paws on the windowsill and watch the 4th of July fireworks with me. He loved Christmas lights, too.
He knew what time of day the best sunbeams were to be had, and where. In the winter at 12:30 in the afternoon he would go to the office door and ask to be let in, as there were excellent sunbeams on the other side of the door. As he was a very civilized cat he also was the only cat allowed on the front deck (which he could not get off of) and he would get on the chaise lounge and nap outside for hours in the fresh air and sunbeams.
Every morning (before his stroke in June) when I got up I would say "good morning" to him, and he would say "good morning" to me. As he got older and the jump onto the bed became difficult for him, I got him little stairs so he could continue to get on the bed. Every night he went to bed when I did, and slept with his head on the pillow next to me.
When I worked from home I would say to Du "Do you want to be an office cat?" and he would head down the stairs and wait at the office door. He had an amazing vocabulary - I counted 64 words that he clearly understood and responded to. If I wanted him to come to me all I had to say was "Du, come here, please" and he would.
Du never liked anything male, until he met Bob, my husband. They became fast friends, and Du approved of him wholeheartedly. Bob was with us this morning when we went for our last visit to the vet, and is as broken-hearted as I am. Our comfort is that Du is no longer having pain in his joints, pain in his teeth, and headaches from his high blood pressure. He is in Heaven now, where there are always sunbeams to nap in, scallops, mussels and sardines to eat without restraint, catnip and green grass to eat, spring water to drink, and his beloved Taz Psychocat who died in 2002.
He was the cat of a lifetime, and there will never be another cat like him. He died in my arms hearing me say "I love you". I will always love and miss my beautiful Katmandu.
If anyone would like to make a donation to Pet Refuge in Du's memory, we would greatly appreciate it.