So we went out yesterday and shopped. I hate shopping, but it was one of those days that made you actually happy to live in New York. I was just happy to be outside with my wife. After shopping we came home and took a nap with our cats who were also very pleased to be alive and living in Brooklyn. Actually, Ralph didn't so much nap with us. He stood watch on the passers-by as the warm evening sun began to set on him. Teddy did sleep with us. He slept with his head on my right shoulder and his body on the bed. Sarah was on my left shoulder, and I was embracing the both of them and feeling very happy. And right. When we woke-up and saw Ralphie in the window Sarah and I started talking to him.
Teddy exerted his authority and chased Ralphie away. Then it was Teddy's turn to be in the window. Sarah, who would usually chastise Teddy for abusing his powers simply commented on how beautiful his orange coat looked in the warm sunlight. And it did. Last night was nothing special. We watched some of the Emmy's and stayed up past midnight so that I could be the first person--as if anybody else was here--to wish my wife a happy birthday. Then we went to bed.
This morning Sarah woke-up first. Teddy had just jumped up onto the bed. This was nothing new. He always finds his way in there to remind Sarah that it's nearly time for breakfast. This morning, though, it was a struggle to get into bed, and his cry was unlike his typical "I'm hungry!" moan. He was clearly upset. Once the lights came on and Sarah had gotten me up, it was clear that he was in pain. And scared. And we were scared, too. Sarah was already too upset. He was suffering and she couldn't watch him. She was in and out of the room saying, "Teddy don't die," through her tears.
But he did die. His tongue turned black, and he died there in my arms on our bed. I don't know why. But within three minutes of my waking-up, my cat, who was so very happy the day before, was dead in my arms. Somehow he made it to the bed to tell us. And while he died in pain, he didn't die alone. Some day this understanding might bring me some comfort. Today is my wife's 25th birthday and we have spent it crying.