Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Shadow 1989-2004

This picture of Shadow was taken on Christmas Day, 2001. Posted by Hello

The past day or so has been a sad time for me. My cat, Shadow, was put to sleep yesterday. He had lymphoma for several years, but it has been well under control, due to medication. He even went to the vet two weeks ago and the vet didn't find anything. Since that visit, a mass developed in his abdomen. The vet didn't think that he would have survived surgery. I know I should be happy that he lived as long as he did with the lymphoma, but it's still very difficult.

Shadow had an unusual personality, in part because he had many characteristics that were similar to a dog's.
Before he became deaf, he would come when he was called. He would walk alongside you. He would usually greet me as I pulled my van into the driveway. He even drooled. Perhaps it was because he grew up with my previous dog, Merlin.

In his youth, he also exhibited somewhat psychotic behavior. He would be very loving one minute and viciously attack the next. When he was quite young, I remember his dangling from my arm and my dad had to remove him. Fortunately, I often wore long velour sleeves during the winter in those days. He actually stopped attacking me when he was quite young, but he still considered my mom to be fair game and would occasionally do things like sink his teeth into one of her ankles as she was walking by.

The nicest thing about Shadow was that he really liked me, perhaps more than any other pet that I've owned. When I lived in Durham, we once had a huge thunderstorm and as I left the house in that afternoon, he crawled out from underneath one of our cars and crawled into my lap. He was just the teeniest kitten, much too young to be outside without his mother. When I came back later, he did the same thing. When I went in the house, he sounded as if he were a human frantically wailing to get in. It was almost a scream. Of course, despite already having three other cats and a dog, I was reduced to tears. I had to keep him! We were moving to Hillsborough, so my mom and I took him to the house, because we weren't sure how well such a tiny kitten would be able to fend off the other cats. We put up Lost Kitten signs and no sooner did we get to Hillsborough (which seemed much farther from Durham at the point), one our neighbors called to say "she" was hers. We drove back and talked to her. She was an elderly lady whose children insisted she take one of the kittens from their litter. Instead of keeping him inside until he was old enough, she just let him outside immediately.
Fortunately, she saw how much Shadow, who was plastered to my lap, liked me and suggested that I keep him. I was overjoyed.

Right now, I'm watching Duke basketball on tv and I'm reminded how Shadow used to sit in top of our television and bat at Bobby Hurley with his paws. I will miss him a great deal.

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