A week ago, we said a final goodbye to our older cat, Shoe. He was about 14 years old and his kidneys were failing. We tried to rally him for several weeks, but he gave us clear signals last week that it was time to rest. So we let him go, though it was a terrible moment for all of us.
Shoe came to us when Colleen was about three. We were newly moved into our bay Breeze Estates house, with our first cat, Patches. He was handed off to us by a co-worker of Karen's; a small, thin, black kitten with a large patch of white on his breast. He had already been named by Colleen, based on his having climbed into a shoe when first arriving in the house.
Shoe was a rambunctious kitten. He liked to race around, roll over, play-fight and cuddle. He was long and lean, with an extra long tail. As he aged he kept his playful nature, but more often settled into an elegant repose -- stretched-out long but with head held high and his two front paws crossed gracefully in front of him.
His name changed over the years. "Shoe" became "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo" when the girls were very young. That was shortened for a while to "Shooby." later, we started calling him "Shubert" and eventually "Bert," which is the name he used until the end.
Bert was a great buddy. He greeted us in the morning with a happy purr. He was a great lap-cat, often making his way from person to person in the evening to make sure that he shared time with each of us. He insisted on play-fighting with me each morning before I left for work. his signature move was to head-butt your foot, pressing his head into the top of your foot and rolling forward over the foot and into the "rub my belly" pose.
I should say something about Bert's purr. I have never heard a more hearty purr. At times we worried that he might choke on it. He always seemed to be purring.
We're honored to have spent part of our lives with him. Thank you, Shoe. Sleep well.