Matt LOVES his K(c)ats!
While it was sooooooo super cool to get our engagement photos back from Mark and Stacy this past week, and we love them!!! …we also have to be honest. Last week was tough. Joey refused to eat, and couldn’t walk very well. We had to make a difficult decision. We’ve known this day was coming for a while, and we did the best we could to postpone the inevitable.
One of the many reasons I admire Matt so much is that he is the most wonderful, supportive, loyal friend a cat (or a Kat or a Juan, Sam, Sal, Ian, Eden) could ever have. The man just amazes me.
Matt would tell you that for a long time, he would not allow Joey to sleep with him in his bed. Joey eventually got his way.
>> And for years, Joey slept soundly with Matt.
When it came time for Joey to cry, yearning for the outdoors, Matt bought a harness (aka a cat-leash).
>> And Joey got to explore (and mostly sniff) the great outdoors.
When it came time for Joey to refuse food, Matt bought all sorts of varieties to appease him, even the expensive kinds.
>> And Joey ate contently like a king.
And then when it came time for Joey to need subcutaneous fluids, Matt dedicated every. single. evening. to administering those. Matt literally stuck a big fat needle in Joey’s neck every night, and sometimes twice per day.
>> And Joey’s nausea went away.
For the last several weeks of Joey’s life, Joey couldn’t jump up on the bed anymore. So, Matt slept on the living room floor.
>> And Joey was able to stay warm from Matt’s body heat.
Last week, when Matt tried the fluids, and food, and water, and body heat, and everything…. Joey just couldn’t keep up. He was very tired. And when he got that look in his eye, we knew the time had come.
So this post is in honor of Joey, and his POWER and GRACE. Here are my two biggest life lessons learned from Joey.
- Joey taught me to speak softly and carry a big stick. Tommy often approached Joey with hissing, fighting, and throwing punches. In reply, Joey sat motionless, as if he were simply a witness to Tommy’s inner struggles. NOTHING phased Joey. Joey’s reaction to the other two was so incredibly non-reactive. It’s as if nothing they could do would impress or scare him whatsoever. When Joey walked the floor, the other two knew to get out of the way. And he became the “alpha male” NOT by kicking and screaming his way to the top. He became the alpha male by carrying a big stick. Priceless.
- Joey also taught me that it’s ok to slow down sometimes. Joey’s cat-needs were far different than most cats I’ve ever met. He was just as loyal as Matt was, so the two of those guys together was pretty special. But while Callie, Tommy, and I led fast-paced busy excitable lives, Joey was perfectly content chilling. In fact, I think Joey meditated on a regular basis because he always seemed to be very calm. Hanging with Joey definitely helped me slow down and clear my mind. And I’m thankful for that.
Here’s a short example of Joey working his way to the top. In this case, Hollywood-style, taking the stage! Wait for it…. It happens about 10 seconds in…
Rest in peace, sweet loyal Joe-Joe.