Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Pronto


My kitty Pronto died on Thursday. He was 13 and his liver had started to fail. There is nothing in the world quite like watching a beloved pet deal with sickness, seeing them slowly lose weight and stop eating. Knowing how scared and confused they must be is the worst thing in the world.

Pronto was such a sweetheart, from the day Mom and I brought him home as a kitten in 1997 to the last moments of his life. We kept him in the bathroom at first, so that Pogo would get used to his smell, and I would have to lie on my stomach and drag him out from under the bathtub in order to pet him- but he loved to cuddle, and once you got him out and he started purring, that was that. Pronto adopted Pippin, or maybe it was the other way around- either way, when Pronto was a year or so old this little black and white kitten showed up in our yard, and they would play like the best of friends. It didn't take too long for Pippin to move into our house, and they were pretty inseparable from then on:

Pippin and Pronto

Pronto got lost, stuck in someone's garage or basement or something, two or three times in his life, and it always gave us quite a scare- there was a time when he was gone for over a week. He wasn't running away, though, and when he showed up again you could always tell how afraid he'd been to be away from us. He'd start meowing from three yards away- and he could have a very loud voice, when he wanted to- and keep it up until he was sure that we'd heard all about his ordeal and about how happy he was to be home. It wouldn't take long for him to be snuggling with Dad on the couch. It was the same way when I'd come back from college or grad school or wherever I'd been: he would be skittish at first, a feral Glen Park cat by birth, but within a day he was jumping onto my bed at night for some solid cuddle time.

He was just about the nicest animal I've ever met, always loving, rarely mad, quiet and gentle and funny. He was sweet to Pogo when she was sick, and always looked out for Pippin. He guarded our yard with a vengeance and kept away the bad cats. He loved us unconditionally, and I hope he knows that we loved him the same way.

Pronto died at 4:15 on June 24th, with my Mom and Dad there petting him and keeping him company. They burried him yesterday in a nice spot in our yard, so that he can always be a part of the action outside. It hasn't sunk in for me at all yet, that he's gone; I got to spend a few days with him before coming to Chicago on the 22nd, and I am so incredibly glad that I got a chance to say goodbye. I don't know what it will be like to go home and find him gone, but I do know that home won't be the same without him.

Sleep softly, my cuddle bear. I love you.