Almost thirteen years to the day that he entered our home, Uncle Barb has gone to his reward. For six months before he entered our house, Uncle Barb lived a happy life in our back yard annoying the cat, angering the dog and biting the backs of my legs as I hung laundry on the line.
But, late one Sunday night in October an unexpected snowfall occurred. As we opened the door to enter the house, Uncle Barb pushed his way past all of us and to the great dismay of Maggie and Niki, we now had a third pet.
We hadn't yet had him for a year when he developed a very serious ailment. One night we put him to bed in the basement quite sure that he would be no longer in the morning. But, there he was, barely alive. THGGM brought him to the vet to have him put down. Instead, they diagnosed a problem that could be fixed for $150.00. Subsequent visited pushed the price over $500. Oh, that was a tense time, as he required medications and odd little routines to keep him 'going'. These are things that cause one to develop strong attachments to a feline.
It was also at that time that our vet assured us that Barb was a boy.
Uncle Barb did earn his keep. One night, while all of our kids were gone for the week and our other pets were sleeping, Uncle Barb made one of those weird growls that cats do on occasion. He came down the stairs with a bat hanging out of his mouth.
And let's not forget the day I had a bunch of friends over. As we sat around the table crafting I dropped something. When I reached down to retrieve it, I noticed there at my feet was the severed head of a mouse, compliments of Uncle Barb.
Another time while living at the house of seventy X seven mouses I slid, slipped and fell on something wet on my kitchen floor. On further inspection, I had landed on the remains of several pink hairless baby mice that Uncle Barb's sensitive tummy could not tolerate.
Anyone who either knows me or is a long time reader of my blog is well aware that Uncle Barb has almost met his 'end' many many times.
Just over two years ago I never thought that he would live long enough to move to this house. He just was not acting 'right'. I thought that maybe he was just lonely, having gone from living in a home with two other pets and three children to spending his days with just me and THGGM.
Then he started drinking massive amounts of water. His symptoms all sounded so familiar.
Yes. Uncle Barb had diabetes. This meant no commercial cat food. For well over a year now Uncle Barb survived on a diet of mostly rotisserie chicken and some grass from a certain patch in the back yard that served as a side salad when necessary. Sometimes I'd get up early in the morning and cook him chicken. He seemed appreciative, in an old cat sort of way.
Poor old Uncle Barb - almost totally blind, almost totally toothless, diabetic with increasing kidney troubles...
It was time.
This morning he and I spent some time snuggling together on the couch. I reminded him that I made a promise that I wouldn't let him suffer.
I like to keep my promises.
Well, actually, I like to have THGGM carry out my promises.
We were blessed that Uncle Barb was sent to find us. And it was a bonus that he had already been fixed and declawed.
Rest in peace Uncle Barb, and enjoy your reward.