Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cat-person watches Marley & Me

... and got moved to tears. The movie isn't exactly a new one, but I was only able to watch it on cable today. It's a story about the ups and downs of a family and its unruly pet, Marley, that the family had grown to love. That is why parting was quite hard.

What made this cat-lover cry? When the vet told Marley's owner that his sickness would kill him eventually, the owner couldn't accept what the vet had said, and insisted that the dog was a fighter. This part of the movie hit so close to home. 

I remember bringing Coogee (one of the family cats) to two vets. The first one said that as long as his appetite was good, he'd survive (though with paralysed hind legs and tail). At the same time, she recommended having him x-rayed to find the injury. The second vet, upon seeing Coogee's x-ray film (showing a dislocated vertebra), told me that his was a hopeless case because the paralysis would ascend eventually; it's better to put Coogee to sleep. 

Like any typical pet-owner faced with bad news, I went through the denial stage, and insisted that Coogee would recover. I opted not to have him put to sleep. With such a hearty appetite, how could the big cat die? Anna even propped his hind legs in a makeshift cart so he could move around and play with the kittens. 

The day did come eventually. I was in Brisbane when it did. Anna had given Coogee some kibble (he was still eating a lot!) and the next time she checked on him, he was gone. At least he died happy (not hungry).

This is Coogee, the goofy cat.

Two years and two months have passed since that day. Pan now sleeps on top of the car, where Coogee used to. And, B1 (the unnamed kitty) has made Coogee's travelling cage his jungle gym.