Bob is gone.

Ernie, Owen, Trinity and I took him in (Leo gave him a long goodbye before he headed to work earlier). They are wonderful at All Creatures. Ernie and I sat with Bob wrapped up in a turquoise towel and resting in Ernie’s arms. Dr. Mary gave him the injection and he was gone in just a few moments. She checked him and then gave us some time with him. Owen stood in front of Ernie, head bent toward Bob, tears dripping on my hands. Trinity had her arm around me and Owen. I had my arm around Ernie as he cried.

It was tough to leave Bob there.

this morning

. . . . . . . . .

In 2006 we were down to one cat, a big old guy named after Harlan Howard. He was getting pretty old and arthritic and was diabetic. Ernie took him into a vet we used to use. Owen was with him. There were a couple of cats there up for adoption, victims of Hurricane Katrina. It was a pair of Manx cats, the mother (Hattie) and a tiny kitten (Bob was the runt of his litter). As Ernie waited some women came and were looking at the cats and laughing and he felt they were making fun of the cats for not having tails. He was highly offended on the cats’ behalf. Damn, I love my husband. Even now, if I bring it up he starts muttering about old biddies.

My sister Debbie was visiting, leaving the next day I believe. She tucked the adoption fee money in Ernie’s pocket. He’d been saying, “NO MORE PETS” after Harlan but sure enough, he came home with Hattie and Bob that day. Bob was supposed to be the boys’ kitten and lord Bob was so good to them. Owen was four years old, Leo just a little more than two years older. They would build little houses for him out of boxes and even decorate them. I remember coming into the kitchen and finding Owen and Sophie sitting on a picnic basket with Bob closed inside. I’m guessing it was Owen’s idea. Probably trying to impress Sophie. Bob didn’t seem to mind any of it.

Bob liked the boys just fine but he fell deeply in love with Ernie. The two of them became, well, they became a unit.

Ernie and Bob.

Bob and Ernie.

Bob was utterly devoted to Ernie. And Ernie to him.

We were all devoted to Bob in some way. There is something so inspiring and yet endearing about an absolute, unwavering love.

I can’t imagine Bob not here following Ernie around the house.

Thanks for the kind words and wishes and the understanding. I try to remind myself that the pain I feel is inverse to the love I felt and I’m lucky we had that much love.

You’ll be in our hearts forever, Bob.