Bronco Kitty (known to all by BK, and, in his later years, by our medievalist friends as the Venerable Beek) went to his rest this evening after finally losing the battle with a number of age-related ailments. He was nineteen. Successful surgery several weeks ago to remove a dental abcess left him weak, but we were hopeful for a recovery. A reaction to post-op antibiotics, however, left him dehydrated and battling anemia. Although he had gone out for a walk around the yard yesterday, it would be his final patrol. This morning found him groggy and too weak to stand He refused food. We knew it was time, although it was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made regarding our pets. So after lettng him lay in the sun one last afternoon, we brought him to the vet this evening. He died in Cynthia's arms while I scratched his ears. He was laid to rest in a private ceremony.
BK came to Cynthia as a stowaway in the engine compartment of a Ford Bronco. A feral kitten only a few weeks old, he'd climbed up into the wheel well for the warmth and clung there when the car started moving. The driver noticed his distessed wails at a stop sign and found him after much bemused searching. Cynthia took him in with the expectation of fostering him for adoption, but he stayed with her - and eventually me - for almost two decades. BK came to Cynthia an unwashed, flea-ridden, feral, frightened creature. Bat-eared and mal-nourished, he was that rarity - an ugly kitten. But as those who knew him will recall, he grew into a truly handsome adult, with a glossy coat, attractive features, and an impressive physique. He defended his yard with stalwart vigor - I never knew him to lose a fight to any interloper. Before meeting BK, I was a dog person, and I will admit to having been somewhat dubious of cats. But BK won me over In many ways, he was the ideal cat. Dignified wthout being aloof, friendly without being importunate, gentle with his friends and fierce with his enemies, brooking no guff from younger cats, but never a bully. He had none of the bad haibits by which many cats exasperate their owners. Even his one tic - an uncontrolled lapping of hs tongue that he'd demonstrate whenver he was scratched at the base of his tail, was endearnig and sweet.
BK lived a long, full life, and we will cherish the many loving memories we have of him. He will live on in our fond reminiscences. We take comfort in knowing he was rescued from a cold, uncomfortable, and likely short life to live out almost two decades in love, warmth, and well-fed comfort.
But for now, we will mourn the loss of a dear companon. Be at rest now, beloved friend.