It’s been a bit of an off week here. Our bebe cat Frodo got injured/sick on Sunday and that kicked off a week of worry, trips to the vet, coddling, more worrying, and ultimately a heartbreaking goodbye. Everyone in the house, from human to cat to dog is feeling the loss and adjusting to the new, more lonesome normal without him around.
You see Frodo came to me at work in Rapid City. Our courier found him in the middle of a busy road. His mom either left him or dropped him, his eyes weren’t even open yet and he was the size of a small baked potato. There was a lot of scuttlebut about who would take him, but I knew at that age he would need near constant care and I didn’t trust anyone else vying for him to do it right. So I brought him home after a trip to the vet. He had an upper respiratory infection and would need feeding every 2 hours.
We loaded up in kitten formula and dug out the heating pad and decided to name him Frodo for he was just a wee little thing out on a very scary and dangerous adventure, just like Tolkien’s Frodo Baggins.
He came to work with me, wrapped in a blanket burrito and zipped into my sweatshirt. It was more like having a real baby than I was prepared for, but watching him grow and learn was a joy.
He grew up to be incredibly fluffy and feisty. He was fearless and funny- an absolute handful. But such a lover: I was his person and he was the sort of cat that would seek you out for attention and scritches. He slept on the bed, next to me every night. He was the best guard animal in the house. He always reminded guests of their status.
He loved potato chips and drinking out of the faucet. He escaped whenever he could. He had the softest, fluffiest belly in all the land.
About 5 years ago, when he was just 3 years old and we had just moved here to Wisconsin, I felt a lump on his tail, not far from the base. It was cancer. We decided to have the tail amputated but we’re warned that it might not give him long, it might impact his balance and agility. Readers, it didn’t impact him at all.
So we did get 5 more years with him. They were glorious years filled with purrs and laughs. He was spoiled and doted on. He, I hope, lived the sort of life that every cat wishes for. There were a few more health scares along the way, but we always overcame them.
This time, however, it was all too much. I had so desperately hoped we could help him recover. But Thursday it became achingly obvious that our attempts were failing and he was fading. We did the only thing we could and let him go. It was the saddest day I can remember in a long, long time.
So while I’m utterly heartbroken and sick over losing him far too soon, I take some comfort in knowing how much he was loved and how many second chances we were able to give him. That what could have been a life ended shortly after it began, instead he had 8 years of love, comfort, joy, and hijinks.
Much like his namesake, his life was equal measures death defying, adventurous, and full of companionship from those who defended and loved him. He too left early for the paradise of Valinor, where we will hopefully be reunited on day. (I’d hate to think of an afterlife that doesn’t include all the fur babies one has nurtured along the way.)
Dearest Frodo, it was an honor and a privilege to be your person. To be your caretaker and Mom, to be your defender and friend. You were so, so very loved little lion. We will see you again one day, just please don’t forget us. We could certainly never forget you.