30 December 2008

Copernicus 1988? - 2008


Some months back, I thought of writing this post ahead of time and having it ready. Those of you who know me personally understand what this passing means to me. The Cuddly Hubby has the week off, so when the precipitating crisis occurred, we were able to go to the vet together. Right off, I need to thank Dr. Friedlander and all the great staff at Cat Care of Vinings. And a special thank you to Lisa, who was there today and had to take my call first thing in the morning.


Copernicus had a major stroke last night, after an otherwise good day and an overall very good December. Cuddly Hubby and I stayed up off and on with him, knowing that it would be his last night. Sophia pretty much stayed out of it. She did come downstairs to see him off this morning, but she is now back upstairs and ignoring us. I do not know what she will be like as she realizes she has the place to herself.


For me, his passing is my first milestone of middle age. Nearly all the major milestones of young adulthood for me had passed in the presence of this great spirit. He was a fighter to the very end. We came home afterward and our home feels like a house, it is somehow empty. Tonight there will be no insulin shots or subcutaneous fluids administered. I have begun cleaning up the medications and equipment that had become particular to his needs. The next trip somewhere will involve less expense with the cat sitters. And yet, I would do it all over again in a moment, even knowing the bad parts at the end. He was such a wonderful pet that it may be a very long time indeed before I dare to have another. I just can't imagine another cat or dog living up to the high standard that he set.

So, a few photos. The one at top is from about May of 2004. Copernicus is in all his glory. The second was snapped in November of this year. He had become the gaunt lion in winter, but he still had his swagger and charisma and powerful will. The final picture was taken just two days ago, as both cats slept peacefully on the couch while the Cuddly Hubby watched football. Last night after the stroke, we propped Copernicus up on the couch so that his head lay in the Cuddly Hubby's lap. And the two of them watched their last football game together, an overtime Alamo bowl victory of Mizzou Tigers over the Northwestern Wildcats. I do not yet know how we will watch the remainder of the bowl season.

10 comments:

Dark Star said...

So sorry to hear about Copernicus. While it was not unexpected, it is never easy and I'm glad Doug was home. All who knew him will miss the Emperor of the Universe.

Jack Woodhead said...

Games nights won't be the same. Condolences (and tears.)

Karen Barron said...

Condolences indeed Jolie. He was much loved and gave much love. I know that his footprints will remain for ever on your hearts.

Karen

Diana said...

Sad news indeed. I know how terrible it can be to lose someone who has been at the center of your universe for many years and my thoughts are with you and your husband. Pug tails at half mast today for Copernicus.

AndyCampbell said...

Dreadfully sorry to hear about Copernicus's passing. Having had a dog that lived 21 years, I know how devastating the death of a pet with such longevity can be...not that any pet's passing is easy.

Look to the sky...pehaps you'll see him ruling the universe from up there.

Sadly,
Andy

Amy said...

I am so sorry to hear about Copernicus; it is so hard to lose a longstanding loyal friend.
Peace to you and Doug. - Amy

AmyDe said...

I'm so sorry. My heart is with you!

Greg! said...

You have my deepest sympathy. When I think of how many life milestones you passed with Copernicus at your side -- or in your lap -- I realize what his passing means.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jolie,

You have no idea how hard it hit me to hear about Copernicus... I cried, and it has taken me this long to write you a note, because the two of you were so special together. Even now I have tears in my eyes...

I remember the day you two met - what a ham that cat was! Didn't have to offer HIM cooked chicken twice! :D Copernicus was such a special cat - do you remember how he walked around the edge of the room, with only his back feet on the freshly shampooed carpet and his front paws on the molding, so he didn't get ALL of his feet wet? He was so incredibly smart and unique, and that day I called you and asked if you could take him - I was sad to see him go, but I knew he wasn't for me. Copernicus had found his best friend for life that day, and from the amazing amount of happy years and happy looks on his face even when he was sick, I can tell he loved you very, very much. And I know with you, he lacked for nothing - not one day of missed love, or companionship, or the best of care and fun and friendship. Copernicus knew his life changed that day from the short tough days of being an uneducated stray to sitting at the feet of a loving, intelligent companion who would appreciate his interest in the the finer things, and help him enjoy it to the fullest and beyond!

Even now, as I shed a tear, I also smile - because Copernicus was that kind of cat - the kind that made you laugh no matter what was going on.

My heart, and many hugs, go out to you...
Sheryl

Nease's Needlework said...

Oh, Jolie, I'm so very, very sorry. I have an older dog who is going through his late old age, and I know what it means to have the animal companion who has been with you since . . . . Know that there are many well-wishers for you right now who are sorry to see such a fine spirit go. And cleaning up the medical components of keeping a companion alive is just, well, hard. He loved you to the very end, and I'm sorry he has left your lives.

All the best,

Susan