Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beloved Toto

Lorrin's excellent cat Toto died yesterday. He had stopped eating altogether on Monday and after a series of vet visits and an ultrasound, the worst was confirmed: he was wracked with cancer. The prognosis for his recovery was not good. He was on I.V. as well as being force fed with a syringe in order to build up his strength, but he seemed to slip farther away with every day. On Friday morning, Lorrin made the hard decision to euthanize him.

Toto had been with Lorrin since she found him as an emaciated abandoned kitten wandering in an industrial park in Sydney, Australia. At the time she found him, he was all tail, paws, and ears. He later grew into the ears and (somewhat) into the tail, but his paws remained outsized.

He was the stateliest, most serene cat I've ever known. He would walk into a room with his tail high as if he were an emperor out taking the air. But he wasn't aloof and imperious; despite the stern, eagle-eyed stare he had mastered since his youth, his calmness and gentleness revealed his true nature. He was friendly and loving, always had a purr for you, and he possessed a most zen-like character.

His loss is heartbreaking. Lorrin is devastated and her other cat, Jasper, is confused about Toto's sudden illness and disappearance. I will miss seeing him whenever I go to Lorrin's. He liked me and would sit beside me or on my lap and purr whenever I was there. I loved him and regret that he remains only in fond memories.

To Lorrin, he was all the world. She had him for 16 years, most of her adult life, on two continents. He was her pole star amid the tumults of life and her companion in its triumphs and joys.

Goodbye, Mr. Toto. You were a great-hearted and loving cat, a prince among your species. We will remember you fondly.