Dillinger had a chunk of his intestine removed due to blockage in 2007 when he almost died. He had ten more good years until recently this year when he began to lose weight dramatically and was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. I nursed him for the last three months but he went down hill in the last two days and, rather than see him suffer, I had to euthanize him. He went peacefully.
I will miss him terribly as I have the other four cats I have had since I turned 50 in 1994 that met their demise in various ways in years past. Gun Smoke, Miss Kitty, Black Cat and Tuffy were all very special cats in their own ways that unfortunately met their early demise in several unpleasant ways...dogs, people, coyotes and disease.
Dillinger and his brother Baby Face are the two cats that have managed to live the longest as cats seem to meet their demise quite frequently after not too many years of life due to dogs, humans and various illnesses and injuries. It grieves me that their life spans, even when many years long, are far too short relative to ours so we have to suffer losing them before we are ready to lose them.
I have had many pets over my life: a dog, birds, and finally cats. Cats have been enormously comforting to me during many difficult times in my life and now I simply don't want to live without them. I still have Baby Face and may acquire an older cat if something happens to him. Until then, it will just be me and Baby Face who is now 16 years old and not showing his age much at all.
The biggest problem with having pets when you are an older person nearing the end of your life is not wanting to live your last days without your pets, but also not wanting to die and having to leave your pets in the care of other people who may not love them like you do, especially if the pets are 'one person' cats who would take some time to warm up to strangers.
Such is the dilemma of loving pets.
I have had stronger relationships with my cats than I have ever had with humans who seem to always let me down. My cats never did.
All my love to Dillinger and my other pets who have passed on to pet heaven.
I really do hope to see them again after I leave this life.