Grieving is weird right now. It seems silly to write about, lament, and ultimately mourn the death of a pet while the world is on fire around you, but I need to do it for my own sake. I have discovered rather quickly that I am a public griever. When I feel like I am breaking inside the only thing that gives me peace is sharing the burden with others. So I hope you will indulge me.
Albert Allen passed away this morning peacefully at the Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital. He was just over eight months old. We found out a few days ago that the pain and sickness Al had been feeling stemmed from an incredibly rare liver disease that affected him his entire, short life.
Al and his brother (from another mother) Vinny, were mine and Haley’s first pets. They made us a true family. It is not that Haley and I weren’t family before, but I speak for her when I say we felt “whole” with them. We felt new responsibility and now new grief, but a whole lot of love. They came into our lives at the start of the New Year and have been the bright spot ever since. During this time of being at home 24/7, we basically spent every waking minute with the dynamic duo.
Even though they were not truly brothers, they hit it off right away. So many people remarked how they had never seen two cats, related or not, love on each other like they did. They helped bathe each other, but most adorably, they took naps together, cuddled up in a ball. Our hearts melted every time.
Al loved laying in the back room where the sun poured in. He loved hiding under the couch when the sun was hitting him too hard and he needed a break. He loved new people. He loved tearing up blinds. He loved being held. He loved dramatically jumping on the dinner table when he was hungry. He loved sleeping under the covers with one paw on me and one paw on Haley. He loved letting out the sweetest meow when it was time for a treat. He loved trying to find the worst place he could scratch me on my body. He loved flying down the steps in the morning when the first person woke up. He loved watching TV with us for some reason. He loved laying on laundry like it was his palace. He loved wagging his stump of a tail as if he had one as long as Vinny’s.
The last picture we have of Al is him being held by Haley with his hand on her face. It was taken in the brief time he came home in-between hospital visits when we thought he was going to be OK. I like to think of it as Al telling Haley that it is all going to be all right and that he will see her again. Either that or he is just really flaunting his new fur boots the doctors gave him.
When we got the boys, I jokingly said they needed to have middle names. I declared that Vinny was now Vinny “Cheese” Allen and that Al was now Albert “Very Good Boy” Allen.” Last night, as I held Al in the vet on the operating table and was an unrelenting blob of tears, the doctor told me we had done all we could do and then looked me straight in the eyes and said “He is a very good boy.” She had no idea about his middle name, but it made me feel a little bit of peace.
A Very Good Boy he was and always will be.