Nine years ago tonight, I left my brother at the veterinarian's office and drove to church to walk down the aisle, wearing a veil and talking on the cell phone.
It was every girl's dream.
See, a month before our wedding, I moved into our new house. And Simon the Cat did not love the new house, therefore he would not use the litter box. Apparently, a large backlog of urine is decidedly not good for cats or their kidneys and emergency veterinary care was needed before we left on our honeymoon.
Because I had to get to my wedding rehearsal, which was just slightly more important than my Orange Boy, I left my brother with him after checking in and explaining, "This is my brother. I am leaving him to make any and all decisions regarding the cat's treatment including major procedures or putting to sleep, if it comes to that. I completely trust his judgment*."
During the rehearsal, the vet kept calling to ask questions. Then, as an entire room full of people are waiting for me to walk down the aisle one last time so we can go eat our brisket, they call back.
"We need a decision."
"That's why Trey is there. To make whatever decision is needed."
"Oh, he's not the owner. He can't make a decision for your cat. You have to make the decisions."
"A decision about what? I've answered a lot of questions, but I know nothing as to what is going on. I don't even know what 'decision' you're wanting me to make."
So they fill me in as I walk down the aisle. He will be fine, but needs a minor procedure that they can do that night. Then he'll be ready to come home Monday.
"I won't be here Monday. I won't be back in the state until Saturday."
"Can your husband come get him?"
"I won't have a husband until tomorrow. I am getting married tomorrow. Then we are leaving on our honeymoon. Tomorrow."
"Well, I guess you could come get him tomorrow if you take him on your trip. He can't stay unsupervised yet."
"I am not taking my cat on my honeymoon."
Simon has been one of the few constants in our crazy almost-nine years of marital bliss. We'd been dating 2 years when Dowlan drove me out to the no-kill shelter to pick him (and Abb . . . y**) out and bring him home. It was the same shelter we'd gone to to pick out Cassie, who had died of feline leukemia a few months earlier. We'd known she was positive for it when we first got her, which is why she could no longer stay in the home where she'd been. It is contagious, but she was healthy and had almost two good years left.
Simon is scraggly and scruffy and a complete wimp. He would purr and try to nuzzle cats who were trying to fight with him. Even when Schrödinger is at his pounciest, Simon never gave him a 'What?' look and a tail twitch. He was so considerate that he'd meow in the kitchen until we fed Cracker, the saltine-colored cat who gave birth to a litter of short-lived kittens under our old house one day and then stuck around for the next 6 years.
We used to joke that Simon Says was never any fun at our house, because all Simon ever Said was "Meow." He was a good kitty even if he did smell funny those last six months and occasionally drool too much. Simey was definitely a 'kneady' animal, especially on cold days when he caught you curled up under a fuzzy fleece blanket.
Sweet Simon passed away last Saturday. By our best estimate, he was 14 years old, having been guessed at 3-4 years when we got him 10ish years ago. It was a good, lazy kitty life and now he rests behind our barn.
Thanks for being a part of our marriage and family, Simon Boy.
*Disclaimer: When it comes to cats.
**Abb . . . y's fully name is Abbreviated Kitty. She has no tail. Abb . . . y is the abbreviation for Abbreviated Kitty. Nothing like a grammar joke for a cat name, especially one that mocks her disability. She has gone to live at Oma's House and Kitty Sanatorium as Schrödinger irritated the ever loving daylights out of her and put her even closer to the brink of psychiatric ruin.