Hyler. I recently lost my heart cat to cancer. Fuck cancer. Some of you know what “heart cat” means. If you have more than one animal, you know what I mean. You love them all, but there is that one. That one that you have that bond with. I have so much to say about him but I don’t know how. I have tried hard not to cry since I think if I do, I will never stop. I know there are so many people losing loved ones. So many people facing the worst right now. So, I don’t want anyone to think that I am trying to say my pain and loss are worse or really any comparison. But it’s my pain and loss and he deserves to have the world know how awesome he was. There are also people who think, it’s just a cat. But I spent more time with this cat in the last 14 years than I have with any other living thing on earth, including my husband.
We had recently lost one of our cats to a neighbor’s dog. So, we went from 4 to 3 cats. We thought it would be a good idea to foster a cat or two from the shelter. But were trying to make up our minds. It seemed like such a big deal to get another cat at the time. Now, it seems like a no brainer. While we were trying to make up our minds, a friend called and told me that she had this kitten that needed a home. Again, we were like nope, no kittens. But in the end, decided to foster him until we could get him a home. We found a lady who wanted him almost immediately. So we took him over. But he was very much a kitten and was just too much for her. But by that time, we had brought home an adult cat from the shelter. I remember being so worried that my husband would get mad that I had brought 2 new cats into the house. But turns out, he’s a bigger sap than me about animals. We were supposed to be fostering. We are shitty fosters. We fail just about every time! The cool thing was the adult cat, Meadow, played Momma to this crazy kitten and she kept him in line. She would hold him down with one big paw and clean him from one end to the other. He’d be fighting and screaming the whole time.
Once he got a bit older, he learned to clean himself and sort of attached himself to me. I taught him how to walk on a leash. He was very doglike. He would greet me at the door when I came home and jump on me, wanting to be picked up. I carried him around the house all the time. If I sat, he wanted to be in my lap. He was not afraid of either of the dogs. My current dog, AJ, is very jealous and would try to run Hyler off. But Hyler would put his mouth on Aj’s eye, never biting, just holding it there, until AJ would back off and ignore us both. Hyler was not taking any shit from this 85lb dog.
He was, as one of my neighbor’s put it, the Mayor of my house. If you entered my house, you met Hyler. He would greet everyone and demand they acknowledge him. When he went to the vet, they loved him. He would be so sweet to them. Not the freeze up kind of thing most cats do. He’d rub his head on their hand and purr. When we had him at UT a couple of years ago to check on a heart murmur, I thought I might not get him back, the vet techs were so enamored. He was a charmer.
There are so many stories to tell about him. But it’s going to break me if I keep thinking about him. I’m not going to tell you about the end. But I will tell you that he got to spend his last day in his favorite chair on the back porch like the king he was, eating greenies and snuggling with me. I miss him. I miss him. I miss him.