Warning: This post barely mentions the Cubs and even then only in a tangential manner. It will also contain what I can only assume will be a nauseating amount of sentimental nonsense. Please feel free to skip straight to the comments and post inappropriate GIFs, hilarious Alvin photoshops, or even some baseball stuff. In fact, whether you read the post or not, please do those things since I could really use a good laugh.
Today is the day I have been dreading for quite awhile. When you have an old pet, I think the day when they finally go to their final resting place is always not as far from your thoughts as you'd like. With my cat, Schultz, it has been looming in the forefront of my mind for pretty much the last year.
He was 18 years old (give or take a month or two) and he started having seizures about a year ago. Since that time he's had various issues where he seemed to be staring at the light, but then turning away at the last second to stay with us here on this plane of existence. So when he started having difficulty walking to his litterbox in the middle of the night and lost his appetite again this morning, we weren't exactly surprised. We'd been preparing for it in our minds all along. This time, he practically made our decision for us by crashing as hard as he did so quickly, but the speed in which he left us has stunned us into a bit of shock.
The stupor is similar to my state of mind shortly after Game 6 in 2003.
As Cubs fans, I think we all expect disaster to strike at any time, no matter how good the team may seem to be at any given time. We pretty much know that there is another shoe somewhere just waiting to drop, probably onto our heads. So when the Cubs lost their lead only eight pitches after Moises Alou lost his shit, and when Mike Fucking Mordecai put it out of reach with one swing, the Cubs' World Series chances died a very unsurprising, yet completely shocking death that night.
I sat in my seat for a good 30 minutes after the game ended just staring at the field. I finally dragged my ass to Yak-zies where a friend was waiting with a Jack and Coke all ready to numb my pain, but I didn't want it. I was too numb to drink. I was too numb to do anything. I just wanted to go home and curl into a ball an pretend the whole shit show never happened.
At that time, I lived alone with Schultz as my only "roommate." Normally, when I would get home from work, he would greet me at the door and proceed to tell me about his day by meowing in a tone that seemed to indicate that his life of eating, sleeping, and licking himself all day was a hardship on a par with a life of slave labor. So our normal routine would be me walking in:
Me: Hey buddy. How was your day?
Schultz: (more insistently) Meeeooowww
Me: You don't say. That sounds terrible.
Schultz: Meooow meow MEOW (grabs a a doorframe with his front paws and "scratches" it to indicate how much of a big tough man he is despite having lost his front claws 9 years earlier)
Me: You DO have a hard life.
And it would go on like that until I would sit down and he could climb on my lap and paw at me until I scratched his chin.
But that night, I walked in and sure enough, there he was to greet me. I managed a "hey buddy," but that was all I had energy for. I proceeded immediately to the couch and just collapsed with mental exhaustion. Schultz had yet to say a word to me. He sat at my feet for a bit (I don't know how long because my brain was mush that evening, but it seemed like quite awhile).
Then he climbed up on the couch, but instead of climbing directly on my lap and demanding attention, he laid down next to me and just put his head in my lap and sat quietly purring. It was exactly what I needed. Then he reached out with a paw and put it on my hand and just left it there. I just looked down expecting him to start demanding attention, but he just stayed like that. I don't know how long we sat together, but he stayed with me the whole time. Still purring.
He had other times when he seemed to know when I was sad, lonely, sick, or dealing with more Cubs disappointments, but that was the time that really stuck with me because at that point it was probably the most depressed to the core I had ever been.
The problem now is that I feel very close to the same way as I did back in 2003, but he's not here to comfort me. I'd give anything to have him laying on my lap right now.
I miss my buddy.