I know some of my haters will likely bash me for showing any kind of emotion, but I don’t give a fuck. It’s my blog and I need to get this out. I am, for the first time, going through something I never wanted to imagine I would. Today, I had to put down my cat Dante.
He was black, fat, and in many ways, evil. But deep down, he was a sweet creature who just wanted to be loved and fed, stroked and pet. His was a life of simple pleasures: cat nip, naps in the sun, and hunting down and eradicating insects.
He also loved to shit. I swear to you, that cat had bowel movements larger than any I’ve ever produced. He was in my life for 12 long years, through some of the hardest times of my life and four or five moves, and as annoying as he could be — following me around the house incessantly, or just staring at me while I typed — I miss my buddy already.
I’d give anything to have him walk between my legs again, and almost make me take a nose dive into my coffee table, as he would practically every day.
When I got Dante, he was one of the cats in the shelter no one wanted. Why? Because he was black. I wanted him because he was black. And yes, Dante was very metal. Every time I’d blast the brutal shit, he’d fall asleep. Metal soothed my cat. I swear. Hell, for a while, I lived with a dude in a metal band, and there were jam sessions at my house all the time.
I first exposed Dante to Opeth. Blackwater Park seemed to be his favorite record, and Opeth, his favorite band. Unfortunately, he never told me what bands were his favorite. That’s because awesome as he is, he can not talk.
It was a hard decision to make, because it came out of nowhere. He was only 12, and his appetite was still as veracious as ever. I knew something was wrong because he had been drooling for about a week. The doctors told me today he had a tumor on the back of his tongue, so big they couldn’t see where it ended. It just went down his throat.
The doctor told me I could pay to have biopsies done, but that ultimately, the tumor — and most likely, his tongue — would have to be removed surgically, whether it was benign or malignant. He explained to me that Dante was likely in a lot of discomfort, and that the fact that his breathing was so labored meant he likely had tumors in his chest.
The doctor left me alone with Dante for ten minutes after I made my decision. I picked him up, and because he hated the vet, scratched me. He didn’t want to be fucked with at all, and he never liked being picked up. So I hugged him on the cold, metal table, petting him and telling him that it would be OK when I have no idea what that means. I told him he was a good friend to me these last 12 years, that I loved him, that I was sorry, and that I was going to miss him.
The doc came in, and gave him a shot that was supposed to make him sleep, but his eyes didn’t close. I pet his head and said I was sorry over and over again as they prepped him for the final shot. It was huge. They put it in the vein in his leg, and he slowly stopped breathing. I was crushed.
I knew he was gone before the doctor checked his heart beat. I don’t know where he is now, but I hope Joshua Muse is right, and that Dio now has an awesome cat.
I am trying to think of the good times I had with him, but I can’t get passed the fact that he’s now gone, wrapped in blankets, and in a garbage bag (“…in case he leaks,” the doctor said), out in my hallway — where he loved being the most — waiting for me to bury him tonight in my parents’ backyard. When I woke up this morning, I knew I was taking him to see a vet. I did not know I was going to be putting him to sleep.
I feel guilty that the last hours of his life were spent in the two places he hated the most: my car and the vet’s office. It kills me to think of how scared he must have been before he drifted off into whatever comes next. I usually tend to think there’s nothing after you die, but today, I’m hoping there is some kind of heaven.
I started joking about six months ago that he was getting on in years (say I would give him a Viking funeral, because that’s what he deserves) and even this morning, as I sat on the couch with him for the last time, I wrote about how I was worried for him. But now as I sit here, my heart broken, feeling like I lost a good friend, I feel sick and helpless.
I don’t think I can write anything else today, people. I need to go bury my little buddy. Tonight, when you’re partying and getting trashed, do a shot for Dante, what I am convinced was the most metal cat that ever walked this Earth.
One of Dante’s favorite Opeth tunes: