Sunday, February 20, 2011
Before I had cancer, and before Dad had cancer, Boo had cancer. He was diagnosed with lymphoma about two years ago and given a very poor, short-term prognosis. The vet gave Amy some morphine to make him more comfortable and she took him home to live out his remaining days. Amy's job at the time was helping people who were being treated for cancer, but this was the first time the threat of cancer had hit so close to home. Little did she know . . .
While Boo's days were not numerous enough, they turned out to be a lot more than predicted. Amy had adopted Boo when he was already three years old and she was living in her first real solo apartment. She had him while she was starting her career, then engaged, then not engaged, then engaged again, married, established in her new career, divorced, and was finally back in a solo apartment once again. After he was diagnosed Boo hung on through more romance and heartbreak, Dad's illness, a new engagement, Dad's death, my illness, and finally through a move to start Amy's new job and her new life with her new fiancée. Finally, two days after my surgery, Boo was done. He had come through the move with flying colors, loved the new place, and had made friends (including an impressively sized dog) at the new place, but his insides were shutting down once and for all. Amy hadn't ever had to use the morphine over those two years but poor Boo was clearly suffering now. His struggle ended with a heartbreaking trip to the vet.
I don't know much about Boo's background. I did know his full name. When people would hear that Amy had a cat named "Boo" I would point out that wasn't his real name. "That would be silly," I would say. "His full name is Boo Boo."
When Amy and Kage adopted an (extremely) enthusiastic new puppy, he was named Yogi. I don't think that was a coincidence.
Amy doesn't currently have any kids of her own (I suspect she might steal some of mine sometime and I think the kids would be willing accomplices) but she has had Boo through much of her adult life. Years ago, after single Amy had organized a string of wedding and baby showers, she invited us over for an afternoon of celebrating Boo's birthday. After the party games had started, we soon realized that we weren't invited so much to celebrate as to play roles as party-goers in a strange revenge ceremony. Boo didn't realize it either, of course. He was a nice cat and would never have knowingly participated in such a thing.
So while our expanding family grieves for Dad, and is optimistic about me, and is joyous about Amy's new immediate family (man, young man, and dog -- all big, healthy boys) I thought I should point out that we're also missing Boo Boo Orwig. We're glad he was there for Amy through so much and for so many years.
Posted by Scott Orwig