One year after losing Lodewijk
One year ago today my cat and best friend Lodewijk passed away, after a long battle with chronic kidney failure. I want to dedicate today’s post to him.
Lodewijk and I met at the shelter in 2012. My cat Napoleon just passed away after getting hit by a car and I didn’t think I was ready for a new cat, but it was love at first sight. They told me Lodewijk was really unhappy being in a room with other cats and that he was not likely to become a lap cat. The first thing he did when we met, was bite my finger, but I won his trust in no time.
On July 18 2012 I could finally bring him home. He went straight for my bed, stretched out and fell asleep, like he had always lived there with me, and then proceeded to sleep on my chest that very night. We became best friends instantly.
Lodewijk was literally attached to me. We ate together (he refused to eat without me there), watched tv together, hung out together. He was never more than an arm length removed from me. He slept on my chest or my side every single night, waited in front of the curtain while I took a shower…
In October 2016 he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure at age 10. His kidneys only functioned about 10% at the time and they told me he would have a couple of months tops. He got daily fluid drips at the vets, but at some point refused to be handled by the vets anymore. I found a wonderful vet who visited us at home and let me give Lodewijk fluids and injections under his supervision. Lodewijk gave me his complete trust while doing so. I hand-fed him with a syringe, got him on daily meds and he seemed to regain strength.
10 months later, his condition got worse. I always said I would let him go when I knew his life wasn’t enjoyable for him anymore. He still snuggled with me constantly, purred when he saw me. Then one morning, he didn’t purr anymore, he retreated himself, got in the laundry basket and didn’t respond to me anymore, and I knew it was time. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I ever had to do and I miss him so much. I’m so thankful to have had him. To have that kind of a connection with an animal is truly magical.
Photo credit: Julius Schrank for De Volkskrant (2012)