A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the kidney-failure-that-was-just-fleas...to which I now sadly append -but-was-actually-also-kidney-failure. He hadn't been holding down food lately, and so we took him to the vet, where he was pronounced deeply dehydrated and in kidney failure. While heroic measures might have helped indefinitely, they might not have, might have exacerbated another shadow condition, would have cost hundreds of dollars, and might not have worked for long, we decided (hesitantly) that he had already deteriorated enough, and that letting him go much longer would not be humane. Willow and Junebug went to the vet Thursday afternoon to help him die. In true Ziggy fashion, he was angry about the whole affair (his vet file has already had a big red flag on it).
Ziggy was Willow's cat from before we met. In fact, he was one of the earliest litmus tests for my fitness as Willow's partner. One afternoon soon after we had started seeing each other, I emerged from a classroom (intro to theory as a 1st year MA student) to find Willow holding an enormous grey creature in her lap. "This is Ziggy" she said as she handed him to me. My job was to hold him in my lap as we drove ... somewhere... Ziggy was fine with me, and although he was unusually large (probably about 19 pounds then) I had grown up with large housecats, and we got along quite well. It was only much later that I learned just how protective Ziggy was of Willow, and that he rarely let men over 5' 10" get away without a hiss and a scratch.
After the twins were born, Ziggy was a self-appointed protector of our kids, and our personal gargoyle. He topped out at about 23 muscled pounds (fat, yes, but also a bear of a cat). He was down to about 10 when he died. Every moving shadow I see around the house, I expect to be him, and we're all missing him terribly.