Remembering Franklin

Two weeks ago, we had to put down our cat Franklin. We had him for close to ten years. He had been losing weight, which was a good thing. At first we chalked it up to more exercise, given that we had just got a new cat, Toby, who kept him on his toes. He seemed normal otherwise, waking me up every morning outside our bedroom door announcing that the time for breakfast had arrived. He would closely monitor my progress and go with me downstairs. He was incredibly attentive to the whole process.

Then, a few weeks ago, he stopped. His cries were feeble and he was not just losing weight, but he was getting really boney. When we took him to the vet, they did x-rays and blood work. What they found was awful news. Franklin had a large, cancerous mass in his abdomen. Because of its location, it was causing all his vitals to become unstable. Even if they were able to stabilize his condition, there was little chance that removing the tumor would not be fatal in itself. Without removing the tumor his condition would only worsen. He was obviously in distress. That day was his worst. Usually gregarious and nervous around the vet, he just laid there. But he was purring.

The night before he had, for the first time in weeks, jumped up on my lap. He only stayed for a very short while, but I believe that was his way of saying goodbye. We never know how long we will have with our loved ones, even our pets. Hope and I had to make a sad decision that day. The prognosis was grim. People these days are apt to throw as much resources into a lost cause as they can for even the smallest hope that there may be a way to recover. In this case, the cancer had progressed too much and too rapidly. The vet told us that bringing him in earlier would not have done very much good, given the location of the disease.

We remember Franklin as another member of the family, a good little guy who made our lives richer and more interesting. I admit that I am not the biggest pet person. But Franklin made me see things differently. His expressions and personality was like a person’s and I will miss his little yelps and the way he organized the rest of the cats.

When we returned from the vet without Franklin, our two remaining cats, Ash and Toby kept looking around us and gave us expressions clearly meant to indicate we had forgotten something. But, no, we will never forget. For a pictorial tribute to this photogenic feline, follow the link here.

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