After discussion with our vet and watching for better signs that never came, we decided to enable Smudge's trip to the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. He was a wonderful companion for ten years. Survivor of an airplane flight from Baltimore to Cincinnati, he was the last of our pets we brought to Ohio from Maryland. He was a truly affectionate feline from the first time we laid eyes on him - a cage filled with tiny black kittens from the same litter. Smudge was the only one to nuzzle my hand - a sure sign he belonged with us.
Living most of his life in the house, Smudge occasionally found his way outside to eat grass and discover life in the wild isn't all that exciting. It's must easier to watch the birds and squirrels from the comfort of a window ledge. Once he disappeared for three days before we found him shivering and hungry underneath our car parked in the driveway. He used to escape more frequently at our first house in Ohio, dashing underneath the neighbor's deck until we enticed him out with a can of tuna.
In his last days, Smudge still managed to provide some comfort to Michael. Many times, we found the two of them sound asleep together in the La-Z-Boy chair.
So, we mourn for Smudge; Andrea in particular is taking it hard. The best thing we can do to honor his memory and the fun times we had is to share that love with a new member of our family. The search for a kitten starts today.
Life does go on.