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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tribute to Zeb

Today at my house we're mourning the loss of our beloved fur buddy, Zeb. We were fortunate to have him with us for nearly ten years, but this morning we were forced to have him put to sleep. It was either that or watch him suffer a long, painful death. My husband took him to the vet, who confirmed that it was for the best. It still didn't make it any easier. Zeb was my husband's favorite little buddy, and I've never seen the man grieve like when he came home from the vet with Zeb in the back seat. Together, we buried him in the back yard, alongside the row of other little loved ones who've gone before him.

I just wanted to pay some kind of tribute because Zeb deserves it. He was the best cat I've ever known. We knew he was different from the moment he was born. He seemed more reserved and intelligent than his wild and crazy siblings. We found homes for his brothers and sisters, but kept him, and my son named him Zeb. During the nine years he lived with us, he never clawed on anything except a wooden barrel, which contained his bag of food. Visitors thought he was cute because he charmed them and gave them come-hither looks while leading them closer to the barrel. Once there, he'd sit on his haunches and claw for all he was worth. His final trick to get someone to feed him. And they always did. That barrel has deep grooves in it now. He was never shy. He'd always come running to check out anyone who came into the house--and maybe lure them to the food barrel. He didn't have an aggressive bone in his body. He was just a big ole lovable puddy tat. Even when you put him in the tub and bathed him, he kept his claws sheathed, even though he moaned in protest the entire time he was being washed.

Every night when my husband announced he was turning in, Zeb would come running and do a trick we called "skating." You know how cats will get against something and lift their hind leg and slowly drag it across. Zeb would do it on command, every night before my husband went to bed. We called it his figure skating move and would applaud and rate him by how long he held the leg up as he dragged it against my husband's shin. Too funny, and he was a big ham. He loved the attention and would keep it up until hubby told him, "That's enough skating for tonight Time to go to bed."

Here's another picture of Zeb being Santa's helper. He roosted on that big present the entire time it sat there, which was a couple of weeks at least, until we had to take it from him and turn it over to its rightful owner.

We're going to miss old Zeb. I know I'll get a grip after a little while, but right now I can't seem to stop crying. I've lost both my babies--my dog, Sam, and now Zeb within the last five months. And Sunday is when we're supposed to go pick up the new puppy. Sometimes I wonder if we need our heads examined. As much as we love our furry children, it always ends in grief, yet we keep going back for more. Zeb was hubby's best friend, and Sam was mine, and I sure do miss having a warm, adoring little critter tagging after my every step and lying next to my feet while I sit at the computer or watch tv. So I guess the reason we keep going back for more heartache time and again is because for the time we do have them with us, they give us such unconditional love. But I'm tellin' ya, there's nothing can break my heart like they do when it's their time to go.




  1. Devon,

    I'm so sorry about Zeb. This was a lovely tribute.

  2. Thanks, Magdalena. I probably shouldn't have blogged today but, in the moent, I just felt like doing it.

  3. Oh, Devon. I'm so sorry. What is it with our animals recently? Somebody is really testing us.
    Your tribute was beautiful. And I can tell you why we keep coming back for more. Because our animals love us completely and devotedly. This one sad day will be so far outweighed by hundreds, thousands of others where we are showered with their love.
    I'm sorry you're sad, but Zeb is in a better place now.

  4. Thanks Jennifer. I'm looking forward to the new puppy. It's been a long time since we've had a young, playful animal around here. Sam was old--went both blind and deaf several months before he died, and Zeb's health has been going downhill for a while. Yes, I'm very sad right now, but I've been through this before and will again, I'm sure. It's the price we pay for their love and companionship, but I wouldn't want to go through life without them.

  5. {{{{hugs}}}}

    What a sweet tribute to Zeb.

    I've loved and lost a lot of pets in my life. They truly become part of the family. Even for the sadness that comes with losing them, we wouldn't trade all the good memories for anything.

    My Mizzy is going to be 7 later this year and she's not always a good kitty- scratches doorframes and has nearly tripped me on numerous occasions when she gets a wild hair and flies through the house underfoot, but I don't know what I'd do without her.

  6. Taryn, my emotions are a little more under control today. It's hard to give them up. But it's also hard to watch them suffer when they get old. You'll probably have your Mizzy for a while longer. Seven isn't old. Zeb wasn't even all that old, but he developed feline diabetes about three years ago, and it's been all downhill since then.


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