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Friday, October 15, 2004

Tresca was short and stocky and square. She was small for her breed. She wore fourteen tons of beautiful fur, and left it all over the house. She had a sense of humor. She was overweight because we spoiled her and her advancing age meant that she didn’t get the amount of exercise she needed.

The Daughter named her after a greyhound she read about in some book. That was ironic, because Tresca was about as far as you can get from a greyhound in terms of physique. She always wanted to do what you told her, even if she didn’t quite understand what it was you were telling her to do.

She wasn’t as well trained as some dogs I’ve met. There was simply no way to keep her off our furniture. She was never going to be a watchdog, that was for sure. She hardly ever barked until the dog next door showed her how effective it was at being brought back inside on demand. She was one of the most gentle dogs on earth.

She was tolerant of the kittens my kids brought home. Hell, she was tolerant of our kids and the friends they brought home, even when they were petting her five day old puppies. Then the cats became tolerant of her as she stumbled over them. She was completely blind in one eye and mostly blind in the other, but you couldn’t tell when she was in familiar territory unless the something was out of place. Apparently she’d been bleeding internally for a couple of days. She stopped climbing stairs about six months ago, and in the last few days she’d gotten much weaker. She was having trouble with the single step into the house from the back yard.

And we had to put her down today. God that hurts.

That was the second time in my life I’ve had to make that decision.

I want to say I will never do it again, but I can’t. There are the three cats I have. Adopted strays that are legacy pets from my kids. Boots is a fat loudmouth who purrs so quietly you can hardly tell. He is a favorite of several of the homes he has adopted in the neighborhood (which is why he is so fat). Ricky and Lucy are littermates. They are the household clowns, hence the names. They have not yet figured out how to speak as loudly as Boots does, but they are more affectionate than he is and purr so hard they practically shake.

As much as I desire otherwise, the day will come for all of them, and I will do what I have to do. But from this day forth, there will be no new pets in my house. Ever.

I can’t do this anymore.
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