On Wednesday, we lost our other furry family member. Shadow was fifteen years old.
Shadow was the strangest and sweetest animal I’ve met. His personality was eccentric and funny, which made him popular with other family and friends. My family has an incredible number of great memories about the different weird and amusing personality tics Shadow had. He and Phantom had a love/hate relationship, but they did love one another…he passed away two weeks to the day after Phantom.
My wife and I found Shadow at a pet store that was adjacent to our vet. Dr. McClain and his staff had found a group of tiny kittens (they had just opened their eyes) and the pet store had them on display in their window. One little black kitty shivered in the corner, all big eyes, scared and malnourished. Susan and I had our hearts stolen immediately. We adopted him and named him Shadow, the black counterpart to the white Phantom. Instead of doing kitten things, he liked to play fetch and have his belly rubbed like a puppy dog.
Shadow went from a fragile little creature that fitted in the palm of my hand to a large 20+ pounds adult cat who could nearly knock you over with a pounce. In a quiet house, his rumbling purr during a good belly rub could be heard in the next room.
Lymphoma took him away from us Wednesday. The same vet that had found him 15 years ago, still next door to the location where Susan and I saw Shadow for the first time, administered the compound that put our baby sleep. We scratched his chin and rubbed his stomach the way he liked.
Fluid in his lungs and around his heart made breathing difficult in his final moments. Yet, Shadow purred until the very end. It wasn’t the rumbling, room shaking purr of old, but a soft, weak purr. Susan and I like to believe he was saying “Good-bye, I love you.”