No blog will ever do Norman justice. He was a gentle giant. He was a mush and a lover. He loved nothing more than playing fetch, watching the birds who tormented him daily, cuddling with mommy and daddy and sharing our meals with us.
He was the king of our castle and he ruled this house. Something on Norman's chair, we moved it, something bothering Norman, we stopped it. We left NPR on when we went away and spoiled him with toys and constant flowing fresh water.
He could fetch, he could sit and he could shake http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0GJ3Eoe6Hs&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share He was our son. He was a part of our family. He was the best cat ever, I am sorry, but he was.
He was a comedian and he had a big personality. He would cop attitude, yell at us when we got home from vacation and most recently pee on the floor when he was fed up.
Some of his favorite things to do were to bed down on us...we would call it "pill pill." He would knead down with those crazy cat like claws of his, no matter how many times we trimmed them. He would pill, pill and zone out and get this happy zen like look on his face. He would go back and forth between Greg and I until he would settle down for a few minutes. He would often go back and forth, being certain to equally distribute his love.
He did love and adore his daddy. I have no doubt he loved me, but Greg was his favorite and I am ok with this. He loved his daddy. He would sit in Greg's arms and just purr. Greg would love him, cuddle him, pet him and play fight with him. All which Norman loved and all which set Patty up to be attacked when Greg would travel.
Greg would travel for work or home to see family. I would most often be laying innocently in bed. Norman would jump up on the bed, stand on my chest and after one look at him and his wild eyes, I would know I was his prey. He would most often latch onto my arm probably saying, " mom, why aren't you playing, why aren't you fighting back." I will forever have scars on my arm :) He didn't mean to hurt me, he is a wild animal after all and it was kind of nice to see that side of him, sometimes. That wild side. That side that has come down from his kitty cat ancestors.
I think of all of his ancestors, all those wild cats out there. I think they would say Norm had a good life. He got to live in 2 awesome cities, Boston and NYC. He was a NYC cat and you know what they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
He became infamous in all circles of our life. His name was signed on most holiday cards I sent out, I talk about him all the time and heck, he even made it into our wedding ceremony. He was a very special cat and I like to think he is bragging about his pretty cool NYC life wherever he is.
Not only did we leave NPR on for him, sometimes we would leave the light on for him and if nothing else, he got the AC in the summer even if we weren't home. We often use to joke that Norm needed to get a job to start paying his way. We loved our dear sweet Norman and I feel just so grateful to have had my little buddy for 9 amazing and wonderful years.
I have always been afraid to love, always been afraid to care for this very reason. I feel like those I care most about are always taken. I feel like they are always taken too soon. Norman has reminded me that sometimes it is worth it. It was totally worth everything to have these 9 years with Norman--even if they were way too short.
I still really feel like this is all a dream, like I will surely wake up. It all happened so fast. Other than peeing a few times over the past few months outside of his box, he was happy go lucky, Norm. Fetching, shaking, cuddling. No sign of suffering, pain, or problems at all.
I really am torn up and heartbroken. I really miss my little buddy more than words could ever describe. I keep finding myself fighting the urge to call his name. When Greg traveled was when we had our best bonding time. You see, recently the wild Norman had gone away. He has become a big, huge mush ball. He has been so lovey and cuddly.
Every night when I get home from work, we have the same dance. I open the door and he is at the door waiting, he runs out into the hallway. He does a quick stretch, the madonna move and sometimes runs over to 4C where his friends use to live. I then walk behind him and he walks back into the apartment. I will miss having this dance with Norman every night and every time we come home.
I will miss knowing that when I rang our door buzzer a certain way, Norm knew we were home. I will miss his excitement and greeting of any and all delivery men. Delivery for us, normally meant a small treat for him.
I will miss being woken up at 4 and 5 a.m. to a cat wanting to cuddle. I will miss our nightly battles over his wanting to share in my dinner. I will miss watching him sleep and snore so loudly. I will miss his puke, I will miss his dry food nearly killing me every morning I step on it with bare feet. I swear he would strategically place it sometimes to ensure it was in our path each morning. I will miss his stinky poop and crazy amounts of pee. Seriously, he produced the amount of a waste of a small child :) I will miss him tracking his litter all across the apartment. I am not sure how it got it from the litter box to the bed. Sometimes I think he tightened his claws and walked slowly and just opened them when he got on the bed and it would all come out from between his toes.
I will miss seeing him with his favorite toy "lickey". I will miss him thumping on kong https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pB2vv0ia8NU. I will miss watching him clean himself for what seemed like hours after each meal. I will miss his stinka face. I will miss watching him chase the birds in the bedroom window. I have no doubt he caught them where he is now. I will miss so much. I am so glad I decided to open the window for him today. It was cold, but at the last minute. I opened the shade and gave him his birds.
I will miss my friend and my buddy. I will miss always having someone to talk to. I spoke with him like he was a person. I will miss having someone to blame farts and stinks on. Everything in our house was "Norman's fault." I feel like the silence will be deafening. I write all of this home alone as Greg is actually at a conference in Boston. It is quiet now, but I have no doubt Norman will pass away all over again when I see Greg.
I really cannot believe it.
I would like to take a few moments to honor his last few minutes here. Just because I feel it helpful to talk about what happened and what I saw.
So, I had a 6pm acupuncture appointment tonight. I would normally have come straight home. On the way home from acupuncture, shortly after 7, I went to the grocery store. I bought the following (no judging, it is almost like I knew) 1 can of chef boyarde, easy mac, neopolitan ice cream and oreos and 2 cans of fancy feast cat food. When I got home I called Pet Town to order Norman's cat food (yes we have everything delivered in NYC). I fed Norman a can of the Fancy Feast. I figured he would enjoy it. He ate it like a champ. Like crazy. He ate the entire thing in like 5 minutes flat! I kept saying Norm, slow down, you are going to get sick.
Clearly he enjoyed his last meal and for that I am happy :)
I was sitting down while my Chef Boyarde was in the microwave and went in the other room to put some pjs on. I heard Norman in his litter box digging around and then the lofting smell of a poop.
I got my food out of the microwave and pulled over a table tray to eat--because that is how I roll. I was sitting down eating a bit of my dinner and noticed Norm sitting on the ground in front of me watching me eat :) like always. I was waiting for him to jump up, as he normally does :)
I continued eating and all of a sudden heard a scamper. I looked down because it almost sounded like he was trying to gear up to run. For those of you that have cats, or been around cats, I think you will know what I mean. They get bursts of energy sometimes and on a wooden floor it has a very distinctive sound. I looked down and he was flopping around. It was almost like he couldn't get his back legs to work all of a sudden it was so scary. He ended up on his side and I was down on my knees kneeling next to him, rubbing him and crying. I kept calling his name and crying and rubbing him, I didn't know what to do. I could tell there was something wrong. He howled really loudly a few times, like totally seized and then got real calm. I kept crying and calling his name. I hope I didn't scare him, but I am glad I was there with him.
I kept rubbing him and was debating mouth to mouth, but had no idea how to help a cat. He breathed a few more times and then just stopped. I didn't know what to do and just kept crying. I called Greg but he didn't answer and then I called Leslie.
Leslie ran right over. I finally got ahold of Greg and told him the bad news. Leslie, I owe you so much. Leslie was amazing. She grabbed my New Kids blanket and cradled him and picked him up. I grabbed my phone, purse and keys and we ran out of the apartment with Norman in the blanket. We got to 1st Avenue and then needed to find a cab. A nice women gave us her cab when she realized we had a cat with us. The cabbie took us down to the 24 hour Emergency Pet Hospital down in the 60's.
I cried hysterically the entire cab ride. I was afraid that maybe the food (new food never given him before) I gave him killed him and was blaming myself and trying to figure out what happened. The cabbie listened to us both crying for almost 30 blocks.
We got to the hospital and they took us right away. They were super nice and they let us know that cats often "get clots." The way I described what happened sounded like he had a clot. I asked if there was anything we could have done or any way we could have known and prevented and the answer to everything was "no." There was nothing we could have done and no way to have known.
Norman will be cremated and we will be adding some of his ashes to our vase that we just put together at our wedding as well as sprinkling some at some important places :( Never thought this would be happening. I know nothing is forever and while I kind of had a feeling he may be leaving us soon, I thought perhaps it was just paranoid Patty.
Norman, I will never forget you. I will never forget all you added to our life. I will never forget all the cuddles you gave me when I was sick or not feeling well. I will never be able to thank you enough for all of the laughs, giggles, and rolling eyes. You will go down in history as my favorite cat (sorry, Emily). You were sweet and kind and cuddly and you totally ruled Greg and I and 334 East 90th Street.
I am not quite sure that I will ever get used to this silence, but I am not naive enough to think anything will really ever fill the deafening silence your untimely passing has caused. I know you will always be with me and always be with us.
I am so grateful to know you had a great last meal, and witnessed your great last poop and that I was here with you in your final moments. If I came home to find you dead on the floor, I would have been imagining the worst case scenarios. I would have been afraid you were howling and suffering all day while I was at work. I would have been afraid you were scared and in pain all day while I was at work. As hard as it was to watch you pass away and as sad and scary and awful as it all was to witness, I know what happened and I was with you when it happened.
Death is just such a crazy thing. Here one second and gone the next. Norman's passing has once again reminded me that you just never know. I have never watched anyone die before. His last moments are etched in my brain. You never know when those you care about will leave this physical world. Take some pictures of our loved ones tonight, take some video. Give them an extra hug, and extra lick of ice cream. In the end the memories and the love are all we have.
While there is not much silver lining for me here, we lost our cat. We lost our sweet, sweet, Norman. I do have to remember that he had a wonderful life, even though it was way too short. He didn't suffer, he had a great last day and I am going to try and believe that today before he passed away he was finally able to show those birds who was boss.
Rest in peace my gentle giant. Mommy loves you more than you will ever understand. Thank you for everything, thank you for reminding me why loving is so important. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I continue to cry and feel like none of this is real. I continue to look around the apartment for you. I continue to assume you will jump on my lap. It is all such a shock and just happened way too fast.
I love you, Norman! It was an honor to be your human!
and that's all she wrote...