San Mateo, California,
February 13
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JULY 23, 2011 3:18AM


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Today was filled with both the bitter and the sweet. Two endings today. This morning I had to put down the second of my three seal point Siamese cats. I knew the signs very well: the weight loss, the lack of appetite, sleeping all day.  Beansie was a tiny but feisty cat. He was a runt. Since birth he had fought for his life.  He lost that fight today to cancer.  8 months ago, I lost his brother, Tommy, to the same miserable disease. Tommy went quietly, slowly. I let him linger too long because I did not want to let him go. This cat had seen me through my own bout with cancer almost 9 years ago. This funny extrovert, who stole underwear and socks out of drawers, baskets, and luggage; who allowed my granddaughter to hold him in the wagon while her brother pulled them around my back yard; who demanded you pay proper homage the king of the house, I could not write about him until now because the pain of his leaving still runs too deep. Now they are both gone. Only, shy sweet Toby, the 17-pound Siamese mix I rescued from the SPCA six years ago, and I are left tonight.

 My granddaughter went with me to vet today. Just like she had with Tommy.  I was out of town when Tommy took a turn for the worse. When the pet sitter called me, I called my daughter and she and my granddaughter took him to the vet and stayed with him until he passed away. Beansie did not go so quietly. He hissed and snarled against the giant tumor in his chest, the doctors poking at him, and me petting him at the end.  For a moment he calmed and looked at me with those sapphire blue of his as I stroked his little head and whispered, “I’m so sorry.”

This evening my grandson, who is 17, and my granddaughter, who is 15, and I went to see the final Harry Potter film. We had planned this last week and despite the sorrow of the morning we decided this would be a good way to end the day.  I always feel privileged that these two teenagers want to spend time with me.  We went to the first Harry Potter movie together and all the subsequent ones except the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. So last night, we watched that on DVD because my grandson had not seen it. We have all the firms.  These tales strung out over ten years have defined and bookended their childhoods. These tales have offered them escape from the traumas of school, parents' divorce, lives split between two homes, a parent’s remarriage and the challenges of living between two families.   Today, the enchanted world of Harry Potter was shared by just the three of us, no parents allowed. I was very touched when both kids called me and said we three had to go together to see this final film.  And today turned out to be the perfect day.

I bought the tickets online. We went at suppertime so we had hot dogs, Coke, pretzels with cheese. Dessert was Raisinets. All while watching the previews of coming attractions. Then we settled down into the enchanted magic world we had come to know so well. For the next two hours and fifteen minutes we watched Harry, Hermione and Ron fight for their own lives and the survival of their world. Finally when all challenges were met amid great loss there was a happy but bittersweet ending.  The three of them had come through together.

Applause echoed through the theater. My grandson turned to his sister and said quietly, “That’s the end of our childhood. Our childhood is over now.”


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So sorry about the kitties, so glad for the wisdom of your grandson.
With every ending there is a new beginning. May it be filled with so much happiness and wonderful memories too!
I am glad you had Beansie and Tommy, and that you still have Toby. Each one adds something to your life, even helped you through your cancer treatments. If you are lucky, as I am, you will be graced with some nightly visitation from the ones now gone.

And to bookend this story with the years you and your grandchildren have shared with the Harry Potter series! What a special relationship you have together. I imagine the three of you are regular Hogwarts graduates.
Thanks for your kind thoughts. It's hard to lose our pets, as it is to give up ones childhoods. Change is the only constant in life.
What a beautifully told story. You have amazing grandchildren. Wonderful cats, too. I know how much it hurts to lose them. I lost my Sirenita, and Milagrito has a tumor now. They have such distinct personalities. They do stuff for you because they love you, because cats don't have to do anything they don't want to. Their love is such a blessing.

I hope the kids don't feel too burdened by the changes in their lives. They have some childhood left yet.