As I've mentioned before, Scout was disabled...by a bad reaction to anesthesia when she was four years old. I first got her when she was only four weeks old, so I was able to watch her grow and change for 13 beautiful years...before her disability, and after. Scout taught me quite a few things throughout her life. One of these things was to never stop fighting, no matter how scared you are; no matter what changes may come. She was definitely a fighter, and as her little body changed and daily tasks became more difficult, Scout continued to rail against the changes. She taught me that giving up is not an option...when life throws more at you, you adapt and keep moving. I've had to do quite a lot of that in life as my own physical changes have continued to arise, and I always looked to Scout as an example of what was possible. She never gave in...even when it became impossible for her to walk like a normal cat. Scout was never a normal cat...and so instead of giving up when walking got harder, she learned to hop like a rabbit. When hopping got too tiring to do for very long Scout learned to rest in between, and take breaks...and sometimes would drag herself along to get where she needed to be. I realize how this sounds; very upsetting and disheartening...and yet, Scout was happy. She had no time for depression. She was the first one to greet me in the morning with a meow that spoke volumes..."Good morning Mommy!! WHY aren't you up yet, putting food in my dish??" and the last one to meow a "Goodnight, Mommy...I love you!" And no matter where I was in the house Scout would make her way there to be with me, talking to me and keeping me company. Probably the biggest lesson Scout taught me was this: that love can truly be unconditional, if only you allow it to be. She always looked past my physical being, and didn't care that my body didn't work like it should...or that I might not always look or feel my best. Scout's tiny body and big meows spoke volumes to me, and she continued to show her love for me in a hundred little ways. I in turn saw the changes in her physical self, though I also saw that tiny little face with those bright eyes looking back at me. Despite the many changes, she couldn't have been more beautiful to me, and I loved and adored her!
Those last moments with Scout are ones I will never forget, and I pray that my mind proves solid up until my own last moments on this earth...so that I may hold onto my memories forever. As I sat with her I tried to convey all the years of laughter and joy she bestowed upon me, so she would realize what a gift she was...I spoke to Scout about the first moment I saw her, when she was so tiny she barely fit into my hand. I told her how much laughter she brought into my life with all the crazy things she would do as a young kitten, such as eating the carbon heads off the matchsticks I used, to light candles at night...after which she would stuff the sticks under my area rug. There were about 50 headless sticks under there before I realized what was going on! Story after story I shared, letting Scout know how much she was loved, and how much I would miss her. Most important of all I let her know, tearfully, that it was okay to leave...and finally, silently, she was gone.
I always thought that the most precious moment in my life was the one where Scout walked into it, but I was wrong...what was even more precious was being able to hold her one more time, at the moment she stepped out of it. I will always cherish that last chance with her, and be forever grateful for what was truly a gift. God bless you, sweet baby...for you are now free from all your challenges. I know you are running and jumping now, happy and finally at peace. Thank you so much, Scout, for being part of my life...I love you, and forever hold you in my heart!
September 1, 1997 ~ July 7, 2011