I can't believe it. I really can't.
Just a couple of days ago, Tom was up to his usual tricks, stealing Ted's socks out of the closet and dragging them down the hallway in his mouth.
He'd been insistent these past few weeks that his rightful place was on my pillow during the night, and I was so irritated about that, feeling crowded and having to shoo him--no, drag him him--out of the way when I'd need to prop myself against the pillows to nurse Mae in the middle of the night.
I could've sworn that, just yesterday, his nose and paws and belly (just barely visible under the soft tufted tummy fur) were still a robust bubble-gum pink.
But he refused two meals yesterday, and by this morning he was fighting for his last breaths. How did this happen?
Our vet said it was pneumonia, brought on by a horrible bacterial infection that may or may not have been secondary to something like a tumor. The infection moved with ruthless speed--the emergency vet said she'd not seen an infection kill so swiftly in her 26 years in practice. She said we probably could not have done anything more or better to save him. In spite of the best efforts of the staff at the veterinary hospital, Tom succumbed to the pneumonia around 2:00 this afternoon. He was about 14 years old.
Tom, you were one of the best cats ever. You are sorely missed already.