Lao was the most scurrilous cat I have ever met. Ever regardless of the consequences or others’ preferences he did what he wanted, where he wanted, when he wanted. Even if that included peeing on our rugs, eating our cake, sampling the milk pasteurizing on the stove, or stealing our chicken dinner. He scoffed at spray bottles. Pet him once, and he’d harrass you until you were sorry you ever were kind. If there ever was a cat sociopath, he was it.
Everyone has a redeeming quality, though. Lao’s was that our daughter adored him, and he had endless patience for her aggressive “hugs.” They got along famously. He kept her company. She gave him the affection he craved. Every morning she would crawl a straight path to the front door to go visit with him. Visitors chuckled about her new “babysitter.”
Life for farm animals is tough, and while we’ll buy antibiotics and other basic treatments few here in rural Brazil will take a gravely sick farm pet to the veterinarian’s for treatment. When it’s time, it’s time.
This December Mr. Lao’s time had come. It surprised us. Like that 90-year old grandfather who is still kicking despite an exclusive diet of cigarettes, beer, hamburgers and Cheetos, we started wondering if he was indestructible. Our best guess was that what finally got him was some sort of kidney stone–probably from his lifelong diet of stolen milk products. He got similarly sick a few times, each time recovering. Until the final time when he laid down and despite our kindest care (yeah, he drove us nuts, but we’re not monsters after all) he didn’t get back up.
R.I.P. Lao. May we always be remembered for our best qualities. So we’ll remember you like this: