My mom had a favorite pet and she found him stiff as a board.
| When I moved away from home my mom got a kitten to help ease the emptiness of one of her kids not being there anymore. His name was Joxcer pronounced jock sir.
Joxcer was named after a character in my parents favorite television show Xena. He was a nearsighted Siamese who got lonely and needed someone to kneed someone multiple times a day to take away his stress. He always wanted to play games and after most of us kids moved away, he seemed to get morose and didn't move around as often.
The result was a new kitten named Dargo who seemed to have developmental issues but was just as affectionate as the now Senior Joxcer. Dargo was a rescued lab kitten with unknown genetics. He seemed to be deaf as he didn't respond to sounds but he grew month after month and one day seemed to realize that his name meant we were trying to get his attention. His hearing was fine after that or he was ignoring us up until that point. He never figured out some mysteries like why he could have all four paws solidly inside the litter box and still not get anything inside the box, every single time he went. Dargo kept growing larger and larger until he was nearly three times the size of the full grown Joxcer.
Joxcer now could prowl the countertops and tables without competition as he was the only cat nimble enough to manage the jumps.
One day he found a bowl of diluted pesticides in the sink and knocked off the lid loosely covering whatever my father had left there.
He drank an unknown amount and didn't even manage to get back to the floor before curling up on the counter next to the sink and finding himself unable to move.
My mom found him that evening when she returned from work. He was not breathing and was room temperature. Rigor mortis seemed to be well along and she couldn't handle it on her own.
I lived in the same town and when she called I came over immediately. I confirmed that he was not moving, didn't seem to be breathing and was locked in the same position.
One of the giant boot boxes my dad was amassing as his boot collection grew was filled with one of Joxcers favorite blankets. It seemed to weigh nothing as I carefully carried it, still open, out to the furthest part of the backyard. I found the perfect spot behind the garden where I would always find him sniffing the flowers that my mom had planted there whenever he got out of the house.
I took my time and carefully dug the hole deep enough to not worry about someone accidentally digging it up if the garden was expanded over this area but had dug enough holes over the years that this one took barely any time at all before it was more than ready for the box.
Instead of closing the box and finishing the burial, I picked him carefully up to pet him one last time and think about how many time I had come over and he had parked himself on my lap demanding to be petted.
I could almost feel him purring in my arms as I held him with one and stroked his fur with the other. I could feel him purr!
I rushed back to the house with him and the box that was about to be his coffin and yelled for my mom to come into the kitchen.
He had opened his eyes and was making weak mewing sounds as she approached.
My mom rushed him to the vet and he ended up living an additional year and a half without side effects from that day.