Roscoe “Rasky” Howes by Jamie

You were the runt of the litter no doubt because by the time I got to the shelter, there was noone left in the litter except you. You were not particularly cute and even after I took you from the shelter, I drove across town to the other shelter because I wasn’t sure I wanted you. I ended up keeping you because you were sitting in a box in the car, but I called your daddy the minute I got home and complained how disappointed I was that I didn’t get a choice. Little did I know then how much you would change my life forever…This story is told for you, so you know how much you are loved and will be loved forever.

I love how you would come in under my chin give me neck kisses.

I love how you were obsessed with baby bottle nipples. You would sneak onto the counter, grab one with your teeth, and run away. I tried marking “Roscoe’s nipples” with a black X so I knew not to use them. All through 3 kids you were the resident nipple man, costing us a “bloody fortune” as dad would say.

I love how you would chew corn husks and meow wildly when I brought home fresh corn. I would always tear off an ear and let you go to it.

I love how you would always beg to drink water in the bathtub getting all your paws wet in the process. We had to tell all the pet sitters that you needed fresh water, never out of bowl.

I love how you picked out a stuffed animal that looked EXACTLY like you to carry around in your mouth. You would always meow wildly when you were carrying it and drop it at my bedroom door. Sometimes, stacks of stuffed animals would be at my closed door…and you patiently waiting for me to come out. When you were really young, you would leap across furniture and catch the stuffed animals in your mouth mid-air.

I love how you learned to open doors and we had to get childproof locks to keep you out of the bedroom when we needed some sleep. Soon we had to push furniture across the door because you learned how to open the door even with the childproof lock.

I love how you were a real tough guy and would swat, hiss, bite, and snarl at visitors, but always saved your love for me. You menaced the babysitters, bit my mom and made her bleed, and scared the vet so much she refused to show us how to give you the medicine…in fear she would “loose her fingers.” Everyone was scared of you because you were a wild man with a soft heart only for mom and dad. I love how you always understood that the kids were “off limits” and reserved yourself even when they pulled your tail.

I love how you would only show love for your dad when I was away. I would sometimes stay in the city and only then would you climb onto your dad’s lap and give him neck kisses.

I love how you became such pals with Jones and would fight with her on the floor. We always said we had the best “fellows” ever.

I love how you jumped down from a 2 story balcony to chase a squirrel and jumped on to the roof for a bird in Connecticut. I made your dad get onto the roof to fetch you, and from then on you became
the “super bat cat.”

I love how you would always be in the center of the action with the kids, playing with toys, swatting at moving cars, hiding in tents.
You were always there.

I love how you learned to go outside on the leash and hang out with us during family picnics. You knew the door we lived at but sometimes got confused about the floor… and one time opened the door to another apartment.

I love how you would greet me everyday when I came home and sit on my counter top when I cooked. I would talk to you while I cooked and give you a cool drink of water from the kitchen sink.

I love how you would sleep with me every night I kept the door open. Sometimes I would wake up to your wet nose against my neck.

I love how you had a shit eye, a big pouch, and a big pink nose.

I love how you had a “smart lip” as daddy would say and always talk back, mouthing off.

I love how you would sit on the TV stand while we watched TV and block the whole bottom of the picture.

I love how I would get teary eyed watching animal planet thinking of you. And I always looked forward to giving you a big hug everyday and telling you “I love boys who are grey and white.”

I want you to know that I have a tremendous amount of pain, grief, sadness, and guilt over your passing. I will always have doubt over ending your life, in making the choice to put you to sleep. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. You couldn’t go to the bathroom and were blocked up so much it was going to kill you in a matter of hours – – but I had the choice to save you with major surgery, or to drain the fluid with the certainty your condition (and suffering) would return, or finally to let you go in peace with the
guarantee of no more suffering.

I do have regets…not researching the surgery ahead of time just in case…thinking too much about the money for your care when you are not replaceable and money is…becoming so hysterical in the last few hours that the vet couldn’t communicate with me anymore…not having a vet that gave us statistics and made everything seem confusing and unclear…calling everybody for advice, asking their opinions, trying to understand what to do, but neglecting to just go outside and ask myself.

In the end, we very well could have made the right decision as I would never want you to suffer long term, but the doubt will always remain. There is no way of knowing whether the surgery would have saved you or led to more suffering, but maybe we should have tried? You must know I would have done anything to save you if I knew everything would be back to normal. But there was no guarantee, so I wanted to save you any pain…

Putting all this behind me, I promise to rid myself of any guilt because it won’t do any good. And, I promise to focus on all the wonderful, joyous memories of your life and how much humor, love, and companionship you brought to me and the family.

I close my eyes now and I picture you on your hind legs with your paws rubbing my jeans the night before you died. You seemed to be saying “hi mom, I missed you” after I returned home from a friend’s house. Even when you were suffering, you showed your love.

Your absence makes this house so quiet. You were always the happy face in every room. Five and half years with you was way too short and I always thought you would be with us for much, much longer because you were such a healthy little guy. All I can say is that I cherished you and loved you every single day and I at least have peace of mind knowing that I showed you this love everyday. Our bond was unique and special and I know you felt it just as much as I did. We spent many happy hours together, and provided much comfort to each other.

Roscoe, I am eternally grateful to you for everything you brought to my life. You will never ever be forgotten. You will always be deeply missed. You will always be my grey and white little boy. I will always remember your neck kisses and your beautiful white face and green eyes. Goodbye, and please know you are always in my heart.

I love you.



Roscoe "Rasky" Howes