"How did your legs get so long and gangly? When did you get to be so light? I know you don't really want to get in the carrier. I'm sorry, little dude. I don't want to do this, but I really don't want to see you get worse."
Kathryn evaluated him - I wondered if perhaps if he got some fluids maybe he'd come 'round. Hoped I wasn't doing this too soon. Really didn't want to be in the position of him in pain in the middle of the night and have to go to the emergency clinic. And so the decision is made and a life surrendered.
He was born to my friend Lynn's kitten (she was really too young to be a mommy) Flora who must have met up with a big 'ole barn tomcat out at the farm where Lynn rented a converted shed. It was a duplex and she had both sides because it was cheap and she liked the privacy. Turned out to be a good thing when the kittens came. They had their own side. It was a weekend when they were born and Lynn called 'come see the kittens' so I met Salvador when he was but hours old, eyes closed, and so small. He had little horizontal black lines under his nose, like a moustache and reminded me of Salvador Dali's (on a more modest scale) so he got his name. "P. Kitten" is a family name. His "uncle" Allen P. Kitten gave it to the litter. The "P." doesn't stand for anything - it's just a middle initial.
As the kittens, Bella, DaVinci and Louis (named for St. Louis Road where the farm was, but soon dubbed "Shrimp Louis" because he was the runt) grew they had the run of 'their' duplex. The place was paneled in tongue and groove rough cedar planks so the kittens would literally climb the walls. You'd just go peel one off when you wanted one.
He howled in the backseat - I don't know now why I put his basket in the backseat - all the way from Woodburn up to SW Portland where I lived then. He met his big 'brother' Natsu. We had lost Natsu's big brother Aki not long before so Natsu took to the new little guy right away and they were the best of friends all Natsu's life. And Salvador grew...
Huge. He was 16 solid pounds in his prime, but always such a shy kitty and a real momma's boy. He'd hide in the kitchen cupboards if anybody came to visit. Kittysitters had to feed him in the cupboard - they were afraid he wouldn't come out until I got home.
I didn't realize it until now, but he began to lose weight gradually after we lost Natsu. Plump Salvador is from February 2006. Natsu passed in June 2006. The pictures I found from Christmas 2008 showed Salvador already much slimmed down and today he weighed only 7lbs.
Maybe cats grieve. Maybe it was simply old age and declining health. He was after all 18 years and two weeks old.