He came to us as Phineas, a scrawny little 8-month-old tabby cat with a propensity for sucking his paw like a baby sucks his thumb. We promptly renamed him Beetlejuice, a big name into which he immediately expanded. A big name requires a big personality, a big heart. Beetlejuice never let us down in that department.
No matter what changes took place in my household—and there were many—Beetle took them all in stride. Daughter leaving home, an agonizing divorce, a cross-country move, the addition and subtraction of other cats, dogs, and guinea pigs, whatever the change, Beetlejuice weathered the storm with a remarkably good nature and a paw suck. When I met and married Scott, no one was happier than my Bee. He seemed to have an almost conspiratorial connection with Scott, a “we’ve got to stick together since we’re the only two men in a household of girls” type of attitude.
But even his sweet disposition and tasty paw couldn’t get him over his battle with diabetes. We never could quite get his blood sugar regulated, and while he seemed to do pretty well the first few weeks on insulin, it was a short-lived grace period. The past few days, he was vomiting several times a day, and had no energy at all. He slept, ate, and vomited, and little else. His hair began falling out in chunks.
Beetlejuice died this morning. He took with him a piece of my heart that I don’t think will ever belong to any other creature. The last words I spoke to him were, “Come back as a mountain lion, Bee.”
I want to thank all of you who have supported me, and Beetlejuice, over this past few months as we tried to cope, as we tried to give Beetlejuice some quality of life. We gave it our best shot, Bee and I. Sometimes, your best shot isn’t enough.
If a cat has nine lives, may Bee comes back as a mountain lion eight times over. And if a cat has but one life, I shall take comfort in the certainty there is no diabetes in kitty heaven.