Emotional Support Cat Banjo

Emotional Support Cat Banjo

UPDATE: Banjo showed up last night with Fireball on the front porch. Gone for 4 days! He ate almost an entire can of salmon and is happily purring in his special spot on my girl’s bed. I guess his job is not done yet.

I made my own Storyworth prompt this week to honor sweet Banjo. For a decade he served as my daughter’s emotional support cat, and he took his job very seriously. During the mean girl days of middle school, he was a constant listener for her. When the pandemic hit and she was stuck at home, he was her listening ear. When she was happy/sad or everything in between, he was there for her. Always perched on her bed in his special spot.

He stopped eating around a month ago because his favorite flavor of Purina One was no longer in stock. Damn you pandemic supply chain issues! We tried other flavors, but slowly he stopped eating. I did take him to the vet once I realized that food changes were not the solution, and they recommended a 6K hospital stay with no answers around prognosis. We have had pets that have had major surgeries that did not cost thousands of dollars. I reached out to the Wellness Coordinator for the animal rescue I work with, and she agreed that 6K was over the top and offered to bring Subq fluids with B12 vitamins and anti-nausea meds. Banjo perked right up after, which gave us hope. I coaxed him to eat with the tastiest wet cat foods and even human fish, and it looked like he was getting better. But on Thursday, he was nowhere to be found. When I took his salmon filet into my girl’s room that morning and did not see him on her bed, in my heart I knew he was gone. Still, I searched the entire house hoping to find him. My guess is that he left to die on his own terms and not in front of his special person. I think he knew it would be too hard for her to see him die. His last gift to her as the best emotional support cat of all times. Banjo only loved my girl, but he did love on me this last month as I coaxed him to eat. Maybe that was his way of saying sorry for hating me for a decade?

Sweet Banjo, I will always be grateful for you and your special role with my girl. Thank you for being such an important part of her life and for being an amazing listener when no one else could be that for her.

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