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Just a Cat

September 26, 2015 4 comments

My cat died.

Here’s my story.  She was nineteen years old and has been slowing down for the last couple years.  One night after dinner, her back legs collapsed.  She had previously had some trouble in her back legs, one would assume arthritis.  But on this night, she didn’t regain control.  A quick Google search prepared me for the worst.  The next morning, I begged off work and took her to the vet where an enormously expensive series of tests confirmed what I suspected.  She was in kidney failure, and there was nothing more to do.  I made the decision to put her to sleep right then.  You see, she never gained any control of her legs, and the tests confirmed that she was also dehydrated and feeling pretty rotten.  So as much as it hurt to make that tough call, my heart could not tolerate leaving her to suffer.

Long story short, my cat died.  I petted her and talked to her until she stopped breathing.  I made arrangements for her cremation.  Then I went home to drop off my sad, empty cat carrier and fix my mascara and then I went to work.

Let me be clear.  I didn’t want to go to work.  I wanted to sit down by myself and cry, mourn and grieve for my loss.  I wanted to sit still and remember all the sweet moments with this little creature who shared nearly half of my life with me.  Who slept beside me every single night.  Who walked on my neck to wake me up if I slept too late.  Who instinctively knew when I was sad and comforted me better than any human I’ve ever known.

But that’s frowned upon in this society.  If a person died, no one would question me taking a couple of days off work.  There’s even a corporate policy for that.  I’m sorry to say that I don’t love most people half as much as I loved that cat, but society places an awfully low value on the relationships we have with our pets.  My life has not been the same since I lost her.  I don’t sleep well.  I keep thinking I see her sleeping on my bed.  Every time I open the pantry, I see the leftover cans of soft food we gave her when she started to lose weight.  I miss her so awfully that even thinking about it brings me to tears these weeks later.  And I don’t mean silent weeping.  I mean the kind of soul-shaking ugly cry that you normally only see on hospital dramas.  But I feel foolish.  Because she was just a cat, right?  Cats die all the time.  And it’s true.  I’ve lost two other cats previously, and that wasn’t easy, either.  But.  She was nineteen.  I rescued her when she was found on the side of the road at four weeks old, sick and abandoned.  She was my companion for all of her life and half of mine.  And now she’s just gone.

I miss her terribly and I suspect that I will continue to miss her for a very long time.  Even though she was just a cat.  Just a cat who tried to sleep on my throat every night.  Who snuggled into my arms like a human baby.  Who stole the occasional tuna snack from the other cats.  Who loved me most and best for all of her life.  Who came into my life when I was barely into my twenties and newly married and traveled my journey by my side until I was old enough to have a kid driving.  Who outlived two other cats and tolerated two others, plus an obnoxious dog.  Who gave my children dirty looks for all of her life because she had seniority.  Who I could always count on to be by my side, no matter the circumstances.

Those of us who love pets will, at some time, have to say goodbye to them.  And we have to mourn quietly, because they were only animals and most people won’t understand our grief.  Anyone would understand the horrific pain if we lost a friend of nineteen years, but they expect me to be fine now.  Because she was just a cat.

What they don’t understand is that I just lost a friend of nineteen years.

squeakysleep

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The Luna Diaries, Episode 2 – Matrix Kitty

September 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Life with a kitten is trying.  When we brought Luna home, she literally could barely walk.  She fell down a lot and toddled around adorably.  However, within mere weeks, she learned the sheer joy of pouncing and leaping upon all the things and so the reign of Matrix Kitty began.

Things Luna has learned about pouncing and leaping:

  1. Cheese will take only so much of this nonsense before he body slams her and bites her throat.
  2. Pouncing on invisible items results in general ridicule.
  3. Penny does not fight back.

Babykitty may be young, but she’s no dummy.  She most often chooses the path of least resistance and straight up bullies my poor dog.

Let me explain about Penny.  She’s a creature of peace and love.  When Luna first arrived, Penny immediately adopted her and cuddled and snuggled with the poor helpless little creature.  She has lived with cats her whole life, but she has never before encountered the terrifying chaos of life with a kitten.  I can’t begin to imagine the confusion that is her life as this tiny little fluffball chases her around the house, trying to bite her ears.

Luna’s special attacks:

  1. The Matrix – a specialty move that involved leaping over Penny’s head, flipping off of her back and then launching a full attack upon the pug butt.
  2. The Dusty Rhodes – an impressive flying leap off of furniture (or the top rope, if you will) onto Penny as she walks by, unsuspecting.
  3. The Ninja – The sneak attack in which Luna materializes out of thin air to bite Penny’s fat rolls
  4. The Speedbag – Wherein Luna corners Penny and launches herself at her face, repeatedly, with an unmatched speed.

IMG_20150828_184445 (1)

Meanwhile, Penny just endures each attack with a scampering run and a very worried look.  While I feel for the poor dog, I can’t help but be entertained by a three-month-old kitten terrorizing a thirty pound pug.  I do have to give her props, though.  Even though Luna really deserves a solid dog smack, Penny still loves her, even allowing her to take a single green bean off her dinner plate every night and even sharing the occasional nap.  I can’t decide if she’s just the sweetest-tempered dog on the planet or if Cheese has convinced her that cats are, in fact, superior and to be feared.

The latter seems most likely.

Cheese the Fearsome

Cheese the Fearsome

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