Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Not Fleck, not this time.
There's a cat-shaped hole in the bed between our heads, and it's hard to sleep without the sound of a 15-pound cat lying next to my head purring. The food bowls are untouched, and I don't have to step over this black and white semi-mobile carpet lying across the top step going down into the den. Last night we put our cat to sleep. Bela, a 16-year-old black and white kitty, was suffering from kidney failure, and we decided that it was best to alleviate his pain than to begin an endless lather, rinse, repeat of hospitalizations and relieving the symptoms for a little bit, only to have him get worse again, get put back in the hospital and go through the whole mess again.
I grew up in the country, and animals died. It was just one of the facts of life. You never bothered to get too attached, because they probably wouldn't be around too long. They'd either get run over in the highway, or wander off, or unfortunately decide the under a lawnmower was a good place to nap, or whatever. So regardless of my natural affinity for cats, I never got attached. It just didn't make sense.
Things are different when you live in town. Your pets can stay indoors, where it's safe, and become part of the family. I could pretty much tell you what Bela was thinking at all times, because we'd been together for so long. He was Suzy's 21st birthday present, and they'd been inseparable ever since. I've been part of that party for 12 1/2 years, longer than I've known almost everyone that I'm not related to.
So today I'm at work after about four hours sleep, glad I have my own office, so I can tell everyone to go fuck off and mourn my cat in peace.
Suzy just called, and she's in and out of the house today, experiencing firsthand the wierdness of the not. The not having to watch to make sure the kitty doesn't run out the door. The not having to step over him as you go down the stairs. The not having him run down the stairs when you approach the food bowls. The not having him jump up on your lap as soon as you get comfy on the couch. The not hearing him paw with his clawless front paws at the bedroom door to be let in to snuggle.
Posted by John G. Hartness at 9:58 AM