Thursday, August 16, 2018
I was going to meet my friend, Karen, today because she was dropping her husband off at the airport, and Mate was going to pick the kids up.
It was like a special day, just for me. I was going to talk to a grownup and we would knit together and lunch.
But first I had to walk the dogs. I left the back door open because it was a cool morning and I like the house cool, and also because we hadn't seen Gordie for a couple of days and he was due to return at any moment, looking a little scrawny but smug, as usual.
I did not expect him to be dying on the bathroom floor when I got home.
Dehydrated, emaciated (he hadn't been gone that long!), and irritated, he was counting his breaths and trying to crawl behind the cat box, as a last fuck you.
I need to clarify here.
This cat hated me.
He REALLY hated me.
I was responsible for the two worst things in his life.
Sin 1-- I took Chicken to school. He was her cat. She'd kept him in her room for his first two months. She was his only love, and I took her away, and he never forgot that and never forgave me.
Sin 2--I brought the hated dogs to this household, and he LOATHED the hated dogs and threatened them with death. Hourly.
So he hated me.
Until he tried to die on my bathroom floor.
I threw him in the car carrier and hauled him to the vets (and told Karen I'd be late!) The vets took one look at him and said, "We can give him fluids and maybe do some bloodwork... and maybe take a temperature... and probably put him down."
I told them I'd wait to see what the bloodwork revealed. Maybe he got locked in someone's basement and just needed fluids, right?
So they called me about six-thirty--after I warned the kids and told Chicken and everybody was all prepared. They'd been going to let him come home with us and see about fluids in the morning, but he'd started seizing as soon as they took him off life support.
It was time to say goodbye.
He was Chicken's buddy through junior high. He was her best friend and her sanity and the one thing that kept her from just losing it when she was bullied. He was king of the dogs and they knew it. He stole lunch meat from the kids' sandwiches as I was making them and more than once I got a mouthful of paw because he tried a stealth ninja steal the pasta ON MY FORK.
He was a total slut for hair dye and my husband's sweat after a soccer game and he never saw blocking knitwear on the couch that he didn't want to make sweet lurve to.
Every now and then when I was sure he was Satan's own turd coming to stink up our shit, he did something really super sweet or adorable--like go ballistic on blocking knitwear or licking my hand--and I'd remember that he was Chicken's cat and he loved her and I loved him for it.
He wasn't attractive. He wasn't sweet. He was, in fact, sort of a dick cat, and trying to die on MY floor--behind the litter box which is damned inaccessible-- is par for the course.
He'd go out in the most dick way possible.
I was really fucking rooting for you to be a giant pain in our ass for a couple more years. You will be missed. The other cats are already calling your name. The kids are devastated. Chicken is destroyed.
We tried to give you a good life.
We were pretty sure being an indoor cat would destroy a little bit of your soul every day. You weren't meant for that.
But you seemed to like most of the family besides me, and you know, you're good to them and I can forgive you pretty much anything.
And we're gonna fucking miss you.
And I'm trying to be really mad at you for dying and I'm almost ready to give it up.
You were a funny quirky asshole cat and you were part of our family for eleven years and no amount of reminding myself of all the times you crapped under the kitchen table because you gave zero fucks and wanted us to know it is going to make the next few weeks any fucking better.
Rest in peace.