Friday, March 7, 2008

Best cat ever

That Lucy was destined to be my cat, there can be no doubt. On the sunny June day in 1987 that my friend Kate took me to her aunt's farm in Danville, Ohio, to see the kittens that had been born to one of their barn cats a couple months earlier, I picked out a different one to take home. As I recall, it was an adorable little black and white ball of fluff, but it was feral enough to run under a bush when we tried to catch it.

"No problem," Kate's aunt said. "I'll round it up and bring it over later." At that, we went back to Kate's parents' farm for dinner, after which the aunt showed up with...a brown, stripy kitten with no tail.

"What happened to the black and white one?" I asked, not wanting to sound too disappointed.

"Oh, I never did find that one, but this one was right out in the open," she replied, depositing the impossibly tiny creature in my lap, where it promptly curled up and fell asleep.

That was nearly 21 years ago. Lucy was born on Easter in 1987, and almost made it to Easter 2008. She saw me through half my life: the end of college, more years of grad school than I care to admit, nine different apartments and houses, many bad relationships and one good marriage, two cross-country moves, and every other major (and minor) event of my adult life.

She was a rabble-rouser; a stubborn, spoiled brat; too smart for her own good and too sweet to let go of. She lived a good, long life, and died a relatively peaceful death. And I'm glad she's not in any more pain and confusion. But christ almighty, I'm heartbroken and I know it's only going to be worse over the next days and weeks as I wait for her to come up the stairs in the morning and she doesn't, or expect to find her curled up on the corner of the couch when I get home from work, and she isn't there.

But nobody wants to read a maudlin, sentimental blog about someone else's dead cat (however much I'd like to write one). Instead, I'll just say a public thank you to her here for her companionship, her spirit, and all the other gifts she's given me over the last two decades...including making it easy to know when the time had come to see her out of this world and into the next.

Vade in pace, sweet thing.


--S. said...

Oh, Rosemary! I'm so, so sorry to read this, but glad, too, that any pain she had is over with. My thoughts are with you.

Rose said...

Thanks so much, S. To quote one of your own blogs, it's sad that there's no one around now who knows "what we smell like despite our detergent-changing whims; the sound we make with our keys when we unlock the door." As a fellow cat-owner, I know you understand how empty the house seems without her. I hope Milo is doing well!

Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, Ph.D. said...

I'm glad I got to meet Lucy a few times. Wish I could say something to make it better.

Stash sends his love!


Rose said...

Thanks, Lynn. Just letting me know that Stash is still around makes it better! --R.