Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sophie took a walk

A couple days back I was decorating my porch with Halloween matter when Sophie, a mixed Siamese with the vocal cords to prove it, followed me out to the front porch while I hung a garland a fake autumn leaves (nothing screams "harvest" like plastic). I kept on eye on her and she just sat there gazing down the stairwell. I continued with the festive decorations, a pumpkin here, witch there and checked on her throughout the afternoon. At one point I noticed she hadn’t even laid in the sunny patch and watched her look at me then at the stairs, I gave her a scolding look and said "don't even think about it Ms. Hairball!" and put some flowers in a plastic pumpkin head. Neighbors came and went which typically sent her running back into the house but she sat there unmoved and stoically staring down the staircase.

It was a beautiful fall day and I got a lot done, the home was decorated with plastic autumnal frivolities and I settled in for the evening when I realized she never came back in. No loud demands of "canned food now, bitches - no, no...The other can". No sounds of kitty horking. I searched that night, the next two days, asked neighbors the usual "lost animal" tricks - she's gone. She was sick, old, weak, tired and hadn't touch food the two days prior to her leaving. I'm thinking she just went off to die. She had that look in her eyes - "stairs be damned bitch, I'm tired and I am gone!” they say animals do that, the selfish little beasts.

She was never a cuddly cat. She had a raised spine rendering her unable to jump high or land gracefully like other cats. We didn't even like each other for the first year or so after she came to live in my home. She was "rescue" kitty, having just given birth, angry & scared with a guesstimated age of 2 years or so...heavy on the "or so" with a chip on her shoulder. Always having been an outdoor cat she brought home gifts of dead birds and shrews into the house, some say tokens of love, I say meat, this horrified the indoor cat sensibilities of Ruby who I can only imagine thought..."that did NOT come from a bag!" She shredded the furniture, the walls, books, Ruby and me. She once brought a new roll of paper towels into the living, looked at me and then proceeded to rip the shit out it in a very Soprano's veiled threat kind of way. She was intimidating to say the least.

I don't know the exact time we silently agreed to cohabitate civilly, but we got into a groove; she tolerated the smoking, the parties, floods, moving - twice within a year and the intermittent parade of insignificant others and I learned to patch up my furniture, Ruby and buy band-aids regularly. She had a pampered life, beds, toys, steady supply of catnip and I happily obliged her and as long as no blood was shed things were good.

The past few months were hard on her, I bathed her, brushed her, clipped her nails, the very nails that once punctured a vein after a "you don't own me, bitch" thwapt to my wrist and blood spurted wildly all over clean laundry for what seemed like hours. I've been cleaning up endless piles of puke, near misses and no so near misses by the cat box. She had recently stopped chasing bugs, playing, refused catnip and replaced it with sad howling. It broke my heart and keeping her alive was extraordinarily selfish of me so I decided that I was going to have her put down this week. Well, she obviously had other plans and decided to take matters into her own umm...paws and took a walk instead.

She will be missed and I have the love shaped scars to prove it.