I miss my kitty

This is going to be a downer of a post. If you’re already having a bad day, I recommend skipping it or reading it later. It really doesn’t have anything to do with kink either, unless you want to take this as further proof that doms are in fact human and vulnerable. It’s also kind of a self-indulgent list of all my favourite memories of my kitty.

My cat recently got sick. Then she got really sick, then we took her to the vet, then she got even worse and we had to put her to sleep. I’ve never lost anyone I was really close to before, so I’m taking this pretty hard. We had cats when I was a kid, but we lived out in the middle of nowhere and they were outdoor cats. When they got sick (if they did get sick and not eaten by a cougar or something), they just slunk away and we never saw them again.

Ginger, on the other hand, died in my arms when it was clear that she wasn’t going to get better. The only thing she hated more than strange people was strange places – I couldn’t put her through any more time in the hospital. I wish she could’ve died at home, but at the end she was in such bad shape that she didn’t appear to know where she was, and putting her through half an hour in the car would’ve just been cruel. She was briefly lucid enough to recognize me, though. The vet was amazed she responded to me at all, but when I started petting her, she purred her little heart out with the last of her strength. After a few minutes of that, she seemed to lose track of what was going on. We put her to sleep not long after that, but I think she was really already gone.

When she got really sick, all she wanted was to be near me. She could barely walk, but she dragged herself to me. She knew something was terribly wrong, she was scared and she wanted me to make it better, but there was nothing I could do to fix it.

I miss her all the time. Missing her isn’t the worst part, though. It feels almost like a tribute to her, a price I’m willing to pay if this is what it takes to really love a pet. The worst part is the self-doubt and might-have-beens. Should I have taken her to the vet earlier? Was I good enough to her in her final days? Did she know I loved her even when I was annoyed that she was always under foot? Should I have blown off work and stayed with her at the hospital until the vet threw me out?

Ginger absolutely hated strange places. The vet’s office was the worst place on earth as far as she was concerned. And the vet never did find out exactly what was wrong with her. Maybe keeping her home until she absolutely needed medication to make her comfortable was the kindest thing I could’ve done. Then again, if I had known how quickly it was going to go when she got really sick, I would’ve found a way to have her put to sleep at home. But on the other hand, having a stranger poke at her while she was still strong enough to fight back would’ve been miserable for everyone.

Even though she was terribly sick, she still managed to bite two of the staff at the hospital. When she was healthy, she growled at and hid from strangers, destroyed furniture and carpet like it was her mission in life to make sure we never got our damage desposit back, chewed up anything plastic we accidentally left out (the zipper pulls on my backpack look like someone tried to stab them to death with a thumbtack), and regularly tried to make me trip and break my neck on the way down the stairs in the morning. When she was feeling crafty, she would even leave her toys at the bottom of the stairs for us to trip on.

Coming down stairs in the morning and coming home from work are the hardest times of day for me. She was so happy to see me in the morning, even when she was grumpy that I hadn’t given her fresh water recently enough. It’s hard leaving the bedroom knowing she’ll never try to trip me down the stairs again. Coming home from work is hard because we used to meow at each other when I got home. I picked up the habit from my boyfriend – Ginger would meow at me, I’d meow back at her, and we’d have a little meowversation while I put my stuff away and got settled. Sometimes, once I sat down on the couch, she’d come stand with her front paws on my knee, then reach up and pat my face with one paw. Then I’d lean down and she’d sniff at my face and tickle me with her whiskers.

It took her weeks to warm up to me when I moved in with my boyfriend, but eventually she decided I was an acceptable source of pettings. When I was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table my laptop lives on, she would just come stand on my lap, as if to say ‘It’s time to pet me, monkey. You weren’t doing anything important, were you?’. When I was lying on the couch reading she’d come stand on me too. For a very small cat, she could put a shocking amount of pressure right on my boobs. Sometimes she’d stand behind me on the couch, put her paws on my shoulder, and tickle me by sniffing at the back of my head and trying to chew on my hair. I guess the furry little weirdo liked the smell of my shampoo. She’d start licking me for no reason, too. I was always a little worried she was sizing up her food reserves in case some day the kibble stopped magically refilling itself.

The very first time I got a good look at her, I only saw her little face as she peeked around the corner. For a full grown cat, she was a tiny little beast. She got a look at me, then ran back upstairs and hid under the desk. Eventually she decided I probably wouldn’t eat her if she spent a little time in the same room as me, but trying to touch her was just not on. A while after that, she’d sniff at me suspiciously and let me pet her a little, but only if my boyfriend was around. When I had a relative staying with me for a little while, she told me that Ginger was much friendlier when I was around. I like to think I made her feel safe. She would hide behind my legs if there were strangers in the room, or if she could hear them outside. She was also my early-warning system for the maid service showing up – she liked to sit right on top of my feet in the morning, and when they parked in the driveway she’d start growling. It made her whole body vibrate just like a notification from a phone with the ringer turned off.

To hear me talk to her, you’d think her name was ‘terrible little beast’, ‘dammit cat, it’s like you want to get stepped on’ or catbeast. I’d ask her ‘Who’s a terrible little beast?’, she’d meow at me, and I’d say ‘That’s right cat, it’s you! Now how about you stop clawing up the couch?’

She absolutely loved laser pointers or any sort of bright light she could chase. My boyfriend tells me that when she was a kitten, she’d run after a laser pointer down the half flight of stairs to the door, back up those stairs, and then up the next flight to the landing, then back down over and over until she was panting. I’ve never seen a cat pant, but if any cat would run herself ragged trying to kill a laser pointer, it would be her. One day I came home to the most incredible racket, very much like a cat throwing herself at the wall. It turns out my boyfriend was using a cd to shine a light on the wall, and Ginger wanted to kill it so badly she was indeed throwing herself at it.

She also loved birds and bugs and basically anything flying around outside. She wouldn’t go outside, though, she just wanted to watch the birds very closely and chirp at them. We tried leaving the balcony door open for her, but she wanted nothing to do with it. She would sometimes poke her head around the corner when we came home and stare out at the terrifying land beyond the door, but as fascinated as she was by it, she flatly refused to go out there. When there was something interesting happening outside, sometimes she’d stand up on her hind legs to get a better view. She’d do that to bunt my hand if I was standing up too, it was the cutest thing.

I miss my kitty.

10 thoughts on “I miss my kitty

  1. Losing a beloved pet is so hard, but the pain is *always* worth it for the love and pleasure they bring into your life.

    I know that no words will help, but I’m sorry you are going through this.

    Ferns

  2. Witnessed. She sounds like such a wonderful cat. No, really. Wariness and grumpiness and general evilness are fine traits in a cat. Should not be undervalued.

    It is not a downer to speak of such things. It is necessary and good and in time it may help you heal. I was laughing and smiling, and I am glad you wrote this, though not glad you had to. Glad to have read it.

    I lost my own beloved hate beast two years ago, and it was like having my heart cut into with a knife. I’ve had other cats, but she was special in a way that no others have been. She loved nobody but me, tolerated nobody but me. But for me, she would ride on my shoulders and we would talk to each other and she accompanied me everywhere I went like a hairy shadow that smelled of socks and mushrooms. She was a hero cat and saved me, I think, when I was in such a mixed state I could not sleep. She lay down on top of me every night, knowing I would not have the heart to move her. A behavior she had never exhibited before and discontinued as soon as the meds started working.

    I HAVE lost human family members. This loss was just as terrible. In many ways, since I came from a “difficult” family, and did not see them more than a few times a year, this is . . . so much worse. There is no “just a cat.” Give the finger to anyone who says there is.

    Forgive me for committing poetry, but I offer you this, which I have given to every friend who loses a cat, and which I held close, myself, when I lost her:

    http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/260952.html

    The picture at the bottom is the last picture of her I remember taking.

    My deepest condolences in your grief. May all who will miss her find peace soon.

    • Wariness and grumpiness and general evilness are fine traits in a cat.

      The poor vet was actually worried when she stopped trying to murder the staff. And she was afraid I’d get bitten when I tried to give Ginger a pill for them, but she wouldn’t hurt me. Still wouldn’t take the pill, but she didn’t even scratch me.

      It is not a downer to speak of such things. It is necessary and good and in time it may help you heal.

      It actually really helped to write this post. I think I needed to get it out, as well as have a record of everything I can remember about her. I get so scared I’ll forget the sound of her meow, how soft her fur was, the tiny warm weight of her on my lap, the way she’d let me pick her up, lay her on my lap, and pet her fuzzy little tummy.

      When people she didn’t know came over, she’d hide under the computer desk and hiss at them. Even my sister and her girlfriend, who absolutely love cats and wanted so badly to make friends with Ginger. They got to pet her just a little, but she only grudgingly tolerated anyone but me and the boyfriend. She followed me around like a puppy, if I so much as went to the bathroom she’d be right outside when I opened the door. She was actually kind of a nuisance first thing in the morning – she’d bat at my ankles, follow me around the kitchen and get underfoot, try to bunt cupboard doors closed again when I opened them, or try to get in the cupboards. Ginger was a contrary little beast sometimes, if she wasn’t supposed to be somewhere, that’s where she most wanted to go.

      she accompanied me everywhere I went like a hairy shadow that smelled of socks and mushrooms.

      Hee! That’s just adorable.

      I lost my own beloved hate beast two years ago, and it was like having my heart cut into with a knife.

      I never really understood what ‘heart wrenching’ meant until now. It felt like someone had my heart in a pair of vice grips and was trying to wrench it out of my chest. I wish you hadn’t gone through it either, but it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Also, the phrase ‘hate beast’ is fantastic.

      In many ways, since I came from a “difficult” family, and did not see them more than a few times a year, this is . . . so much worse.

      I can understand that. There are people I would not be uncomplicatedly sad to lose.

      Thanks for the poem.

      • I am glad that anything I said helped. It is a wretched thing to endure and a terrible place to be. It’s worth it, having pets to bring us all the good stuff pets bring us, but good lord, it is intermittently agonizing.

        At least it is also frequently hilarious and full of good and happy things. I hope that soon those memories outweigh the hurting part.

  3. You know what else sucks about grief? Finally starting to feel better and then being seized by the fear that you’re somehow betraying your loved one by not being sad enough.

    The way it sneaks up on you sucks mightily too. Earlier this evening I was going to stretch my legs out under the coffee table, and by force of habit started leaning over to see where Ginger was so I wouldn’t ram my feet into her.

    In less sad news, I remembered a couple of funny stories about her. Ginger would leave her toys strewn all over the place, but she was weirdly fastidious about the random stuff she found to chew on. Ponytail holders, rubber bands, twist ties, whatever it was, she left it very neatly dead center in her food dish. I found out she did that when I was getting my lunch out of the fridge one morning and discovered my missing ponytail holder in her food dish. Once it was soaked in cat spit and dredged in kibble crumbs I didn’t particularly want it back, but I have to respect an animal who would always leave her things where she could find them again. God knows I have yet to master that one.

    Also, (and this may be TMI for people who’ve met me in person), Ginger liked to lie on the couch with me when I was sick. Unfortunately, I have trouble dropping off for a nap even when I’m sick, and my go-to sleep-aid is an orgasm. Do you know how hard it is to get in the mood when there’s a cat at the other end of the couch staring at you reproachfully because you won’t lie still and let her go to sleep?

    • Long, long ago, I lived with a roommate who had a cat. The cat and I bonded; she got into the habit of lying on my chest while I lay in bed reading or watching tv. On one notable occasion I was seized by the urge to wank, and attempted to do this without displacing the cat. She was fine with it at first. Then my orgasm-breathing scared her and she punched me in the face and took off running.

  4. This was not a downer of a post at all. It was a very sweet tribute to a loved family member. It’s hard to lose a loving pet that brings such happiness into your life. I’m sorry for your loss.

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