Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

Miss Lilly, our beloved cat, died last night at the vet’s office.

I received a call this morning that she had a cerebral edema (swelling to the brain). As she had been on pain meds since she was brought in on Tuesday morning, we expect that she did not suffer. She made great strides in regaining some of her functioning, but whatever impact she endured caught up with her.

Thank you all for your well-wishes yesterday.

I feel badly that our kitty didn’t have a familiar place and familiar people to be with these last 2 days when she was so compromised.

2 cats in 6 months seems especially unfair to us, to them.

This is why Dakin asks you to make the cats indoor cats when you adopt. But Miss Lilly was 3 years old when we got her and when we tried to keep her indoors, she peed on everything. Once we allowed her out, no more pee, and an obviously happier cat. And eff those who say not to use anthropomorphic terms to describe what animals feel. She was happier when she was allowed to go outside, you dig? I know you dig.

She seemed to be in her element outdoors, following me around when I gardened, lying in the sun, taking dust baths (like a pachyderm!), bringing us more rodent (and the occasional squirrel or rabbit) tributes than I could have dreamed possible.

I want to kick myself for it, but the other day (literally 5 days ago) I watched her cross the street, but first she waited for a car to pass, and I commented to my kid that she seemed to know about cars and to watch for them. But I also qualified my statement—you never know when a cat sees something it needs to rush toward, you never know if a driver is going too fast on your 25-mph side street or if they are going 60 mph on the other big road you live on where your other cat was found dead in the street in the dark in the night on Thanksgiving Eve.

I once killed a cat in my car, so there’s that. I didn’t see it, broad daylight, I wasn’t speeding, I still remember it, it was a short-haired gray cat, with a light-blue collar. Fuck it.

Lilly started out as a pretty miserable cat, but we were able, with good, grain-free food, lots of love and patience, to allow her true temperament to come out. She was a sweet-natured cat after all, after months of cranky, swat-and-claw-at-all-human-hands behavior, as well as lots of bad poop and stinky farts. We laughed about it and marveled at the change in her disposition after we got her on the good food.

Now I don’t know if it is the busy corner we live on (our friend down the block also lost a cat to this infernal street), but I feel like I’m being punished for my folly of letting the cats out. I have never had an indoor cat and the older adopted ones needed to be outdoors, there was no other way.

Annie and I will go and dig a hole near where Willow is buried and we will get Miss Lilly’s body and bury her. This is especially hard without Paul and Violet home. So sad.

We loved you Miss Lilly, we still do

requiescat in pace

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This January marks the one-year anniversary of adopting our 2 cats, Willow and Miss Lilly. I read somewhere on the internet that I’m not supposed to say adopted, but I don’t really remember why, having never finished reading the blog that told me this, but I think it had to do with me being human and cats being not-human. I think I am not supposed to use adopted because it identifies me as an imperialist or an over-anthropomorphizer, but I’m willing to live with it for now.

I have had cats most of my life. I found a cat when I was a very young girl and that cat became my mother’s after I went to college. Once, upon seeing a “Free Kittens” sign, live-in-boyfriend-at-the-time (who actually became Hubby) and I came home with a kitten to join my cat-at-the-time, Scamper. That free kitten became Jack, had her own litter (yes, before I was a responsible pet owner who got her cats “fixed” immediately) and we kept 2 of those, a black male who we named Spike and a gray female who we named Ray.  I have adopted kittens from animal shelters, twice, I think, but until January, 2010, I had never walked into a shelter and come home with an adult cat.

I am writing this to say how happy the cats have made me and how much they have added to our lives and household. In spite of Willow’s expensive and weird dental problems, Miss Lilly’s bad habits and not particularly imaginative name (we renamed Willow, who was given the uninspired moniker “TJ” at the shelter), the most revolting cat poop ever created (currently courtesy of Miss Lilly, though it had been pretty bad with Willow before the new food), pee in various boxes and on top of various cloths (you guessed it, Miss Lilly again), giving these 2 cats a home has been a very satisfying experience.

I came up with this little rhyme one morning while lazing in bed with one of my kids and Willow, and it pretty much sums up my feelings about my cats. It makes me laugh, but I wish I could remember to sing it when I am cleaning up nasty litter poo, or poo that someone simply chose against putting in the litter box and decided to put onto a clean sweatshirt instead.

(sung to the opening bars of  Benjamin Britten’s “This Little Babe”)

A kitty’s tongue is oh, so rough

it keeps her clean, it makes her tough

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