is with a very heavy heart that I write this article. The past
bunch of weeks have been great, but the past few days have been
very difficult, due to the loss of one of my closest friends,
a cat known as Little Cat.
I've lived with felines my whole life, and I've been mighty
attached to several of them, so I know very well the pain that
comes at the end of their stories. But I don't think I've ever
been quite as closely bonded to a pet as I was with Little Cat.
She was MY cat, and I was HER human -- Bald Human, as I liked
to imagine she referred to me.
Little Cat was a stray. As I mentioned in one of my earliest
web articles, titled "We
Found a Little Cat in the Woods," we discovered her
while hiking on the C&O Canal in the middle of nowhere, starving,
and we took her home with us. I'll never forget the way she came
running up to me that day... it was like we were old friends
seeing each other again for the first time in ages.
At first we thought she was a kitten because she was so tiny,
but the vet concluded that she was at least a year old, perhaps
two. So even though we'd named her Minkoff, the nickname of Little
Cat is what stuck.
We had a great 12 years together but a couple of weeks ago
she started behaving strangely, starting with wanting to sit
on my lap for several hours at a time instead of just one, then
becoming disinterested in food, generally listless, crawling
into tiny spaces and hiding, etc. The vet was perplexed, and
blood work and other tests showed nothing wrong. But she kept
declining, even as I started force-feeding her.
The problem was either a brain tumor or a brain-damaging blood
clot. What made this clear was this thing she started doing,
which we called "making the rounds." She'd relentlessly
wander from place to place, in a rather zombie-like manner, stopping
here and there to stare into corners, and getting stuck behind
the most trivial of barriers. At first it just seemed odd, but
when the vet heard this, she knew something was going seriously
wrong inside her head.
believe in giving my pets the dignity of a graceful and pain-free
exit, and cats make it very easy for you to know when they're
ready to go. She'd already given up the will to live, and painful
though it was, we helped her out the door. She went to sleep
very peacefully as I held her in my lap. She's buried now in
our backyard, and will provide excellent fertilizer for a new
weeping redbud tree, much like the
Aslan tree growing nearby.
I'm going to miss her SO much.
Otherwise, things have been going very well for us. Check
out the Pano
gallery I just posted, for a bunch of really cool panoramic
photos of things we've been doing these past couple of months.
(Included is a fun action
shot I took of Little Cat making her rounds during one of
our last days together.)
Thanks for reading, and have a great Whenever!