Jul 17 2009

The post I've been putting off.

, Feline-ing , ,

I've been feeling down a bit this week. My pussycat, Miss Kitty Puss-Puss, who has been my companion for 18-1/2 years sucumbed to Intestinal Lymphocarsoma. She was euthanized on Friday, July 10th.

I originally got Miss Kitty by default. I had been living with a woman in Calvert County in 1991 and it was not working out. We had gotten her in the fall of the previous year when she was about 9 months or so old. The following spring she was pregnant and gave birth to a litter of six kittens. I moved to Annapolis in July 1992 and the woman moved to North Carolina. I wound up with the cat. Two of the kittens found homes and the rest went to the shelter when I moved in with my mother.

Miss Kitty never grew much larger than she was when we got her at 9 months. She was tiny. Her weight hovered around 6-7 lbs. Soon after moving she developed an allergy to fish. According to the doctor that isn't uncommon in cats who have early litters. Miss Kitty would suffer from allergies to fish for the rest of her life.

At one point my mother acquired a cat named Bailey. He was a monster of a cat weighing nearly 25 lbs. Miss Kitty laid down the law, he wasn't in charge and Bailey obeyed. Bailey went ona diet and lost a few pounds with Mom but he was always nearly 3-4 times the sice of Miss Kitty. Bailey died of renal failure from feline diabetes in 2004.

I moved out to my own place in 1999 and Miss Kitty came with me. She had the run of the house, slept on my bed and napped on my belly while I watched TV. At one point I thought t o get another cat as a companion for Miss Kitty and found a mild-mannered long haired cat (whose name I have sadly forgotten). Miss Kitty didn't like it one bit. She bullied the other cat and hissed and growled at her constantly. So the other cat moved in with some friends where she lives today and is much loved. Miss Kitty had laid down the law...she was the ONLY cat.

In 2003 I met and maried Heather. Miss Kitty and Heather got along well. Except that Heather now laid down the law for Miss Kitty. No longer was the bedroom a place for cats. No longer was the cat allowed on the table. And no longer was the cat in charge. Miss Kitty ceded grudgingly. It was pretty clear that Heather wasn't going away like the other cat had.

When we bought the house in Edgewater in 2004 Miss Kitty discovered that there were lots of places to hide and that the back porch was a fantastic place to lounge in the sunlight. For a short while she was allowed to roam outdoors freely. But two neighbors' cats had claimed the back yard as their territory. Miss Kitty fought but she was too small to win and was soon driven into a tree. She was rescued but caught fleas and had plenty of bad experiences those first few months that she was not allowed out ever again except by accident or with supervision.

Occasionally the other cats would slip into the porch or even the house on one instance (thanks to a cat-flap we weren't carefully guarding). Miss Kitty dutifully imprisoned the intruders in bathrooms and raised the alarm so we could eject the interlopers. She was less effective against the squirrels that managed to chew holes in the porch to reach the birdseed, but she wasn't much of a hunter.

Miss Kitty was playful and energetic all the way through last year when she finally started to run down. Where she could be counted on to chase a laser pointer for a few minutes before, she could only manage a few meager swipes at it now. I knew after this winter that she was getting close to the end.

I am not in the market for a new pet nor am I going to go forever without any more animals, but Miss Kitty was loved, and will always have a very special place in my heart. Good night puss.