Warren, Connecticut. Today was one of the roughest days of our lives. Anne and I had to put Kitty, a cat we’ve had just shy of twenty years to sleep.
She’s been living with a worsening case of kidney disease for over a year and in the past month she started showing signs that it had finally caught up with her.
This cat got into the hearts of everyone who knew her and mine more than anyone else’s. Anne has had many cats although none this long and none who formed such a tight attachment to her people. This was my first cat and I used to dislike cats, am even allergic to them, but this cat somehow worked through all of that and became my good friend.
Anne’s younger daughter Bonnie was given this cat on her 15th birthday in May of 1989. I met Anne in June of that year and the first time I was at their house this cat who was then a very tiny kitten, crawled up my bare leg and went to sleep on my chest. I married Anne and the cat.
Bonnie went off to high school, Anne went off to teach, and I was left at home with the cat who, when she wasn’t outside was sleeping on my scanner and batting my pens off the desk.
The Kitty was a combination of professional cat who was comfortable in the wild woods and also, unlike other more aloof outside cats, a real member of our family who enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed her. Anne tells me this is unusual, most cats are one or the other.
Kitty had too many adventures and misadventures to list here but know that she led a full and wonderful cat life and was extremely well cared for.
It took us a week to get to today: we’ve been giving her pain injections, a twice a day IV and watching her deteriorate and we finally felt that the most humane thing to do was to put her to sleep. Trust me when I tell you that we’ve been crying off and on for a a while and this was a tough decision to make, not because it might not be right for Kitty but because it hurt us so much to make it.
Our vet and her assistant handled it wonderfully and they made the process as smooth and supportive as possible.
Over the past two days I dug a grave for Kitty in Anne’s flower garden back by the stream. It’s a garden that Kitty liked to sit in.
Some of you know that in a past life I was a potter and I decided to line the bottom of the grave with ceramic balls or hollow rocks I’d made and had in the garden. I also covered Kitty (wrapped in her favorite blanket) with the rocks and Anne and I covered the hole with dirt. I put a rock cairn on top to protect the hole from scavengers but next summer I’ll remove the stones and Anne will plant the spot with an entire package of catnip, which she’ll repeat each year.
We really loved this cat and we miss her terribly.
Rest in peace Kitty.
I have over 100 images of Kitty in addition to what’s on flickr now and I’ll be putting them up in the next few days, eventually turning the collection into a slide show. As we find more pictures of her from years past we’ll scan them and add them to the collection.
Slide Show: Images of Kitty