I know I haven’t mentioned my cats, well cat, in a while. The wound of Zoey’s gone too soon departure is still a bit raw. Thinking about that cat, her sweet gentleness, makes me sad. Even the vet, moments before administering Zoey’s ‘Big Sleep’, opined how the good ones die young and meanies live on and on. She had spent the better part of the day with Tigger who wasn’t happy about being at her cat clinic.
A couple of days before Zoey’s appointment Tigger got sick, throwing up and behaving like he too had one foot in the grave. The day of ‘The Big Sleep’ he was more tore up than Zoey who moved around surprisingly well for a cat down to fur and bones. While a dying Zoey purred and rubbed against my legs Tigger’s ailing prompted us to call their owner.
She arrived anxious to get her favorite to the vet. The tabby didn’t go willingly, putting up a surprisingly big fuss. The two had a nearly decade-long history together and he always rushed to greet her when she entered the house. Each visit she scooped him into her arms and hugged him until he bit her and she dropped him to the floor. Still I didn’t doubt their love for each other.
That day Tigger, the alpha male, let it be known he didn’t want to leave us. US, as in Zeke and I. Knowing that bossy, don’t touch me until I tell you to rascal, didn’t want to leave us was sobering to say the least. So while Tigger got whisked off to the vet, Zoey and I spent our last hours together. Later when we gathered in the small examining room, the vet assured us she would feel no pain. Zoey was scared but composed as the small woman lovingly stroked her and said what a sweet cat she was.
Then she mentioned Tigger. He hadn’t been nice to her staff or the other cats. Even after being given treats, he showed them no love. She diagnosed him with being a drama queen. Which led to her diatribe about the good sweet ones dying too young while mean sourpusses stick around forever. I thought it was strange for a cat doctor to actually say out loud but Tigger being Tigger isn’t for the faint of heart.
Zoey’s been gone for over two months now and Tigger is still Tigger but noticeably changed too. He doesn’t spend much time outside anymore. Which I don’t mind especially after having watched that video about the secret lives of cats. Who knew house cats turned into superheroes once outside, ridding the world of unwanted critters. I suspect like a war-weary soldier, he wants to kick back for a while. Also, he won’t admit it but I know he misses Zoey.
For now he makes do with me. As loyal acolyte my job is to: search for his favorite food; brush and stroke all except for the undercarriage unless I’m ready for a good clawing; push open the cracked bathroom door for him and turn the water on to a drizzle while he jumps on the closed lid of the commode; wait for him to dive on the vanity then wait as he nuzzles his head against the spout before proceeding to stroke him from head to arched tail when he finally begins to lap the water.
He makes a little ‘umph’ noise when he jumps to the floor then dashes off and dives on my bed. Multitasking, I type, surf the net, use cell, go through mail, prick finger, test blood, inject with insulin, and whatever else, all while stroking and playing with him until finally he traipses off to my pillows and goes to sleep. Sometime I wish Tigger was a dog or a houseplant until it hits me they wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling.