Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ms. T.

Cats have a language all their own. Ms. T. had several ways of telling us what was on her mind.

The following is a short list that she taught us:

Merroowwww: "It's dinner time, and I'm starving, get busy already!" (Even though there was generally still some food in her bowl from lunch.)

Merl?: "Can I come up onto your lap? I know you're busy with the shiny screen, but I want up."

Mew! with head butting: "I need to be pet, brushed and loved. NOW!"

Silent look with slitted eyes: "I like you. A lot. Keep up the petting." (Note: this works in reverse - most cats respond favorably and will come to you when you slit your eyes at them without blinking.)

Matph!: "There's a spider in the kitchen, come take it away. I"M not touching it."

MerROW?: "Where are you?" (Repeated until we went to her -- or until she found us.)

Chi-i-i-i-rrruppur-r-r-r-r: "Absolutely contented with life, ahh yes, right there below my chin."

M-e-e-a-a-p??: "Can I please have another kitty cookie?" Alternately: "More catnip please?" (Sounds like a broken meow with spaces.)

I met Ms. T. a little over 10 years ago. She came as part of a package deal along with my soul mate. As I understand events, Ms. T showed up on a certain doorstep the day my partner moved into a new apartment. She had been abandoned by the previous occupant. My partner took her to a vet, who informed her that she had a very healthy 1+ year old cat. A few shots and a spaying later she was taken back home and began a journey across 16 years of life with my partner - 10 of which were shared with me.

I got used to having her on my lap while at the computer. She was very polite about it, would keep off the keyboard (mostly) and was content to snuggle into me for hours while I worked.

Last Friday she began having problems walking up and down the stairs. Saturday saw some improvement in mobility but she stopped eating. Sunday evening she started to slide downhill fast. Monday morning at 2:30 she woke us up crying under the bed. She was unable to walk, and could not understand why her back legs would not support her weight. Her body was already cooler than normal. All morning we kept her warm, gave her water via bottle and tried to make her comfortable. We had planned to take her to a Vet later that morning, but she didn't make it that long. I am not sure it would have made any difference anyway.

It feels odd blogging without her on my lap. I never thought it would be this hard to lose her. I've lost several pets over the years, but this seems far harder than those previous losses.

She was special. She was dearly loved as a part of our family.

The last thing she said early Monday morning to us was "MerROW?" She died in my arms shortly after . . .