I haven’t been thinking about pool much for the last few days. I’ve been busy taking care of my cat – she’s dieing.
My wife named her Katie, after Katharine Hepburn, more than 19 years ago when we adopted her from an animal shelter up in Kalispell, Montana. According to the adoption papers, her former owners had been calling her Zippy, a name, we were to learn later, that was quite appropriate. They also had noted that “she bites” which was also true, though, over the years, her biting most often made me laugh rather than cry out in pain. And, they claimed, six month old Zippy ate too much.
We originally acquired Kate in hopes that she would be a companion to our male cat, Jimmy. Helen had done some research on the matter of cat compatibility and she believed it would be more advisable to get a female than another male. Advisable or not, it didn’t work out – Jimmy just didn’t take to the competition. At best, he learned to tolerate her. I wrote more about those times in my short story The Story of Jimmy, A Native Montanan Cat.
Anyway, Jimmy passed away in 1997, and we’ve been a one-cat family ever since. Some time later this year, Katie was due to turn 20. In cat years, that would be 92 – quite an admirable achievement. As is, looks like we’ll have to settle for 90.
Up until just recently, she’s been her old zippy self, racing around the house, taking flying leaps from the stove to the top of the refrigerator to the top of the kitchen cabinets. Reminiscent of the times long ago when she and Jimmy used to wander into the garage late at night and leap from the cab of my pickup up into the rafters where they would sleep on a plywood platform I had built for them until they heard us stir in the morning. Then we would hear them thud, one at a time, back down onto the pickup. Oh, where has the time gone.
I’m not ashamed to say I love my Katie. I cherish all the times she sought me out for the warm comfort of my lap. I know there are those who might say she’s only a cat, but that school of thought doesn’t register with me. She’s my cat and I won’t soon get over losing her.
Note, Feb. 12, 2009: Katie (1989 – 2009)
With a last burst of energy, Katie joined me on the couch last night and, at 10:55 PM, lying beside me, she passed from this world. Having lived a full and happy life, for almost 20 years she was part of our home, our family, and our lives. We’re just going through the motions, today, remembering better days.