Every morning there was the mewing. Time replace the water in the dish. It's time. Wake up, wake up ... wake uuuuup. Mew.
That's Skit. She is, was, an orange cat. Loved water. Liked to follow you in to the bathroom. Well, not me as much, but my wife. And she was well into her years.
We put her down today. Her kidneys were failing.
I want to write a love letter of some kind for cats, to say that they're amazing beings and whatnot. Cats never really did much for me, honestly. Yeah, I see your cat, cute girl, yeah, he's sweet and whatnot. Cute cat name too. Alsace is the name, huh? Is that where your crush from your summer semester overseas was from?
Such was my opinion of cats, largely. And such will remain my opinion of cats, largely. Even though I was bitten in the face by one and nearly lost my nose in the incident, I'm kind of a dog guy. And that's not choosing dogs over cats. They exist in silos. Can't choose one over the other. I'd unfair to both.
So I married Lauren, moved into a new place and acquired two cats. One cat, well he has always partial to my wife. He was the more nimble and could jump on the bed, for one thing. There was that one time when he hissed at me, too. Out of circumstance I wound up with Skit. In truth, I just did what I normally do when comes time to dealing with cats ... acknowledge, then ignore.
Over time, and late evenings in front of the TV, Skit would come to hang out. Little orange circle curled up, with a pink nose and then snoring. Or making biscuits until little clear drips of snot dripped from her nose. Within a year, almost nightly, she would curl up next to me, and - seeing as she was filled with lavender and chamomile - have me purring alongside in her sleep too.
Humans don't purr, silly.
And every day, the mewing. Fill the water, hang out in the bathroom. Don't, in general, touch her. Kind of on the cat-spectrum. Really into dinosaurs. Chased her little felt-covered mice. And in recent weeks my little orange fluffy friend wouldn't jump up on the sofa anymore. A trip to the vet came, and she went down quickly.
The vet brought her in to the room on a blanket, and Skit was very nearly limp. With her last little bit of energy this afternoon, Skit put her head on Lauren's arm. Lauren placed a couple of Skit's little mice in front of her and stroked her thick fur. And she was purring, again. So loudly. I rubbed he orange little head on the forehead. And then, she's gone.
I'm still not a cat person. But I am for her. For both of them.
Update: Just got this video from Lauren, something I sent her a couple weeks ago. At risk of being too sappy, I'll just stick this right here.