I was supposed to write a post about the lunch that I had yesterday with three of my lady friends but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Trust me, writing about that would be infinitely more fun and less painful than writing what I will next.
Last night, Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, Angela and I had to put down one of our family members. Angela’s cat, Tia, had started to have severe difficulty breathing. She had several health issues so in some sense it was no real surprise, but it doesn’t make it any less painful. Her lungs had filled with so much fluid that she was having a hard time breathing. We were going to have them tap her lungs and drain it but since she had heart disease her heart was swollen and whenever they would try to tap her lungs they would also get the heart. The only recourse was to put her down.
I don’t know if I can speak for Angela, but I’m pretty sure she feels the same way when I say that our pets are our children. This is a very deep loss for our immediate family. Rather than dwell on the negative aspects of her passing, I thought I would share some of my memories of this crabby little kitten:
She was bitchy, crotchety old girl. When I first met Tia she was one crabby kitty. She looked at me and Farley (my Springer Spaniel) and wanted absolutely nothing to do with us. When Angela and I finally started living together, Tia was poised to pack her suitcases and haul ass out of there, especially since by that time we brought another cat into our lives, Cleo. She would stare at you and just bitch like nobody’s business. It was both quite funny and adorable. This little orange cat’s brow would furrow and all you would hear is ‘Meow! MEOW!’. Angela called her a Screaming MiMi.
She was like the ninja. A screaming, orange ninja. Whenever someone would enter the same room that she was in she would immediately look for someplace to disappear. We thought it was absolutely hilarious when she disappeared under our bed. We thought she had opened a nightclub, like a ‘Studio 54’. Sometimes she would dive under the bed and yell at us. And purr. When we looked under the bed we discovered that she had pretty much shred the fabric on the bottom of our box springs and, at one point, mad a hammock for herself.
She was small. Of all our pets she was the most petite. There was an elegance about her size. Here dainty body was the complete opposite of Farley, Tobey and Cleo. She was also armed – a full set of razor sharp nails. Many of us in the family suffered scratches from her. I think the only one she never took a swipe at was Farley. Her size made you want to just pick her up and cuddle her, but that was pretty much similar to picking up an angry Velociraptor from Jurassic Park.
She became a ‘normal cat’. For the past few months Tia began to come out into the open more. She would lay down in the middle of the floor and hang out in the kitchen with the rest of the family. We would feed her on one of our counters in order to keep her food away from Tobey. She used to be able to just jump up to it, but as she grew weaker it became difficult for her. Her method for getting to her food was to walk up to me and politely meow at me to pick her up onto the counter. This routine was followed several times a day. She would allow you to pick her up and cuddle her. She slept close to us in our office while we worked, as well as in a little cat stand by one of our windows – enjoying the warmth of the sun on her and quacking at birds.
Angela had Tia since she was a kitten. That was about 14 years ago. She was a good girl all the way to the end. No complaints, no caterwauling, no scratching or biting. We think she knew it was time. She was even purring when she was still alive and we were saying our goodbyes.
We miss you, little girl. You’ll always be loved.