Monday, March 12, 2012

A Eulogy

Dear Reader,

I'm about to wax nostalgic. Feel free to just come back another day if nostalgia isn't your thing.

Yesterday my cat Mittens died. The doctors say she had a stroke and she was in a paralytic state when my parents rushed her to the emergency vet where they decided the best thing for her was to put her to sleep.

Isn't that a silly phrase, to "put someone to sleep"? Maybe it's to make us feel better about killing animals. I don't know. I do know I feel better to say that Mittens was put to sleep, rather than to say she died. It sounds less harsh and more humane. And it is. I'm a true advocate of putting animals to sleep if there is really nothing else that can be done for them and if it will help them pass easier. Mittens was old and she had been experiencing health problems. This wasn't exactly a sudden occurance, her dying. But it doesn't make it less sad. She died wrapped in one of my old towels, watching my mom who was standing by her side.

Poor Mittens. Her life was pretty stressful for a house cat.

I don't know where she was born, but I know it probably wasn't in great circumstances. We found her behind our apartment building in Venezuela, where she was pretty hungry. We tricked her into to coming home with us by feeding her club crackers and cheese. (A well-balanced diet.) She did try to run away into the road at one point, but the landlady grabbed her by the leg and pulled her back. And that was that. She was ours.

And by "ours" I mean "mine." I had wanted a cat for, like, ever. I mean, I was only 10, so "forever" was like 5 years. But it felt like an eternity. It was a dream come true to finally have a cat of my own. I took care of her and we formed the kind of bond you might expect a human and a cat to have. (The one where the human wants the cat to love it and where the cat tolerates the human as long as the food keeps coming.)

Mittens probably did not love that in her time with us we made her live in three different countries. I'm sure that wasn't her favorite. But I'm sure her least favorite of all the things we made her do was to live with dogs. What on earth were we thinking? (Her words, not mine. I love dogs!) Mittens outlived two dogs and had to experience 2 others in her time with us. That's a total of 4 dogs too many, according to the cat.

But despite how we tortured her, I like to think that she knew we loved her. And we will miss her. It's a sad thing to have someone who has been in your life for so long suddenly be gone forever. But I like to think that wherever she is now, she's happy. As long as there aren't any dogs around.

And as long as humans aren't making her pose for pictures.


  1. "(The one where the human wants the cat to love it and where the cat tolerates the human as long as the food keeps coming.)"

    OH so true!! And yet I continue to deny it and pretend Zoe is my friend. Oh wait, isn't that what you told me not to say in public?

  2. Oh, sweet Mittens. She didn't think much of the dogs at our house, either. We put in the cat door just for her, so she could roam freely in the basement - and then that Bonnie figured out how to squeeze through that tiny opening. Poor Mittens!

    I liked to watch her sneak around upstairs, when the dogs were asleep...