Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Kitty.

I posted this as a comment over at Laurie's, but I thought I would share it here as well. Laurie lost a good friend yesterday, so go give her some love if you haven't yet. Also, if you haven't been keeping up with Rachael and Digit, you should be.

When I was 3 years old, one of our barn cats had kittens. There was one tiny grey and white female kitten that just was having a hell of a time. My parents decided to move mom and the kids inside the house, so they could be out of the harsh elements.

Once everyone was big and strong enough, Mama Cat moved back outside, and the kids were slowly given to neighbors, as barn cats are always a good thing to have out where we lived. But no one wanted the still smallish, scraggly, grey and white kitten.

My older sister (she was 10 at the time), persuaded our parents to let us keep the grey and white baby. So she moved inside, and my sister named her "Precious". Technically, she was my sister's cat, but she mostly hated everyone except for me and my dad. She became our cat, and refused to answer to "Precious", so she was unofficially renamed "Kitty", and that was all she responded to.

My dad frequently referred to her as "damn cat", and she was more mine than his. As I grew older, she became my companion. I grew into an unpopular, awkward adolescent, and Kitty was the only one I could talk to. I sang to her, and told her made up stories. She slept on my bed, frequently on my face, actually, and always let me cuddle her, even when she would let anyone else near her.

The fall I began college, it became apparent that she wasn't doing well. Over the last year, she had gotten more scraggly, and crankier. She no longer got around very well, and it got where she stopped eating and drinking unless if was given to her by hand, and only by me. The time came to have her put down.

The vet said it appeared she had suffered a stroke, and that our decision was the best one. He shaved her leg to give her the shot, and when he put the needle in, she fought back with all her strength, hissing and trying to scratch and bite. She jerked the damn needle out, even. The vet ended up giving her the shot somewhere else, I can't remember if it was in her stomach or in between her shoulders.

I held her as she left this world, and I cried. The vet was kind enough to give me a hug. But that was my Kitty, tough as nails until the end.