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April 04, 2010

Farewell, Kitty

Kitty died today at the ripe old age of 17.  Her health has been deteriorating steadily over the past year, and alarmingly quickly over the last couple of weeks.  After much thought and discussion, we decided it was time.  She left this life peacefully at home, and is now at rest next to our oak tree.

She has been a part of our lives nearly as long as we've been together - the three of us became a family together.  She will be sorely missed.

I'm sad, and lacking for words, so I'm going to repost something I wrote on her 14th birthday:

On February 23, 1993, a kitten was born and given the ridiculous name of "Boop-a-Doop my little Barkely" - I am not making this up.  She is a purebred Bengal cat, and while she didn't have the traditional markings, her beautiful blue eyes made her a highly desirable breeder for "Seal Lynx Point" coloring .  She was pretty much a kitten producing machine for the first 4 years of life. 

Her breeder was a friend of Chris' father, and when he was looking for a good home for young Boop-a-doop's retirement, he approached Wayne.  Wayne delightely took her, but she did not get along with the Perry's other cat, an ancient Siamese named Bandy.  So, they gave her to Chris.

Chris promptly named her Katherine Liverfoot, or Kitty for short.  We had only been dating a couple of months, and Chris was living in a one-bedroom apartment that did not allow pets.  When the landlord came by, he would shut Kitty in a closet with some water - she never made a fuss and would calmly wait in silence until she was let out again.

Kitty has one of the most distinctive personalities of any cat I've ever known.  She adores Chris and is as devoted to him as any dog - she often follows him around the house, waits by the door for him to come home, and in the times B.C. (Before Charlie), she would sleep next to him every night.  She has always been pretty aloof, hates being picked up, and only likes to be petted on her terms.  However, as she ages, she's really mellowed and is much more tolerant of people petting her other than Chris and me.

Kitty is also a musician and composer - she always sat next to Chris on the piano bench as he plays piano, behind him on the chair when he plays guitar, and often sleeps in the guitar case.  When we had the big piano, she would give eerie nighttime concerts - what I call "Eine Kleine Nacht-katzen-musik", although her compositional style is closer to Berg than Mozart.  The keyboard is still one of her favorite perches.

She was getting a little neurotic as an only cat for so long, so when we got Charlie, it really shook her up.  After 4 years, though, she's adjusted pretty well, and we believe it's for the better.  When she was younger, she was quite the fierce hunter of crickets and flies, but now she leaves them to Charlie - who unfortunately seems to completely lack a hunter instinct.  The two of them chase around the house at least every day, and both enjoy our family time in the evenings when we all gather in the living room.

Kitty really is something special - last night I was sleeping on the couch because of my coughing, and she climbed up on my lap, purring and kneading, and settled down to sleep.  Every time I coughed, she's look at me and give a little soundless meow, as if to comfort me and let me know that she appreciated me sleeping on the couch to give her warm place to sleep.  It's really impossible to resist her when she wants attention - she just looks at you with those big, impossibly blue eyes in her dark face, reaches up a paw, and it's all over.



Happy 14th Birthday, Kitty!
She will always have a special place in our hearts.

6 comments:

  1. My condolences to you and Chris. I hope that you find solace in knowing Kitty is resting in peace with her pick of comfy blankets, chairs, and swaths of sunshine.

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  2. I am so sorry to read about Kitty's loss. She sounds like a wonderful loving cat who will be dearly missed. I am sure she is chasing the mice in Heaven now (though if the mice are getting chased, are they in hell? ;) ) and maybe I'll get the chance to meet her there one day.

    Love,
    Mar

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  3. Thanks for your well wishes - I'm sure that she's happier now, with all the sunbeams and fuzzy blankets, and no kittens to pester her.
    :-)

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  4. I'm sad for you, and I'm sorry to hear that Kitty has moved on, but I was touched to read your lovely description from her earlier birthday. I hope the ache is becoming more bearable.

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  5. Thanks, Kelly. The past week has definitely shown us that we made the right decision. The sudden amount of free time previously spent caring for her is astonishing!

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  6. Wow. I just read this and I'm quite sad now. :(

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