Monday, October 29, 2007

'Bye, Little Snat*

My work day had started ordinarily enough. I was in the third month of my new job, still nervous as all get-out at the start of each day and somewhat less befuddled by the end and on my own as the woman I was filling in for had begun her year-long maternity leave.

This day in particular was gray and rainy, but it was not long before it took a right turn. Due to the beauty of the Internet, I was able to fill my husband in right away:

From: The Scribbler []
To: Mr. Scribbler []
Subject: question
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 11:02:13 -0600

Hey, you know, I was thinking - perhaps Phil would not be so crazy if he had another cat to play with. Say a cute little gray kitten. That my boss & one of the guys found in the storage bin. That's really tame. And cute. And needs a home or else he'll be a warehouse cat. Did I mention he purrs (or maybe it's a she - dunno!) like crazy??

Think about it and let me know asap - by mail or phone.

The Scribbler

Yes, a little gray cat was found in the warehouse of my work place. And it managed the amazing feat of purring and eating simultaneously. My husband was reluctant at first, as you can see from his reply:

From: Mr. Scribbler []
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 11:14 AM
Subject: RE: question


But seriously, I dunno, we should probably see if Phil will allow another cat about (hiss hiss swipe grrr, or mew?). Also there will be LOTS more kitty litter.

Yes, ever the practical sort, he was concerned about increased kitty litter (aka more litter box cleaning). But the little cat was cute, purred like a motorboat, and I could not shake the words of my boss who, in a phone conversation with his wife, said the little cat would have a good life as a warehouse cat. Not a great life, but a good one. Undeterred, I e-mailed my husband back:

From: The Scribbler []
To: Mr. Scribbler []
Subject: RE: question
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 11:20:25 -0600


I say lets give it a go.

I can bring him/her home tonight?

(It's not like this has never been done before.)


The Scribbler

He eventually came around to my awesome logic:

From: Mr. Scribbler []
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: question


And so we welcomed into our home a little gray cat who, after a day or so of various monikers, was named Penny. We soon learned she ate like a horse, had an affinity for pretty much anything going on in the kitchen, was a real snuggler and loved to play fetch with the ring from the milk jug. Penny also did an awesome impersonation of Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” the first time we put her in the cat carrier to take her to the vet.

And here we are, two years later, minus the little gray cat. She fought through a weird blood infection this summer only for us to discover (after three great weeks of her being her old self) she had liver problems which would require more tests and trips to the big city to maybe fix the problem. So last week we made the difficult decision to have her put down. And today was the day we said goodbye. (Needless to say, she was spoiled like crazy this weekend.)

(It is also . . . hard to try and sum up two years in a few words.)

As we drove home with the empty cat carrier, my husband commented on how odd this go-around of loss was. We've experienced some serious ones, he and I, with the loss of his brother almost 14 years ago and the loss of my grandmother and two uncles since then. No, this was a sadness at the passing of a furry little friend tempered by the knowledge we really did do the right thing.

So we're thankful for the time we had Penny who, by the way, did have a pretty great life.

*Snat -- a term used in my family as a substitute for 'cat'. Why, I have no idea.
ETA: The e-mails included in this entry are the actual e-mails exchanged by my husband and I on that day in August of '05 (with our e-mail addresses, obviously, being changed). Sometimes being a packrat is a good thing. ;-)


Andrea said...

Vaguely pathetic, but I'm totally crying. Probably b/c I have a little gray cat sitting outside my window (looking in at me imperiously after turning up his nose at all attempts to coerce him inside) whom I love dearly. And another chubby sweetheart of a snuggler curled up on my bed. And, while I've lost pets to a depressing array of causes, I (nor my family) have never had to make the decision to put them down, and I can't imagine how heart-wrenching it must be.

So, I'm sending some sniffles in Penny's memory from the Midwest, and, having demonstrated who's boss, my little gray cat is now looking like he wants to come in, so I suppose I should go oblige. :-)

Annabear said...

Well, we can be pathetic together, Andrea 'cause I'm crying, too... We've only had to make this decision once & I would wish for noone to ever have to make it. These furry, 4-legged little people with tails & whiskers have a way of getting into our hearts.

I liked reading about Penny's happy beginning and the great life she had in your home, Michelle. Although I'm sure she now knows it was all for her best, I'm also she's happy to not have to deal with anymore trips to the vet or shots or tests or pills. And I believe that just as we'll see our human loved ones again, our little furry family members will be waiting for us, too.


torcon said...

Thanks for the wonderfully candid and insightful post - loss is a reality of our existence. I like the Jewish belief of heaven that calls it "the place where our lost things are found." Thanks again!