Saturday, February 22, 2014

Goodbye Sweetpea, you were a helluva cat

I am not a cat person but about a dozen years ago I became a minor version of one when I began a relationship with a woman who owned a little grey furball. Since I didn't really understand why anyone would want such a seemingly useless creature, I decided that if I wanted to hang out with this cat owner, I would at least pretend to like her cat.

The pretense lasted less than three weeks before it became abundantly clear that I REALLY liked this cat. She was amazingly affectionate and had decided I was going to be her personal oaf. She was this tiny 8.5 pound creature and I am 6'3" 260+ so I was forced to be incredibly gentle with her. She responded by getting all excited whenever I entered the room and purring loudly enough to wake the dead when I would pet her. She was a shameless flirt who knew she was very beautiful and seemed to understand that I am a sucker for beautiful things. When I had my computer next to my bed, she would curl up on the blankets and quietly watch while I worked. She especially liked it when I played Mozart chamber music but would run off if I started playing something boisterous like Beethoven.

Last weekend, she started getting agitated. She would shake like she was going to cough up a hairball but then would only drool. Sunday night she came into the room with a pained expression. I didn't know how to help her so I wound up petting her for over an hour. She seemed much better—it was as if I had "cured" her with affection. Even so, we had her down to the vet the first thing Monday morning. Of course, she wouldn't have one of her seizures for him so we were sent home with some medications and encouragement. But something was seriously wrong. Throughout the day, her seizures got worse and came closer together. By late afternoon, we were back at the vet's when she had one that looked so painful, we decided the only proper course of action was to put this wonderful cat to sleep.

I am going to miss my sweet and gentle buddy. I have been told many times that highly affectionate cats that like Mozart are rare so I cannot imagine replacing her. So goodbye Sweetpea. You taught me a lot about unconditional affection. And yes, I now understand why people like cats.

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