If you would have asked me today if I would be doing this post right now, I’d have told you fuck no. No way. Because I know that I wouldn’t be here when this would be happening. I’d be out with her and I would know that it was coming. But an unbelievably selfish individual decided to take it upon themselves to make this decision for me, and now I am here, writing a post that I have been thinking about for weeks. And I can finally get something out of my head that has been nipping away at me for weeks. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the person who decided to make that decision for me. Ever. My best and most loyal friend died tonight. She was kind, sweet, lovable, had four legs and was covered in fur. It was my cat. Her name is Lizzy.
19 years ago, I was there when we went to the pet store and picked her out. They had kittens for sale, and I went with my mother to pick one out. My parents had a policy about not getting boy cats. They tended to have bad bathroom habits and are little shits. The last cat we owned had the moniker “shitty kitty” for the fact that it shit all over the place. Thank Groj it wasn’t an indoor cat. It lived in my old man’s garage. Before you say that’s cruel, he kept it warm in there for the vehicles. We had a large property, so kitty had never known an indoor life. Peanut Butter was his name, even though he was orange and white. Never did ask where the rationale for that name came from. It was my sister’s cat, in name alone.
When we got to the pet store, there was a cage with all the little kittens inside, and they were all cute as fuck. But there was one that stuck out above all the rest. See, it was climbing the cage wall, with a look on its face of – get me out of here! From that very moment, I knew that this kitty and I were going to be best friends. As luck would have it, that kitty was a girl. So we picked her out and headed home. My kitty has NEVER liked confined spaces, so on the car ride home she was miserable. But I was eating chicken strips, and gave her some of the chicken. That made for a happy kitten. Every time she has been in a vehicle since, she has been a VERY unhappy camper.
From there began a relationship that was the most loyal and true that I have ever had. See, while she was around everyone, there was no denying that Lizzy was MY cat. Everywhere I went, she followed. If she was outside and I tried to go places, back in the first house I lived at in memory, she would try and follow me. So I’d have to put her inside. I named her Lizzy, after my grandmother on my old man’s side. Her first name was Mary, but her middle name was Elizabeth. So I shortened that down to Lizzy. But over the years that wasn’t what I would call call her. Lizzy got shortened to Liz. Then to Wiz. Then to Wiz-Biz. Or Wiz Cat. Or sometimes “you’re being annoying.” Silly kitty.
After leaving the first house we lived in with her, we moved into my grandparent’s on my mum’s side’s old house. It was a home that they homesteaded in, ages ago. There is so much history in this house. Part of me is glad that it’s still in the family. At this new house, Lizzy had so much more area to explore. A huge property, a lakefront, and all the voles a kitty can eat. Oh yeah, there was a serious vole problem when we first moved in. Lizzy took it upon herself to help deal with that problem. Using kitty violence.
During the summer, Lizzy hated to spend time inside. She would spend hours upon hours on end outside. Sometimes we would let her out late in the evening, only for her to be out all night and come in the next morning. Part of me wonders how she was never attacked by an owl. But she did have the right fur color to blend in with the undergrowth. So many funny memories. Like, seeing her shimmy up a wall. See, my parents had a balcony into their bedroom from the third floor. On nights where she would be out and want in at 4 in the morning, she would shimmy up the wall and then go onto their balcony and whine until someone let her in. Or she’d whine outside my window.
But the thing that I loved most was how she would spend her evenings and winters with me. Since she hates the snow, kitty would spend all of her time in the winter cooped up indoors with me. I had this amazing blue chair. It had these really tall arms, and my kitty’s favorite place to rest was there. See, I moved around too much for her to be comfy on me. I’m not one of these people who says that if the cat is comfortable I can’t get up. Pussy can move. But she knew I gave her tons of love, so she would rest on the arm of my chair, watching movies with me and watching me play games, then judging when I made mistakes harshly.
So many little memories that I can chain together. Like on Christmas, where she would attack the wrapping paper and get all wrapped up in it. Or when we put garland on her and had her indignant face. I would give my last 10 years to be able to go back and get a picture of that. Alas, when I was a teenager we didn’t have camera phones that took really sweet pictures. Think that was before my head injury. She would always watch us set up decorations and judge us harshly, but she loved getting attention. Wish I had been better about getting her Christmas gifts.
Thing is, she didn’t want lots of toys. She got to go outside and wander around and have fun. Plus, something I did that nobody else did – fight with her. See, sometimes she would want to get into a fight. I ever had a special glove for it. It was a work glove with a leather exterior. She’s wrap around that and claw the living shit out of it for a few minutes when I’d go at her belly when she is in a fighting mood. My cousin would fight with her too, except he was an idiot who did not wear a glove, and she would fuck up his hand. He would joke that she loved it, and part of me does wonder if there is some validity to that.
Another adorable thing about her is the fact that she had both of the dogs my parents owned scared to death of her, even though both of them were big enough to bite her in half. The first was Zoey, then her puppy, Riley. In both cases, it’s because she was so mean to them as puppies. Like any puppy, they went over to her and wanted to be best fwiends. But she wasn’t having that. They would know who the top dog in the house was, so to speak. After slashing their puppy faces up, both of them knew that love from her came at her pace, not theirs. It is so cute having both of these dogs being so much bigger than her yet scared to death of her. Poor Riley. As the much more friendly of the two, he kept on trying to get love out of her, but she was always a bitch to him. But eventually the dogs and her found a happy equilibrium and all was well in the world.
Moving in to the last house I have lived in, my parent’s sunset home, things changed. See, Lizzy has been getting old. The years don’t show on her because of how small she is, but for a while she was fine. But then things started to happen. See, her hearing was getting worse and worse. Eventually, she went totally deaf. It was a bummer. And for her, I genuinely believe it made her scared to death, all the time. I also contend that her vision was going too. At night, she would make this really ugly noise that sounded like she was in pain, but I think it was her being scared and not being able to hear or see where she was or where she was going. This led the parents to believe that she was losing her mind, and while I joked it off, part of me wondered.
Months went by, and she was sleeping more and more. Eventually it got to the point where she was sleeping almost every second of the day, only to wake up and cry. The parents were not enjoying it. As I was living in a place that didn’t allow pets, I tried to make excuses for it. Then one day, I get told the my parents are wanting to take her to the vet. The idea is that we need to get an answer on this, and if there is no cure, and her quality of life is just going to get worse, to put her down. I made very clear that I was going to be there for that. We went to the vet and they said that her kidneys are indeed shutting down. But it can be prolonged. With some diet change, she can get many more months of life. Maybe it should have ended there. I don’t know. But it didn’t. Which leads me to the last four days.
I went out last weekend because the parents said that her problems are getting worse, it’s clear that her mental state is not well, and it’s time to say our goodbyes and be done. I was going out more to tell them I had damn well better be there when it ends. I was there when we picked her out. I was owed that. It ties in to that thing I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. We’ll get there. However, the mum was unable to bring herself to say that we’re going that far. So I went home thinking that I this could go on for much longer.
And that brings us to tonight. I got a call from the mum saying that my kitty had “died in her sleep.” She could have let it stay there, but she decided complete honesty was a good policy and told me that that was a euphemism for she had indeed been fast asleep, and my old man had put her down himself. Believe it or not, I do buy that she was asleep. My girl couldn’t hear. Sneaking up on her was very easy. I’d seen first-hand how she can sleep if you are right in front of her. I don’t doubt that she never woke up before he ended it. With one bullet.
Before you go saying how disgusting and horrible that is, I’ll head you off. I don’t hate the method. It’s quick, and if she’s asleep and doesn’t know what’s coming then it’s painless. Here’s where I take insane levels of umbrage. I was there when we picked her out. I was there when we brought her home. I was there from the very beginning, and I fucking deserved to be there at the end! Though, I would have asked to do the more typical euthanizing, because I don’t want to think about the mess. That’s kind of horrible. My girl died alone. She died without me there. It hurts me more than you can know. The old man decided that since the mum and I couldn’t bring ourselves to do the deed, he’d do it for us. I had a right to be there with her at the end, and that selfish person took that right away from me. When I was rightly upset by this, it is then me who is turned into the villain, as is always the case. My family has never valued my opinion and is quick to throw any transgressions I have ever committed squarely in my face the moment I am upset with the parental authority figures. I got a clear lesson in how little they respect me.
My companion, my confidant, my dearest friend. Someone who stood with me during all the worst parts of my life. When I lost friendship after friendship because the significant others of those people didn’t like me. When other “friends” turned their back on me because I’m weird or I have feelings they don’t like. When my cousin/brother I never had stabbed me in the back. When I lost relationships, one in a bummer way and one in a way that did irreparable damage to me because of how it ended. She was there for all of that. And I wasn’t there with her to say goodbye. It hurts me more than you can possibly know. Someone took it upon themselves to do that and I am quite upset with them right now. Given what happened between us afterwards, I don’t know if our relationship will be able to mend. We’ll see what happens.
I normally try and close these things out with something that the person I am doing this post for told me, but since this particular friend was a cat, I decided I would close this out another way. See, I’ve had this song rattling around inside my head for the last few weeks. At every funeral I’ve been to, there is a hymn that has been sung. It holds a lot of resonance with me because of how much I have grown up with it. I’m not a spiritual person. I think people who believe in the magic sky wizard are childish beyond the capacity for rational thought. But since there will never be a funeral for my kitty, I thought I’d close out with this lyric. Those of you who know what the melody to this is without looking it up are pretty alright in my book.
Until next time, a quote,
“I was there to hear your borning cry,
I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.”