Kitty Cat


    Commemorating the passing of Kitty Cat.

Kitty Cat

    This is a bit different than the rest of the pages on this site, as it is a personal memorial to one cat, rather than general information.

    My cat died. Same night that Princess Di died.

    It took me several hours to bury him. Not because it took that much labor to dig a hole, but because I kept stopping to cry. When I put him in the hole, I gently rearranged his body so that he’d be more comfortable — I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it seemed important. And when I carried him to the grave, he seemed heavier than I ever remember him being.

    I keep expecting him to show up at the back door and meow for attention to be let in. I keep looking up, wondering “where’s Kitty?” and then remember.

    Like my dog (Hello Dolly) from my childhood, Kitty Cat (such an original name, huh?) had unconditional love for me. He almost always greeted me each time I returned home. He was so regular in greeting me that I would worry and wonder the few times he didn’t.

    Sometimes he was annoying. Like his habit of meowing and begging for food anytime I even so much as walked through the kitchen. And making me have to close the refrigerator door slowly because so his head wouldn’t get caught in it. And when he walked across the keyboard. And when he would demand attention by sitting or laying or walking across a book or newspaper I was reading. And when he made a nuisance of himself while I was trying to eat. And especially when he urinated indoors.

    But except for the occassional urination thing, I didn’t really mind. Plenty of times I would switch from reading or computering to petting and/or playing with him.

    He always wanted to be close to me. Well, not always, but often. There is something really comforting about a cat just friendly brushing by. And when he would nuzzle up into my lap and demand to be petted, I’d feel loved and appreciated and wanted.

    He was a Siamese cat — beautiful pattern on his fur.

    And he was so gentle and kind.

    And he had a way of knowing when I was down and cheering me up.

    He was such a nice cat. Friendly. Loving. Playful.

    In some ways, he was my best friend.

    And now he’s gone. I know it’s unreasonable, but I want my Kitty back.

    I got home late (shortly after midnight) and he was a little slow in greeting me. And when he did greet me, he was walking slower than normal. Something didn’t seem quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Normally I might have blown him off because I was tired, but I spent some time with him. He seemed very lethargic. I remember thinking that maybe he was sick and I should take him to the vet in the morning to have it checked out. I offered him food, but he didn’t take any (which is extremely rare). I gave him some water. I turned on the tv and heard CNN talking about Princess Diana’s death. I never was a big Diana fan, but her death did strike me as tragic. For some reason, I thought that I should pet Kitty. So, I stayed up about an hour listening to the CNN reports and petting Kitty. I was tired and normally would have just gone to bed. Don’t know why I felt the compulsion to stay awake and comfort Kitty, especially as I was supposed to meet a friend early in the morning.

    When I woke up, I found Kitty dead, laying a short distance from where I had been petting him. At first I thought he was asleep, but he didn’t wake up when I called his name. I went over and poked him to wake him up. And felt that his body was stiff. I jerked my hand back in horror. And then noticed that his body was covered with fleas. I pet him a few times, on the top of his head, behind his ears, and under his chin — his favorite places to be petted — then started the burial thing.

    It took me several hours just to dig a simple hole in the ground. And not because of the oppressive heat spell we’re going through here in Southern California or the hardness of the dirt. Because I kept stopping to cry between shovelfuls of dirt. When I picked him up, his eyes popped open. That completely freaked me out. After my heart stopped racing, I carried him to his grave. The finality of it all weighed heavily and I dragged out this final step.

    I’d forgotten just how much this hurt when I lost my dog. I still am careful when standing up, so as not to step on him sleeping at my feet. And when I realize he’s gone, I cry again. Everytime I walk through the kitchen and don’t stumble over him, I cry again. Eating my meals in peace is not peaceful. What I would give for him to be sneaking up on my plate again. What I would give to have to shove him away from my food — or the computer keyboard — or off the newspaper.

    He started out as my little sister’s kitten. At the time my little sister, Pam, only liked kittens. So she’d give away her kittens as soon as they grew into adults.

    Kitty was a friendly kitten. Pam used to get annoyed because he’d invite all the cats in the neighborhood into her kitchen.

    I keep anticipating him greeting me at the door. And cry when I remember why he doesn’t. I keep looking around, wondering where he is. I keep expecting him at all the usual times and places. And then remember why he’s not there. And cry. You’d think the pain would fade, but I still cry.

    I want my Kitty back.


    Diane K. Sauleda wrote the following uplifting poem in response to Kitty’s death:

for Kitty


Death has a certain finality.

A stop in time,

the end of the line,

some might say.

But, for the ones left behind,

the missing is in the mind.

So, I won’t cry when I think of you, I will smile.

I will smile when I think of the happy years.

I will smile when I remember with you, I had no fears.

I will smile when I think of your loving face.

I will smile when I remember your warm embrace.

But, better yet I will smile for you,

for within my heart I know

you are in a far better place.


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