arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Steven

Today Anne Marie and I celebrate our 12th anniversary of moving to East Norriton. We always mark the occasion by re-enacting the dinner we had our first night at our new home: pizza cheesesteaks from a local pizza shop. This year’s celebration will be a bit more somber, since we said goodbye yesterday to our beloved black cat, Steven. He was a beautiful cat with velvet-like fur. That’s his photo at the top of the blog. Steven replaced Kelly, almost six years ago to the week when we had Kelly put to sleep.

In that time, he became my closest buddy. Many nights he would come up to my bed when I would call, “Let’s get comfy.” He would curl up next to me in bed and there were many times I would reach out to pet him as I turned over in the middle of the night. The petting was usually accompanied by a compliment, “You’re my good boy, Steven.”

We had the same ritual when I relaxed in the easy chair. I would call out, “Let’s get comfy” and most times he would answer the call — that is, if he wasn’t in a mood of aloofness. One jump and he would lie down between my legs; he would stay longer if I was wearing pants. For some reason, bare male legs repulsed him.

Last Wednesday, when I felt the need to recover from a cold, I stayed home and for a time lounged in my easy chair. He came up as usual, but what was unusual about this time is that he stayed quietly while I watched an entire movie on DVD, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We watched it together. It was even more unusual that neither one of us was compelled to get up after 10 minutes to use our respective litter boxes.

We didn’t know much about Steven when we adopted him from Kitty Cottage. We were told he was three years old, which we now believe was an underestimation by at least a few years; that he had spent a lot of time on the streets of Philadelphia where he undoubtedly got the edge of one ear chewed off in a fight; that he was picked up by animal control, and was a few hours away from being euthanized when a Kitty Cottage rescuer adopted him.

He was also distinguished by a pair of teeth that hung down like vampire fangs. Those teeth eventually rotted away to the point where they had to be removed. That was also about the time that we noticed he was getting thinner. We thought that perhaps his dental condition was affecting his appetite. This didn’t turn out to be the case; actually his appetite became more voracious, yet he lost even more weight. We tried to give him medicine, but he refused it, and we didn’t want to torture him by forcing it on him.

It was a very slow decline. Last weekend, he stopped eating/drinking, and we made preliminary plans to have the vet come in again. This time, Steven beat us to the punch. We spent the morning petting him, telling him how much we loved him and that if saw a chance to go then he should go. Anne Marie and I went to work, and Steven started the next step of his journey.

So this weekend there will be a burial and another sojourn to Kitty Cottage. There I might find another buddy (or buddies) for myself, and Meredith might get another roommate. Yes, Meredith, the gray one, lives! We believe she is 12 years old, and she still acts like a kitten. She also appears to be healthy save for a bout of alopecia she has at the moment.

I know we gave Steven a good forever home. I have very few regrets about the years we shared, but only one stands out in my mind today. Looking back, I wish I had known that he enjoyed westerns so much...

R.I.P., Steven.

(Thank you for reading.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

RTG,

My condolences on the passing of Steven...

Your next cat will be fortunate to have been welcomed into your home.

Love, Janey

April 19, 2012 at 6:34 AM  

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