04 November 2005

Back in the late winter/early spring of 1991, a stray cat appeared in our yard one day. I begged my parents to let me keep her and eventually they gave in. I named her Spike after the dinosaur in The Land Before Time and I was as happy as an 11-year-old girl with a new cat could be.

Within a few short months, we noticed that we were going to have some new additions to the feline portion of our household. I was fascinated watching Spike's belly swell up to an unimaginable size and I laughed at how her belly swayed when she walked. One afternoon I noticed that she was acting strangely and not too long after six little kittens made their way into the world in our garage.

The kitten I picked out to keep was a fuzzy little grey one with white paws and a patch of white going from his chin down to his chest. One of the reasons my Mom liked him so much was because he was so quiet and calm. In later years, this came to mean that he turned into a total couch potato in the winter months. Watching his weight go up and down with the changing seasons was always entertaining.

Over the years, Mouse settled into his role in the MacPherson household. He laid claim to at least a dozen regular sleeping places throughout the house and made good use of them all. He especially enjoyed the warmth of any person whether adult, child or even baby.

Nicholas and Mouse had a special relationship right from day one. The first day I brought Nicholas home, Mouse went right up to him, sniffed him, and promptly decided that he wasn't a good food source. Within a couple of years, though, Nicholas not only knew how to feed "Kitty", but he also knew where the good stuff was; the catnip drawer.

This morning my Mom came over to give me a hand with some things around the house and mentioned that Mouse had gone outside last night and was still out when she went to bed. There was no sign of him when they checked for him at 2 am and again at 6 am. We were both hoping that he would show up some time today.

Unfortunately, my Mom called me when she got home this afternoon. My Dad found Mouse's body behind the garage this afternoon. They're not sure if he froze from staying out or if he died of something else. One way or another, he was happy and healthy when I saw him yesterday so at least he had a good life right until the end of his 14 years.

On the walk home this afternoon, I told Nicholas the sad news. I told him that Grandpa would bury Mouse in the woods beside the dog's grave. I hugged him and we both cried for a bit before walking some more. Every few minutes Nicholas would remember something else about Kitty and we would both stop and cry for a little bit again.

After a while, Nicholas began giggling through his tears and said he had something funny to say. When I asked him what it was, he said "It's funny that Kitty and the dog are buried beside each other. Now they'll chase each other around in the ground."

Run Kitty run.

3 comments:

domesticvixen said...

My condolences. Pets for me have always been family members.

Anonymous said...

I have to confess that I used to hate cats and would tease them whenever possible (nothing too cruel!). Mouse was too passive to ever respond to my ear-blowing, backward-hair-rubbing attentions, which is probably why he won me over. Or, it could be because he used crawl under my covers during those cold Albertan winters and start suffocating me under his weight. It was also the way he could drive my nature-loving father up the wall by dragging home birds and squirrels; the times he would cough up the worst-looking gack in our livingroom; the early mornings he would pluck away at the screen outside the bedroom window. He was a cat that could take it and give it right back. Here's to the memories of Mouse, an aptly named cat for being the most loveable little rat.

Jenn said...

Aww, that's sad... I'm going to be miserable when my kitty moves on.

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