This post reveals facts I am uncomfortable sharing. OH! My blog is (nominally) anonymous.
Though Cathead died on Saturday morning, I did not dispose of his body until today. Why? Because the humane society closed early, a development I welcomed.
Because I was not ready to let go.
Internet, I did not like my cat very much. I loved him a lot, but like him? No. Herewith, some highlights of Cathead's life:
1) When he was a kitten, he bit my dad so badly that only a trip to the emergency room prevented my dad from losing his right arm. (No lie).
2) The night before my best friend's wedding, Cathead bit said friend so badly that she had to go to the emergency room. And when she got there, the ER doctors put her on anti-biotics so serious that her birth control was rendered ineffective. That's right, people. Condoms on her HONEYMOON.
3) Once, when I was asleep, Cathead chewed off a large hank of my hair. Then he decorated my apartment with it.
But we did have our good times, too. The night my dad died he slept in my arms and patted my crumpled face with his tiny paw. The day we moved into Bob and Kate's asylum for middle aged refugees, he did a charming rendition of "The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow" on the pool table. He scattered about 50 puzzle pieces onto the floor, but the sentiment was genuine. And as Julie notes, back in his happier days, nothing pleased him more than to steal my rosary beads and entangle himself in their sparkly goodness. In the floor of my shower. Where (I assume) he prayed all day that I might turn my heart and mind back to God - or at least get some compassion skills. (It did not work).
I am trying to get to the comedy of today. The segue is just not happening, so sloppy segue. Here it is.
This morning, I had to take Cathead to the Humane Society for cremation. I put him in his cat carrier (please, oh please don't ask me how I kept him cold all night. Use your imagination. Or check Twitter). I was composed during the loading process and I was numb during the walk to the M15 bus station. It was the activity on the bus that did me in.
Cathead died with his eyes open. Therefore, people could see his eyes, and because lots of people who ride the public bus are not very bright, many of them wanted to stick their hands into my cat carrier and pet my deceased cat.
I kid you not.
Please note, internet: cats who do not blink are DEAD. Cute they may be, but they are DEAD.
I managed to keep the hands of my fellow metro riders out of the box of death by explaining (lying). I told them Cathead was sedated, you know, since he had just been to the vet. It worked. (Have I mentioned that some people, while children of God and possessing excellent hearts, are stupid?)
I arrived at the Humane Society, I stood in line for a few minutes. That was ok.
Until the woman behind me spotted the dead cat in my carrier and started sobbing. For my loss.
"Oh, I know you are grieving," she said. (Have I mentioned crying is contagious)?
"Yeah," I sobbed.
"How old was he?" she said.
"Seventeen," I sniffled.
"OH! Mine is seventeen. It could be any time!" she sobbed.
So we cried and we made asses of ourselves at the Humane Society. I cried for Cathead and she cried because she knew very soon she would be just like me, standing in line in an animal shelter carrying a box of DEAD.
Here is my last living picture of Cathead. I like it because it captures both his repose and his restlessness. He is chillin' because he is in his favorite chair. But his ears are up because he is about to smack the shit out of an unsuspecting spider.
I think about justice all the time. It is the only thing that offers hope that we live in a world with meaning. If my hope is not in vain, Cathead is at peace, praying the rosary, and beating the ever loving shit out of whatever displeases him. That's what he loved to do, and though he was... challenging... he was my kind of challenge. He was my first, my last, my only. My Cathead.