Sunday, July 19, 2009


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.

Por Que?

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.


Avitable said...

I think I got dust in my eye. Stupid dust.

jeniszen said...

My eyes are dusty, too.

Bye handsome Cathead.

jeniszen said...

I'm new to the twitter heroin. What name do I type in to follow you?

Julie said...

Excellent eulogy.

And sorry, but I was laughing over the bus trip. It could only happen to you, my dear.

Thank God for comedy at these moments. The universe has a sense of humor. Sick? Yes. But a sense of humor all the same.

Safe journey, Cathead.

Finn said...

Fuckin dust.

nightfly said...

Poor thing... now I'm remembering my kitteh growing up, and how Mom just gave her away when she up and went to Florida, and how she'd run off and sit on our old stoop and meow to be let in.

Cathead should look her up now that they're together.

Ryan said...

I'm glad you included a picture. From the description of the biting incidents I was picturing some kind of mountain lion.

That was a lovely farewell

What Possessed Me said...

Oh God, he was so fluffy and cute. I'm sure he would have sliced me open, but I'm sad I never got to hug him.

sybil law said...

It's just my allergies, really.

ByJane said...

Molly sends her condolences. She wishes she had met Cathead. Really, she just said so.

123Valerie said...

Oh, my. Oh, my. Love is inexplicable; bless you for recognizing it doesn't have to be logical.

I am so sorry for your multitude of losses recently. There are no good words, but I'm glad you found someone who helped you cry. It seems to me (as worthless as my opinion is) that you have a lot to cry about these days.

Let it fall out, sister. Maybe the God/Universe/Allah/Buddha, etc. ad nauseum, gave you this release, this very easy grief, to help you through the very tough grief that you've previously been handed.

Or, maybe, you know, your sweet 17-year-old cat was just ready to go to The Sweet Bye and Bye.

All my love to you.

Kate P said...

I cried with you and the lady at the Humane Society. . . and I am totally weirded out by the people who would want to pet a stranger's cat, blinking or not.

Thank you for sharing the Rosary story, too.

P.S. I'm following your tweets now.

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

So sorry.

Mrs. Who said...

RIP, Cathead. May all your rosary beads be shiny and rolling, and may all your adversaries be summarily whomped at your least flick of the paw.

LizB said...

My eyes are dusty too, but I must say, the whole "cat on the train" would have made a great Seinfeld episode. You are blessed with the most wry sense of humor, even at the worst of times. You're amazing!

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