My cat died the other day, and in this dreary, rainy, depressing gray day, I have to bury him.
His name was Stimpy, because, well, he was an eeeeediot. He was loud and obnoxious, but compared to my other cat, Chutzpah (who died a year and a half ago -- and Stimpy was never the same after that), he was really stupid. Would sneak up on prey, but let out a banshee yell right before pouncing, thus giving the prey a chance (which it usually took!) to get away.
I've been mentally preparing for this. Stimpy looked like hell the last month. About 2-3 weeks ago he was peeing indiscriminantly, and these past two weeks he suddenly dropped a bunch of weight. I was in fierce denial as I was working up the ooomph to do what I had to do, take him in and put him out of his misery. Just this week, he didn't have the strength to hop over the gate, and the past few days he could barely walk. Ugh. Gotta take him in, ok, I'll do it this weekend, I kept saying.
Finally, the babysitter comes over, and I'm showing her around the house. She's not the regular babysitter: her daughter is the regular babysitter, but she's covering for her since the daughter had a last minute conflict. So I see Stimpy on his favorite resting spot, and I'm introducing her, "This is Stimpy. He's dying, so its best just to leave him be," and I reached down to pet him and..... he's cold.
Its a dreary, cold, gray day in the fall of 1989 and I've just had a semi-satisfying lunch at The Coffee Trader on Downer, and I'd just told my companion that I really need another cat. "Chutzpah seems so lonely, especially when I'm gone for the day at work," I told her. I didn't think it was fair that there not even be another member of the species in the house you're stuck in all day long. I'm on my way to the bus stop, and I see a couple of adolescent girls next to a large box with the lettering "WHY must we DIE?!?!?!?!?!?!?" I peek inside the box and there's a bunch of mewing little kitties.
"Girls, I have to tell you, this pathetic attempt to elicit my sympathy by threatening us all with the prospect of the murder of these innocent creatures is really, really, reaching for it," I told them. Those poor girls had a combination of both disappointment and "ok, you're on to us. Our parents aren't REALLY going to makes us drown them in the river if we don't find good homes for them" look on their face.
Just to be an asshole, I turned and walked away for a split second and then came back. "BUT......"
They brightened up.
"BUT," I said again, "It just so happens that my cat needs a companion, so let me select one of your offerings." I picked this teeny little all black guy. "Oh, you want Young Turk," the dad said, smriking and I should have taken it as the friendly warning it was. Actually, I thought it was a girl (and named her Lucille) until a week later, when s/he had been properly sexed. He turned out to be quite the little sneaky guy. I named him at first, Whiskey, for that song "Whiskey, You're the Devil." But then he started being stupid, and my boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) and I re-named him Stimpy, because he was such an idiot.
I want to stop writing now.