Monday, August 25, 2008

The first time ever I clawed your face

So, I figure we're going to have to put the cat down. We think she's in some pain now, and this may be in her best interests. Besides, with two young children, having a cat who incessantly pees outside of the litter box just seems ill-advised. We're looking into it.

I love this cat very much. Despite the fact that she is perhaps the bitchiest animal in history. She has been with me for 17 years. She has sought attention. Blatantly deceived me into allowing her to sleep in my bed, despite my allergies and asthma. She has had pouty fits, if you can believe that of an animal, but I swear it's true. She has a snarly, scratchy, angsty sounding meow. She is completely anti-social. And she never purrs. She has at times escaped the house and ran down the street, trying to attack other larger more fierce cats, who were actually terrified of her. She weighs about 5 pounds. But she is a terror. A force to be reckoned with, indeed.

At times, she has been hospitalized at the vet. They bear the scars. There are notes in her file - a record of her past bad behaviour. "VERY grumpy today!!!", for example. (Note: "VERY" was actually underlined three times!) And when small children came in and asked to pet the little kitty, they were tactlessly deflected from putting their little fingers anywhere near her kennel for fear that they may lose digits. At her annual check-ups, we and the vet have been able to see the wheels turning ... she is trying to figure out the best way to kill her doctor. She always looks totally pissed off and defiant, and she clearly thinks she could take him if she really wanted to. I know he feels it, too. He made a note about it in the file.

But she has been like a child to me. Despite her many moods. She is quite sweet to us, as long as there are no pills or needles involved. She loves to cuddle. And she gives us lots of kisses. Aside from the whole peeing thing, she's been great with the kids, too, and has never so much as hissed at J, who loves to torment her with too much loving.

It's a hard decision, and one that we have been struggling with for some time.

I called the vet today to find out about appointments and prices. It's damn near $200!! Nearly $100 to euthenize her, and about $90 more for cremation. And this ain't no fancy-shmancy cremation either. No coffin. No urn of ashes received by the family to ceremoniously sprinkle over her favourite spot. No kitty memorial service with a heartfelt eulogy. No, no. None of that. They just stuff your dearly departed in a pet furnace and light 'er up.

I told all of this to H. Who wanted to know how much it would be for the snazzier cremation, where you do get the urn of ashes.

T: I don't know. I didn't ask.
H: No?
T: I didn't think we needed it.
H: Oh ...
T: I'm not going to keep the ashes. It's morbid.
H: Well, yeah.
T: And I wouldn't know where to sprinkle them. She's a housecat, for crying out loud!
H: True.
T: I mean, her favourite spot is on our bed! But I ain't sprinkling no ashes there.
H: Well, no! Ok. So we don't need the ashes then.
T: No. I don't think so. I wouldn't know what to do with them.
H: You know what she'd want us to do with them, don't you?
T: Yes! Sprinkle them on our bed!
H: No. She'd want us to throw them forcefully back in the vet's face.

I laughed so hard tears came. I laughed because he's right. She's that crotchety senior who hates everyone. Especially her vet. And if cats could make wills, I swear that would be in hers.

I picture the vet, a look of complete shock on his face, as he stands there covered with the ashes of 5-pound dead kitty remains. And I picture H & I, standing solemnly before him, empty urn in hand. "That's the way she would have wanted it", H would say.

And then we'd probably be charged with assault, and our other cat would be permanently banned from the office, and ...

So yeah. The "bargain" $90 cremation thingy it will be, I figure. If we can manage to get it together enough to do this in the first place.

As an aside, this is one of the many reasons why I love H so much. I love him because he can always make me laugh. Even at those incredibly low times, when nothing else can make me smile. I can always rely on him. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

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