My little Miss Iggy is gone

It has been a rough couple of weeks. My little kitty — 18-yr.-old Miss iggy — had to be released from this life on Oct. 26, 2012. She hung on as long as she could and just couldn’t last any longer.

The days and nights before, she had some ups and downs, but she always rallied. The last night, Iggy was over at the neighbor’s, then out on her box and in the garden for quite a while. This was a break in her pattern of the past year. I was finally able to coax her to come in sometime after midnight.

My bed is rather high and in those last days she had some trouble jumping up on it. That night she laid down near it but didn’t even attempt to jump up. I lifted her up and set her on her towel. She laid down and I took my usual position nearer the wall.

Iggy had one arm out in front of her, which meant “stroke my arm.” I did. Then she put her paw on my hand and gently drew my hand back under her head. My poor kitty couldn’t get comfortable with her head up that high so I turned my palm up. She laid her head in my palm and went to sleep.

Some time in the next couple of hours she jumped down. When I got up and went into the bathroom, she followed me in per usual, but she was staggering. As I moved about a little, she was dragging herself to be near me. That’s when I knew for certain it was time for me to help her cross.

I won’t go too deeply into the rest of it except to say 1) pet ERs need to come up with another way to ask people for payment 2) a pet being brought in to be put to sleep should not be taken away for even the few minute it takes to put a port in 3) not everyone is comforted by “The Rainbow Bridge.”

I Hate That Fucking Poem.

I took my baby home and buried her in the garden near her wooden box. In the spring I want to get a cat statue and mom and I have an idea for planting flowers among the slate that covers Iggy’s grave.

Sleep sweet, my precious baby girl. I miss you.

Who shot Abraham Lincoln?

Dear Dan,

One nice, summer evening, you and mom were playing badminton in the backyard across the creek. As usual, I was sitting nearby, reading. Suddenly, some man came running across our bridge, yelling “Who shot Abraham Lincoln?” We three looked at each other. Mom said, “Well, are you going to win the prize or shall I?” You said, “John Wilkes Booth.”

The man screamed at us in rage! He was talking about his cat — Abraham Lincoln. As opposed to his other cat — Lassie Chicken Noodle Soup.

Our neighbor, Harry, had been shooting vermin in his corn field that was adjacent to our backyard. Harry, being an old man with poor eyesight, couldn’t see the difference between a cat and a rabbit, raccoon, deer or elephant, for that matter. He also couldn’t see the difference between our mowed yard and his planted field.

Harry shot the poor cat in the leg. Unlike President Abe, the cat survived. It learned to get around quite well with three legs instead of four.

I think it was around that time that mom went and had a chat with Harry. I think the zoning ordinance prohibiting discharging of a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied structure was referenced. I also believe threat of calling the authorities was discussed. The topic of “shoving your shotgun so far up your ass it will take an expedition several days to find it” was also raised.

Good times, bro. Good times.

I love and miss you, Danny Boy.

Baby’s getting older

I got  an email from the vet. It was a “Happy birthday, Miss Iggy” card. My little baby is getting older.

When Iggy was about seven years old she left her place in the building down the street and went looking for a home. The woman who took care of her for years started working for a local shelter and began fostering dogs. Big dogs. Four or five dogs at a time in a one-bedroom condo with two adults and a cat. Iggy would have tolerated one dog, I think, but the rowdy gang that moved in were just too much for her nerves. She was taken to the vet and given a sedative that had to be forced down her throat every day. One day, instead of taking the sedative, she left.

She wandered from place to place, begging food and comfort, but she didn’t settle in one spot for very long. One day, she saw a door that had been left open in my mom’s building. Iggy walked in, looked around, jumped up on the sofa and said “Hi, I’m home.”

Andrew, the man who lived in the apartment, didn’t know a thing about pets. Never having pets as a child, he had no idea that Iggy would now be dependent on him for food and shelter. As a grad student, he was used to coming and going as he pleased. When he would go away for semester break, this was a problem. Miss Iggy would then have to go begging. She came to me and boy, was I an easy touch!

After about a year Andrew graduated and moved. Iggy came to live with me full time. She has been with me ever since. As I packed to move, she got very nervous, but soon realized I was moving to another condo in the building and she adjusted fairly rapidly. Through those next six years, every weekday Miss Igg would visit my mom at her condo — aka Grammy’s Daycare. Every night, she’d come to me for food and to play the in-and-out game. Weekend days were a mix; Iggy spent some time with me and some time with mom. Four years ago, mom and I moved in together and now Iggy just plays in-and-out from one apartment.

During that time, I started taking her to the vet for her shots and check-ups. Iggy is such a good little girl. There is never any trouble with her. A couple years ago, Iggy, like many cats in their later years, was diagnosed with an enlarged, over-active thyroid. I had the choice of sending her away for surgery or putting her on medication. Surgery was out of the question. The closest place is across the state and I wouldn’t have been allowed to visit her during the time she was there. Not only was distance a problem, but radiation would have prevented me from holding or petting her for about two weeks. I was told that the surgery was quite costly. The determining factor was actually Iggy’s abandonment issues. After being abandoned by her first human in favor of dogs, by her second human moving to another city, I wasn’t about to send her off. There would be no way to explain to her that she wasn’t being punished, I wasn’t abandoning her, and that I would be back. Also, the risk of a 16 – 17-yr.-old cat having that kind of surgery put this in the “unacceptable” column.

I tried the pills. First, I hid them in food. Then I hid them in treats or pill pockets. Last resort, I put them in a pill shooter, grabbed her twice a day, and shot them down her throat. She, in turn, stopped coming near me, stopped greeting me at the door, would hide from me, etc. Finally, I stopped giving the pills. I could either terrorize my now 18-yr.-old cat and extend her lifespan with pills while reducing her lifespan with panic. Or I could just let her live as long as possible with the disease, and be a happy kitty. Miss Iggy likes to curl up on my mom’s lap or sleep beside her until I come home. She sleeps on the chair next to me while I’m at the computer, sits beside me as I read, or curls up on my bed during the night. All the while she purrs as we pet her or she follows us into the bathroom, laundry and kitchen. Iggy like to go out on the patio during warmer weather. She peeks under the gate and watches the world go by. She keeps mom and me company while we chat. She pokes her head through the drapes to look out the windows. And of course she gets an abundance of “lovies” and “treatments” of scratching and massages.

Yes, Iggy is getting frail. Yes, I second guess myself with my decisions on her healthcare. Yes, I dread “That Day.” But in the meantime, I have a happy kitty who was saved from wandering the streets. I think she saved me in return. So …

Happy Birthday To You, Miss Ignatz! You are still, and always will be, my sweet baby.

Habaes Corpus — or, yes! we have the body!

I used to look forward to spring. Now not so much. A killer was loose in the complex last night. A mass murderer, really. An entire family was wiped out. I had to clean up the mess.

It started about 9:00 PM. Iggy came into the courtyard with what I thought was a baby bunny. I heard the screaming and ran to the door. When I opened the door, Iggy tried to run in — with bunny in mouth. I slam the door!

Iggy ran over to the courtyard gate and I went outside. I managed to get her to drop the baby bunny. That’s when I saw the damage was too bad so I backed off and let her finish the job.

Mom looked out the window later and saw what we thought were bits of bunny in four places. Iggy sat on the bench after that, not wanting to come in.

Fast forward to about 1:30 AM. I was up, cleaning a mess Iggy made of her box, the floor, and the wall. Something she ate caused tummy trouble maybe? Go figure. I decided that it was a good time to clean up the mess in the courtyard. If I waited until morning I would be able to see the extent of the damage. Better to do it when it’s dark.

As it turned out, she killed a parental unit — what I thought was a baby — and two babies, leaving the remains in the courtyard. I scooped and bagged, then dropped them in the dumpster. As I was walking back I found another on the sidewalk in front of the neighbor’s.

My stomach was already in a delicate state by this point and I almost lost control of it altogether. The newest find wasn’t dead. It wasn’t exactly alive either. The poor little thing had been hurt, judging by the blood on the sidewalk. There was nothing I could do for it.

I know this is the circle of life; I just don’t like watching it played out in front of me, if you please. I don’t think I’ll be getting any more sleep tonight.

My cat ate my underwear

Remember the days when “my dog ate my homework” was used? Well, this morning my cat ate my underwear.

Iggy has a problem with my bare legs anyway. There’s something about the legs that makes her want to attack them. Most of the time she just rubs against my legs and then give them a swat. Maybe the company that makes the body wash and powder puts catnip or catmint in the ‘herbs’ mix.

She gets this look in her eyes and I get the clue. Most of the time I can cut the problem off by putting on my pants or my skirt. She loses interest and goes to lay down.

Not today. Every single time I tried to get into my underwear, she swatted at it and dived for my legs. Until … she grabbed the underwear and rolled around in it for a few minutes.

I put another pair on. She dropped the first and went for the legs. As I tried to put on the skirt, she made a dive for that.

If it weren’t for the coffee, a very funny video sent by a friend, and zucchini bread made by another friend, I would be putting a sign on my door: “Don’t Fuck With Me Today!” However, since that really isn’t appropriate for the office, maybe I should just use Mr. Yucky Face.