Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tristan


I haven't written in almost a year. The last post was for my 2010 Holiday letter and I've already started my 2011 letter. If you have a problem, you can go suck it. I am in no mood.

Around 4am this morning, I couldn't sleep. I was too cold, and I'd pile on blankets and get hot sweaty and then too cold. I don't know what was wrong, but I couldn't sleep.

Around 4am this morning, eighty miles away, my cat died.

My mom would say it was fate. My husband would say it was just coincidence. My manicurist said my cat was saying goodbye. I have no idea.

I am heartbroken, but not surprise. I shouldn't even be sad, though I am. It's like hearing your great-grandmother died. Tristan was 17 years old. She was about as healthy and happy as one could be when one is about 6,000 years old in cat. She was in her warm, safe home. She wasn't suffering from a terrible disease or injury. Hell, my mom was even cooking for her.

But I already miss my cat. And let me make a note that she was MY cat. Truth be told, my mom deserves far more credit than I for the upkeep of my cat. I moved out to college when Tristan was about eight. The apartments I lived in from then on were not conducive to an older cat who ABSOLUTELY refused to be an indoor cat (aka wouldn't touch a litter box). The only time I rented a house, there were a hoard of ally cats. Nope, my cat was much happy staying with my parents, their yard, and their way of life. Someone was almost always home. My mom was an outright cat lover, and would shower Tristan with affection. My dad would never admit to even liking cats, but could be caught stroking Tristan and quietly talking to her.

But these facts aside, Tristan was my cat. As a soft consolation prize (bribe?) for putting us through yet another move, my dad agreed to let my sister and I get a cat. He had an emphasis on 'a' and we had an emphasis on 'cat.' We also had my mom and cuteness on our side, so he really didn't stand a chance. Mom took the two of us, about 8 and 10 years old, to a cat rescue. Of course, we each needed our own cat. We could share plenty of thing in childhood, but not a cat. My mom gave us a quarter to call my dad at a pay phone while he was on shift at the ER where he worked. His adorable, pleading daughters and cajoling from the surrounding nurses quickly forced him to cave in before our call ran out of quarters.

My sister picked out the most beautiful cat there. A lovely, long-haired Himalayan with soft blue eyes. Except for a small stigmatism with her eyes, she looked like a pristine show cat. She was a sweet cat, happy for head rubs. She would even walk all over your keyboard if your computer work was conflicting with paying attention to her. She wasn't super bright, but that might be because I was unfairly comparing her to a street-smart brilliant cat. But all in her own right, but was a lovely and wonderful cat.

Looks didn't play into my cat selection. A rough and tumble kitty, she had a chunk bitten out of her ear. But she did have plenty of personality. Some of the cats would rub against the bars. She did so with such vehemence that you'd think she was trying to break out in order to leap onto your lap for intense head rubbing. She was purring so loudly the staff couldn't read her heartbeat. Yep. That was the cat for me. She was 6 months then. We had her for the next 17 years.

She definitely marched to hear own beat. She decided to be an indoor and outdoor cat, and learned to ring bells we put on the door for our dog to ring when he wanted to go out. When she didn't want to go out, she learned that catching my dad in a good mood in the kitchen mean a squirt of whip cream in her bowl.

She was a good cat. A really good cat. She will be missed.

Love you girl.

3 comments:

  1. I have very warm and fuzzy memories of Tristan (and Tristan, and Blue for that matter, but this is about Tristan). I remember when she went roaming for longer than expected and y'all couldn't find her, and I came up the street and we looked for her in those back woods/bramble.

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  2. Not so much fate, but... no doubt you picked up on the Tristen's kitty soul as she crossed over. Such an awesome Luv! She will be missed along with all the funny silly things she use to do: going on walks with Blue, leaving all those dead-rodent 'gifts' on our doormats that I often stepped on barefoot, to having the rep as a total lap slut and somehow managing to get on to the 2nd story window ledge and scaring the crap out of our neighbor's teenage daughter late at night while doing the "Peeping Tom" impression. Yes, the list is nearly endless. It was a awesome 17 years...

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