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Animal Diaries


Monday of this week was a sad day at our house — we had to have our cat of 17½ years put to sleep. Without going into detail I will tell you that she was growing increasingly miserable and thin from several different conditions, and the vet recommended that we euthanize her. Today's post is in memory of Adelaide.

We got Adelaide in the spring of 1995 as an 8-week-old kitten from the Humane Society. She was an absolutely adorable kitten, a feisty young cat, and a playful yet affectionate older cat who didn't lose her playfulness until the final year of her life. Not only was she a formidable huntress of creatures smaller than she, she was also able to put much larger animals in their place. In my mind's eye I can still see her as a young cat riding the neighbors' yelping chow out of our yard. How dare that nasty dog invade her territory?!

Having a cat with so much personality, we've had several nicknames for her through the years, depending on her role at the time. When she would curl up and purr next to a family member who was sick, we would call her Florence Nightingale. Long after she was a kitten, she still played like one. That perpetual youthfulness would prompt us to call her Doris Day.

In recent years it was her great delight to be on the desk whenever Becka and I were working on the laptop. Since she acted as if she were our secretary, we called her a name that possibly no one but us remembers. When Becka and I lived in Detroit, we were very amused at a recurring TV commercial in which a family was gathered for the reading of the will of a dearly-departed wealthy relative. The line we loved from that ad was something like "...and the bulk of my estate I leave to my faithful secretary Wanda Simone." That is our name for Adelaide that surfaced often in recent months. Here's a picture of our faithful secretary Wanda Simone this past Saturday evening.

Adelaide became more and more fixated on the laptop in her last couple of weeks, to the point of walking on it and even lying on it in our absence. When she walked on it, she had a special gift for opening programs and changing settings. In the picture below, you can see her walking away from a romp on the laptop. In the picture above, it is she who opened the search box on the computer with her footfalls!

You can also see in those two pictures, the second one especially, how emaciated she had become. As she walked around on the laptop, she did some "typing" in the search box she had opened. Below is a screen capture of the results of that prancing. She was able to capitalize some letters and then return to lower case! And in the middle of the string is "bju"!

I wonder if Adelaide would have come up with something like the following, if given sufficient time.

Excerpts from a Cat's Diary

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant that they are also depriving of sun and fresh air.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded ... must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair ... must try this on their bed.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was.... Hmmm. Not working according to plan....

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time, however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid! My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the food they call "nachos." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time....

DAY 792 - Slept all day long so that I could torment my captors with sleep-depriving, incessant pleas for food and attention. As I do that tonight I must remember their capacity to launch projectiles with accuracy.

Day 825 - The horrors! The worse creature my captors could have devised to torment me with was another hideous cat! I can't stand the way it lies around and looks at me as if it knows more than I do. This creature seems to despise me as much as I it. I had held out a passing notion that another of my own kind would have enabled me to conspire against the villains who hold me; now I see that I was wrong. What a dreadful creature! And yet they coo over us both. Can they not spot my innate superiority?

Day 830 - Got loopy on catnip tonight. At the height of it all, I had a vision, a hallucinogenic revelation: they are the prisoners and I am the captor! Why haven't I seen this all before?

divider

Since those of you who prefer dogs have endured all this, I'll also post what a dog's diary would look like.

A Dog's Diary

8:00 am — Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am — A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am — A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am — Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm — Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm — Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm — Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm — Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm — Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm — Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm — Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

divider

Losing Adelaide has been especially hard on me since we've had her over a fourth of my life. She was truly my crazy baby, both amusing and maddening. More people loved her than those who've lived in our house — she was an especially endearing little creature. Our other cat Clementine is already 18, so we know we'll be going through this again in the not-too-distant future. BTW, do any of you remember the TV ads with Wanda Simone?

quotation...

"God is not a discount King — He lavishly rewards." — Drew Conley

=^..^= ← sadly, one of my cats is gone from my sigline
Rob

A man dressed his dog up as a cat for Halloween. Now he won't come when they call him.


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6 Comments on “Animal Diaries”

  1. #1 Ron
    on Nov 28th, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I am very sorry to hear about Adelaide. It is nice that you have such a fond remembrance of her. Oddly enough I do remember Wanda Simone.

  2. #2 Matthew Gardner
    on Nov 28th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Hi,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. I have five, yes, five cats. I can’t imagine the loss of my dearest, Cindy, as she is approaching 18. Cats are unique with such personalities. Of course, it is different if they are house cats and are under your nose most of your life. They seem to know you and you know them very well.
    Maybe your Adelaide was similar. But Cindy has sat for hours and hours just staring at me and purring every second for 18 years!!!!. Wow. No dog does that…you know.
    Condolences…..you will miss her.
    Matthew Gardner

  3. #3 Elizabeth
    on Nov 28th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I am so sorry about your cat. Soon after Tom and I bought our first house, we got our first kitten and named her Fluffy. She died just shy of her 20th birthday, and it was very hard for us. I even grew up with a cat that we got when I was five and died when I was in college. Have you read Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven? He has a comforting chapter about pets.

  4. #4 David
    on Nov 28th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Super belle dedicace, Monsieur. Que Dieu vous benisse. N’oubliez jamais tous les bons souvenirs…

  5. #5 Rob
    on Nov 28th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks to all! In addition to these comments, I’ve also received some nice e-mails today, as well as people stopping me in passing to express their condolences. It’s been surprising to hear from quite a few people who have had cats who lived almost 20 years, and how hard it was to lose that dear companion.

    Ron, I know your recent loss of a beloved cat was much more traumatic than ours. On a lighter note, that’s hilarious that you remember Wanda Simone! We’re trying to remember if the ad was for Art Van furniture stores. Maybe they also had ads on on the Toledo stations.

    Matt, I can’t imagine keeping up with 5 cats! :-D

    I haven’t read that book yet, Elizabeth, but I hope to soon. Have you read Heaven Is for Real!? The little boy in it said he saw animals in heaven. I know that book isn’t without it’s controversies since it’s based on experiences rather than the Word, but I did find it interesting.

    Merci, David. On n’oublierai jamais une chatte comme ça! Les souvenirs sont indélibles. :-)

  6. #6 Rela Biagiotti
    on Dec 6th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Tim and I had to “put down” our Michi last March for the same reasons, Rob. He had become very thin, and the Dr. felt that it was probably some cancer. Michi was my sweetie, and it was very hard on me. Tim brought him home literally in the palm of his hand. He loved to knead and purr in my long hair. We have sweet memories of him. Our “princess”, Ashes, now rules the domicile by herself. She has many nicknames: sometimes she is Queen La Heava; other times Purr Baby. We have loved our babies, our cats.


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