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?
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!
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?
"God is not a discount King — He lavishly rewards." — Drew Conley
=^..^= ← sadly, one of my cats is gone from my sigline
A man dressed his dog up as a cat for Halloween. Now he won't come when they call him.
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