Friday, May 19, 2006


We interrupt the newly-reinstituted dogblogging this week to commemorate our cat Gladys, who died on Tuesday. It took us a few days to find any pictures of her from her younger years. Partly this is because she aged over a long time (she was a stray, and our best guess is that she was 18 this year, but perhaps older), and partly because I tend to be the cat guy, Mrs. S and Littlest prefer dogs and they control the cameras. I'll have this post up top for the weekend in memory.

It's also odd that I took this so much better. Sunday she came upstairs to the kitchen and groaned as she laid down, and there she stayed for her last 36 hours. You knew it was the end. Breathing was slow, she couldn't eat, and we knew there was nothing to be done. Sure, take her to the vet and put her on kitty-IV, I guess, but that cure would only last awhile.We didn't want to see last days that were as bad as our dog Betty's were, so if it was possible for her to spend her last days at home, we figured, so be it.

This was a cat that played all the time, but liked to observe only from a distance. She was not a snuggly cat. The little black spot on the edge of her nose -- a little crooked and offset from center -- gave her a whimsical look. Her favorite games when younger were with a ball like Betty did, but later she learned to stick her head between the stairwell posts leading down to the basement. This she would do when your head was at the level of the upstairs floor, and if you walked along that side of the stairs she would butt her head against yours. Then she'd duck back from between those two posts and step down to another slot and do it again. Like I say, whimsical.

As I say, I'm the cat person of the house. When I write in my home office there almost always is a cat or two. We still have Pepper, an all-black stray that adopted our porch three years ago and wormed his way in. Pep is a much more clingy, affectionate cat than Gladys, hopping into my lap when attention is needed. Gladys was never that way. She would sit in a box near you like the picture at the top, or on this bed in my office -- when I am in writing tunnels I prefer not to disturb the family and fall asleep down here. She would never jump in bed like the dogs or Pepper do, unless food was needed.

It took us almost two days to drop her for disposal at the vet this week. She was never the same after Betty died and if cats and dogs go to Heaven, they're fighting over a ball just about now.

See you, girl.

UPDATE: Margaret recites a very nice poem.