When you get a pet, you know that it is very likely that you will outlive them. You risk the inevitability of them dying sometime in the future, because you know that before that happens, you will have the wonderful experience of being a furrent.
We had our little Lucy for nearly 5 years and she died peacefully at the vet’s office yesterday afternoon because her kidneys failed.
We adopted Lucy from a shelter in Seattle in 2011. I had been asking Ben about getting a cat for more than a year, and he finally relented saying we could go to the shelter to ‘look’. I had an inkling that looking would turn into getting, so I agreed.
The shelter had a no-kill policy so there were dozens of cats to choose from. There was even an offer that day to adopt a black cat for free. We checked out all the black cats, but none of them were ours. Then 7 year old Lucy caught our eye because A) she was very pretty and B) she was a chill little kitty who was lounging at the back of her cage rather than meowing like crazy for our attention.
When we approached her, she stood up, stretched and turned around to show us her butt. We both laughed out loud. We asked to cuddle her and when we did, she purred loudly and rubbed up against us. Then Ben pointed out that she matched our living room rug, and we both knew we’d found our cat.
It was a big deal for Ben to agree to get a cat. He’d never had one before – he was a dog person – and he was understandably nervous about possible bad cat habits she might have – like scratching and biting, ruining the furniture, general meanness and/or indifference, jumping on counters and spreading cat germs, and worst of all, sleeping on his face. Lucy turned out to be just as perfect at home as she was in the shelter – she had no bad cat habits.
She was affectionate – in fact, Lucy was borderline slutty. She’d flop in front of anyone with a pulse who walked on two legs, begging to be petted. She would happily sit on laps, purring loudly, or do ‘halvesies’ which was front paws and head on the lap, back paws and bum on the chair, also purring loudly. She’d stay like that all day if you let her. She took to sitting on Ben’s lap, staring up at him adoringly, as he worked. And if you were drinking something while she was sitting on you, she’d want to sniff it, just to see what it was.
She was funny – she’d catch sight of her tail and stare at it as if to say, ‘what the fuck is that?’ Then she’d pounce on it and chase it around and ‘round like dogs do. Like me, she loved leather handbags and shoes, but unlike me, her love of them bordered on obsession. I can’t tell you how many times we apologised to guests who’d abandoned bags or shoes near the door only to watch our cat making love to them – the handbags and shoes, that is. She’d rub up and down on them and purr like a mad little puss. When I planted potted herbs on our balcony, she’d took to having a morning constitutional where she’d stop and smell each herb. I didn’t know at the time that I was planting a garden for her, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she thought. She also thought birds and cats on TV were real, and would go around the back of the TV looking for them.
She was a total cat – she’d watch birds playing on the balcony and make this weird sound – ‘ah-ah-ah-ah’. I’d never heard a cat do that before Lucy, but apparently, it’s very catlike. She was terrified of thunder and fireworks, and would run into our bedroom and shove her fat little bottom all the way under the bed. We’d have to coax her out afterwards. She would plant herself in the middle of the living room, stick her leg in the air and start licking her nethers. When we’d laugh – as we did pretty much every time – she would stop and look at us as if to ask ‘What?!’ and then continue. She loved to be brushed. It was one of the two words she knew – the other was her name. Until she got sick, she’d come when called. She loved the red dot, the feathered thing on the end of the string, playing with shoelaces (we used to say that she was helping us get dressed), and watching her favourite TV show called ‘The Back of the Red Couch’.
Lucy was fun to have around, loving and sweet, and she made us laugh. She was family and we will miss her. Here’s to you, Miss Lucy, and 5 wonderful years together.