And in walks this sullen girl,
who looks like she’s 19 or wants to be
With her biker boots and her hair dyed black,
I did that look so many years ago
She looks at me like I’m some square
or I’m like her mother
Well, fuck you, kid, I’ve got nothing to prove
— the prophet jill sobule
(this has nothing to do
with today’s blog post, but tomorrow
is ms. sobule’s birthday.)
The Baby Kat is slowly working on her 10th life. This has meant several changes in her routine: We’re administering an IV every other day, giving her all sorts of exotic medicine, and doing all that other stuff people do to extend the life of their beloved furballs for a few more weeks, whether they want it or not.
She doesn’t look all that bad, if you overlook that she no longer is peeing or pooping or eating or drinking or moving at all. She has adopted a new spot camping on the bed, allowing us to go through extreme contortions to stake out our little sleeping areas along the edges. She stays there pretty much all the time these days.
It’s been a tradition over the past few years, since I’ve been working at home, that she comes into my little cubby every day at exactly 6:00 p.m. It could be because that’s generally my crunch time on deadline and she wants to lend moral support. Or possibly it’s because that’s when I tend to eat dinner. I can pretend it’s the first one, can’t I? How can a cat know when it’s 6:00? We’re talking EXACTLY 6 p.m. And even though she has been so sick that she’s almost entirely immobile, she still manages to march in each day from the bedroom to the office for work.
I hear the familiar scratch on the box behind me (just to show it who’s boss), and she jumps onto her little workspace, close enough to get food but exactly far enough to avoid being petted.
Except. It’s only 4:00 p.m. EXACTLY 4 p.m.
And that’s when I realize.
The Baby Kat has accepted old age and adopted the Early Bird Buffet Special mentality. She has switched to East Coast time and adopted the lifestyle of Jerry Seinfeld’s fictional parents.
Which is fine by me, except I have no food.
She glares at me for 10 minutes or so, hoping that even though I’m a dumb human I’ll figure it out, and then leaves. One more scratch on the box.
An hour later, Mo comes home from cycling. I go in to the bedroom to see how her ride went.
She’s setting on the stool next to BK on the bed, holding her phone and sobbing hysterically. I fear the worst.
“Is she ………………………” I ask despondently.
Mo can’t speak.
She just holds her phone up.
It’s an Instagram video of dogs doing something dumb. Which, if you ask BK, is pretty much EVERYTHING dogs do. Mo isn’t crying at all. She’s laughing. Hysterically. Hyperventilatingly, if that’s a word, and the red underline that just appeared as I typed it indicates it likely is not.
YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME I THOUGHT THE CAT WAS DEAD I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU, I point out.
She cares not. She just keeps laughing and playing the video over and over and over.
The Baby Kat will be leaving soon, and I guess we can’t complain. She’s not in too much pain. She has been our fearless leader for 17 years or so after being rescued as an abandoned newborn in downtown Mesa. It will be impossibly hard to say so long, the way these things always are. And then we’ll put her memories in a special place. I’ll pull them out every day at 6 p.m.
I’ll cry some more.
And then maybe I’ll watch a funny dog video.
Sorry, BK. I’ll have an Early Bird Buffet ready for you tomorrow. So please stay around until then …