Here Kitty Kitty

here kitty kitty

This is my cat. His legal name, according to his records, is Here Kitty Kitty. We met about 13 years ago, after some asshat stole my Manx cat, Tiger, and I was left with a box of Purina cat food, a cat bed, and a litter box, but no cat.

Here Kitty Kitty had been abandoned and was wandering the neighborhood around my parents' house stealing food from all the cats who were fed outside there. He was big and hungry and there were a lot of cats in the neighborhood at the time who were normally fed outside in the garage, so he did alright. But one night he wandered into my dad's garage and got locked in. I discovered him there and fed him. The next day, when my dad opened the garage, he ran off. But 2 months later I saw him again, wandering the neighborhood in search of food. He saw me and reluctantly came over to see me. I fed him again. After that, he decided to adopt me.

I had no idea what his previous owners had named him, but when I called "here kitty kitty" he'd come running immediately. He didn't answer to anything else, so I named him "Here Kitty Kitty." It made perfect sense.

I made him a bed, but I quickly discovered that there was something wrong with him. He'd sleep in the bed, but if he woke up in the middle of the night and needed to use the bathroom he'd use it in his bed and then move over and go back to sleep. After that, he wouldn't use the bed because, obviously, it stank. Asking around, I found that cats raised in cages often learn to do this. Their bed, litter box, and food dish are all jammed in there together, leaving them no choice but to use the bathroom right next to their bed and food. It took over a year to teach him that he didn't need to do this anymore. It took even longer to teach him that if he slept on a chair or the couch and went to the bathroom on it then he was never allowed to sleep there again. Once he figured that out, though, he decided that peeing and pooping on things he might want to sleep on was a bad idea.

When I moved to Memphis Here Kitty Kitty went with me. He was my only friend in this shithole of a town. He was the oddest cat I had ever seen. When I walked to the mailbox or the apartment complex office, he'd walk with me, like a dog. Then he'd follow me home again. Wherever I went, he went, too. Neighbors commented on it, saying I appeared to be "walking the cat." Where I sat, he sat next to me and purred. When I left town for the weekend to go see my future wife in another state, as soon as he saw my suitcases he'd freak out. He hated being alone.

After I married My Wife, she discovered that Here Kitty Kitty could on occasion be a pain, mostly when he wanted to be. So she renamed him. She thought "Booger Bear" was a more appropriate name for him. He acted like a booger when he was mad, and he looked like a little bear. It made perfect sense to her. So that was the name she gave him. Over the years he's learned to answer to that name.

For 13 or so years he's been my friend, following me around the house and the yard. He watches me work on the car, he sits on my lap while I read your blogs, he sits next to me while I watch TV, and years ago he used to sit on my stomach while I did bench presses, which was really annoying.

For the past several weeks he's been sick. He couldn't seem to eat and he was noticeably thin. He followed both of us everywhere, winding around our feet, and seeming to want us to do something. We couldn't figure out what he wanted, but clearly something was wrong. So today I took him to the vet.

He has cancer. It's in his throat and appears to be aggressive. They tell us this kind of cancer is not uncommon in cats and that it is almost always fatal. So, it appears that his time is almost up.

I know he's old, but he's not so old that we weren't expecting him to live another few years. Our other cat, Little Girl, is the same age as he is and she still acts like a kitten, a pain in the ass kitten who breaks every rule as soon as our back is turned, but a kitten nonetheless.

I know he's not a person. I know there are several people right here in my blogroll who are battling or have battled cancer in themselves, or in their spouse, or a child, or someone else that they loved. I understand that it isn't the same to lose a cat. But you have to understand, these past 12 months have been the absolute worst 12 months of my entire life. This is just one more rotten thing in a series of rotten things.

So anyway, I'm sitting here looking at him and wondering how many more days until he's gone. How long before the vet calls to ask what I want to do and advise me on how long we can wait before putting him to sleep so he won't suffer anymore?
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