You’ve heard the old wives tale that cat’s have nine lives, right?
I know of three for sure.
WARNING!! The following contains graphic descriptions of the dead rising, several times.
So we had this cat.
No, that’s not right. He had us. For nearly 20 years. His name was Spats. If you don’t know what spats are, you are probably too young to remember 45’s, roller skate keys, Glenn Miller, and a lot more critical information that makes me weep for the future. They were white things you put over your dress shoes. Google it. We called him that because he had white on his paws and it looked like he was wearing spats. We had rescued his momma just before we moved from our first house back in Roswell, and as it turned out she was preggers. Spats was the one we didn’t give away. There were times over the last 20 years I have regretted that decision.
Like during the LOOOONNNNGGGGG day-to-night-to-day non-stop trip when we moved here to Iowa. We had two cats, two guinea pigs two young kids, and a van packed like Fibber McGee’s closet. (GEEZ will you read a book or something?!?!? It was an old radio show and the guy had this closet . . . . just GOOGLE IT!) Anyway Spats spent the 20 hour drive meowing, and wandering around everywhere in the van, including deciding to lay down under the brake and gas pedals.
or . . .
the way-too-many nights where he would wake us wanting to be fed. And my wife dutifully getting up and feeding the cat . . . like three times a night! And when he would finally be sleeping and snuggled up on one side of my wife, and me on the other side, and she had to get up to go to the bathroom, guess which one she didn’t want to disturb?
But he was part of the family and he was occasionally not as annoying as the kids.
We knew he was starting to fail here in recent months. I had even discussed digging a hole late this summer, just to be ready when the ground was frozen. That went over with the missus like a fart in church. But we knew the end was coming as the weeks went on . . . he would spend more time staring at his feet, than a Minnesotan. And he got skinnier and skinnier.
And then on Monday morning I was getting ready to go to work at o’dark-thirty and I did something I don’t usually do. I had to go back into the bedroom to get something I forgot. My wife was awake in the dark, and she said,
“Spats died during the night”.
Again, not a complete shock, but a depressing way to start the day, and especially knowing what a loss was for her. So I hugged her, and tried to give a little comfort before I headed down the stairs to go to work. She told me not to do anything. She would take care of him and we would tell my daughter that evening. So I went downstairs, and decided to say my goodbye before I left.
It was dark (usually is when I go to work) and I turned on my flashlight on my phone to see him.
I about came outta my skin! Two things crossed my mind . . . first Lazarus, because that had been the Gospel reading at church the day before, and second, because that night before is Sunday night and The Walking Dead night, I’m thinking ZOMBIE CAT!!!!
But as they say in the NFL, upon further review, yeah, he was alive and breathing. I double checked to be sure, then headed back upstairs.
“Honey, that cat isn’t dead”.
She wasn’t that happy when I asked her to marry me. Obviously.
I go to work, she goes to see the resurrected Lord of the manor. Picture Mary in the garden on that Easter morn, and you get the idea.
About noon I get a tearful call from my daughter, long story short, he’s fading fast . . . again.
I get home and he is not happy and not doing good. Sands are running outta the hourglass. But, he hangs on long enough for the wife to get home for lunch. She swaddles him in a towel (he had some incontinence issues) and holds him and talks to him. Eventually she hands him to me to go change clothes (no, not continence issues, just wanted to get comfortable) and heads upstairs. After a while his eyes lose any light, his head lolls back, and his mouth sags open. I’m holding a dead cat.
But I hang on to him for a while until the wife comes back. I look at her and,
“Spats is dead”
She gently takes him from me, and the towel drops away a little, and . .
He MOVES! and breathes!
Now, I’ve performed CPR on a dead man, and I held my father’s hand while he slipped away. I know dead, so this isn’t like I’m guessing here.
Lazarus V2.o is up and running again.
I take my daughter and we go shopping.
We come back and she and my daughters friends are there weeping.
Spats is dead. . . .No, REALLY.
It was too rainy and too dark to do much except find a nice box and put him in the garage for the night. The next day after work my wife showed me where we should bury him and I dug a nice hole.
And then I went to the garage to get the box. I picked it up, and I opened it.
JUST IN CASE.
Rest in peace, old man. You deserve it.