Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More about April 26

Angelic Katie Posted by Hello

I neglected to mention that April 26 is memorable at Get A Grip On It for another reason. Six weeks after my dad died in 2002, we had to put down our 21 (yes, Twenty-One) year old cat, Zeb, due to kidney failure. It was devestating to me. When a person dies, there are tons of things to be done and you have to stay focused. With an animal, it's over, end of story, and there is no particular need to rein in the grief.

We cleaned up the house and admired how it no longer smelled like cat effluvia. (As an old man, Zeb had terrible aim in the litter box.) We opened doors at will and never worried about whether he would dart outside. We went on trips without giving anyone our house keys. We de-haired our clothing.

When April 26, 2003 came around, I wanted to do something positive and life-affirming. T came home from work and I said, "Let's go the Animal Rescue League and look at cats. We don't have to get one. I just want to see what they have available."

You know what's coming, don't you?

We looked at the front aisle of cats, but none of them really caught my attention. Most of them were sleeping or seriously lounging. Then we went around to the back aisle. There was a black cat that looked cute, but she was sleeping in her litter pan and I didn't really want to pick her up. But in the last cage, there was an alert kitten, about six months old, standing at the front of her cage. She nuzzled my finger and followed my hand and my voice.

We took her to the get-acquainted room and studied her. She had an orange hind leg, which reminded us of Zeb, and she seemed healthy and self-assured. An hour later, we brought home our new kitten. Eventually we named her Katharina, for Shakespeare's Shrew, but we call her Katie unless she is being extremely evil.

Roy professed not to like cats, but whenever he visited a cat home, he would get up early and give the cats fresh food or a drink of fresh water from the tap. Katie knows instinctively that PaPa Roy wants her to have only the freshest water, and she is not shy about reminding us. In this picture, however, she is in her blind, waiting for the birds to fly around the kitchen window.

No comments: