Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Toast for The Little Meanie

Yesterday was the Little Meanie's Last Ride.

We bundled her up in the pink quilt where she'd been lying since I extracted her from the litterbox that morning. Still, when we entered the room, she'd gaze up and meow. Always one to say hello. Or "what the fuck is happening to me," or "I love you, master, I think I'll bite you now." She jaked DKs finger, and licked it, a good bye kiss. We bundled her up and I held her swaddled like an infant as we drove to the vet, right down Walnut Street, where just a little more than a week ago Little Meanie and I had intersected with Cell Phone Dude from Hell. In the car, she meowed, squirmed some, tried to slash my throat (no mean task through this damned brace) then pissed blood on my legs. The moment we set her gently down in the vet's room'o'death (the same room where valiant Toscar died) she just sort of blanked out, went limp, and agonal respirations set in. Poor thing. Limp and gone. We wept.

All evening I could not shake the image of the Little Meanie's soul floating, frightened and unmoored, through the aether. In some horrid cat bardo. Of course I don't believe in souls or bardos or aether, but a sense of something horribly lonely struck me. But what can be less lonely than being dead ?

Tearful, I confessed to DK that, once, I picked up an orange comb from the hospital parking lot because it looked lonely and abandoned, and placed it in my car. It's probably still there, off on another inanimate adventure.

It's the mother thing. Hard wired.

She was a fine cat. Came from a litter from a house near a Newton golfcourse in 1988. We joked about her silver spoon and her lack of stripes (she came billed as a "silver tiger.") She was drab, misfelinic, skanky, loud. Sharp, as in claws. She loved me, and I loved her. She made caves under the bedclothes. She slept behind me on the desk chair, at my chest when I would lie on the couch. She had a broken tail that, in her last years, sagged like an upside-down U when she tried to raise it in greeting. We called her "Your Little Meanie," disowning her each to the other. She coined the cat word "mreh," which seemed to be a brief utterance of contentment. She could converse with us for long minutes, meow after meow.

She dwindled over the past year, probably cancer, and I worried she was suffering. But she lapped up baby food like a Hoover, sought us out, and even had a last passionate fling with outdoors in August.

Farewell, The Little Meanie. You were a splendid being.

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