Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Day 3: C is For Cat
Today's post is brought to you by the letter C.
The spouse and I don't have any pets. We may be the only retired couple who own an RV but don't have a small yappy dog. (We do have, however, most of the required old people wardrobe to be able to blend in at the campground.) Our children had pets when they were growing up, but as the children grew older, so did the pets. Eventually we found ourselves pet free. There are days when I am tempted to rejoin the PetSmart set, but the feeling passes before I act on it.
Our last cat was my daughter's pet. Sarah named her Edna for no reason she ever told us. Edna was Siamese, talkative, and friendly. She played well with children...and by that I mean that she tolerated being wrapped up in baby blankets and toted around in a toy stroller. Edna was Sarah's cat. She slept on Sarah's bed and was the keeper of Sarah's secrets, poured out in teenage angst when no one else understood.
Her junior year of high school Sarah was an exchange student in Spain. I worried that Edna would die while Sarah was gone and would leave Sarah heart broken thousands of miles from home. Edna lived on. Sarah went off to college and Edna lived on. Edna now only slept on Sarah's bed when Sarah was home for vacations. When she graduated from college Sarah moved home and, for a while, lived with us and worked in Hermiston. Then her job moved her to a small, tropical island 600 miles south of Hawaii...no pets allowed. Sarah's visits home were less frequent, but Edna lived a contented life with her surrogate parents. The spouse only pushed her off our bed once in awhile.
Edna was growing old and one day she had a stroke. I let Sarah know she might not recover, but on her next visit home Edna was there to greet her and they both slept happily on Sarah's bed while she was home.
A year later we were getting ready to attend Sarah's wedding in Hawaii and Edna took a turn for the worse. The vet told us it was time to let her go. The spouse took her on her final trip to the vet. The next day, with Sarah's wedding dress packed in a suitcase all its own, we headed to Hawaii. We didn't want to put a damper on the festivities so we agreed not to tell Sarah.
Several months later the honeymoon was over, their job had ended on the tropical island and Sarah and her husband were coming home. Somehow we'd never gotten around to telling her that her cat was dead. She was expecting to see her beloved, ancient cat when she got home. I sent the spouse to the airport to pick them up. "Don't forget to tell her that you put her cat to sleep before you get to the house," I told the spouse as he left.
I guess I could have saved this story for tomorrow and titled it "D is For Dead Cat."