And welcome to your beautiful tenth life...
I don’t like cats…
I don’t. I really don’t. You really have to work hard for their affection, and they don’t ever seem to understand that I’m kind of a big deal. In fact the very best depictions of how cats perceive humans are depictions where cats are flipping off humans. Our cat was that way. I say “was”, because unless your IQ is the same as that of a lump of hamburger, then you’d infer from this blog’s title that he recently crossed the rainbow bridge, and we just lost him. On October 18th, our cat Simon went to live with Jesus, who I’m sure gave him speedily to someone other than Jesus.
It’s a sad part of life: death - unless it’s the passage of a goldfish, to which I usually attribute the same emotion as when I hear the word “centrigue”; which is unlike the emotion I feel when I hear the words “barium enema.” Death hits us all, and it’s inescapable. It certainly was for Simon the cat. Either that or he was awfully good at mime, because he was so convincing at being dead that we buried him. That precious black lump of fur is no more, and the purring is gone. He was my wife’s cat since roughly 2005, and it was actually a sad parting.
That is, of course, if you like cats, which I, of course, do not. You see, I’m a dog person, and I have my Voiceover Dog Macy, whom I love dearly, and does not flip me off (to my knowledge).
Oh I was sad, to be sure. Death is downright unnerving, scary, and you’re just never really ready for it. As I picked up that lifeless lump of fur, I began to choke up. I may not have liked him much, because I am not a card-carrying member of the I Love Cats Club…but I found that I actually did love him, and I was truthfully moved to tears that he had died.
Now, unless I am utterly mistaken and branded a cat-lover, let me assure you that I want every cat to be launched post-haste into space, and deposited onto a planet that I do not live on. Only then would I feel at peace. I’m not about to warm your heart with fuzzy tales of a lump of fur purring on my lap while I recorded a tourism voiceover…or sweet meow’s that had us all laughing sitcom-style while I desperately tried to record something. And to pretend that I liked Simon even a little bit would be a lie that I’m sure would get me damned due to Absolute Untruthfulness.
But I think I loved this one…
In high school, I was part of All-Northwest Choir, and we literally sang a song with the lyrics, “Cats…are waiting…to take over the world…” An unnerving and truly frightening notion. I am not a cat-hater per se, I just don’t believe that felines in principle make good Secretaries General. Hairballs would become public policy. The UN would be littered (get it?) with oppression complaints by mice the world over.
We all have our four-legged humans that we really love and gravitate towards. It’s core to every human being to love, unless we’re talking about Nancy Grace. I’m much more a dog-person, quite simply. I have always had a fondness for dogs. Our dog Macy is the sweetest dog on Planet Earth, and we’re fairly certain that she was made from rainbows and cotton candy, although that is not what she poops. But imparting love to an animal is second-nature; innate; instinctual. When we impart our love to a cat, who is incapable of returning love, is all-take and no-give, sheds on our clothes, sleeps in our sinks and poops in our shoes, we dream contentedly of incinerating them with eye lasers, and watching their skin melt with approval.
I don’t think that was my point.
My point was that I actually, eventually, honestly fell in love with this particular cat, despite some major shortcomings and the fact that he did not ever bark. Or fetch. Or come when I called him. Or anything else – ever – that I ordered him to do. (Pretty sure I was flipped off a lot behind my back.) I also do not think it was because he knew no English. No, I’m confident that it was because he was a minion of the Antichrist.
Simon was just his own person. His own self. And I mean it in the most affectionate sense when I say I miss the scruffy little disobedient punk. Holding his lifeless body in my arms was not the experience I had expected that morning. I had been walking out to the hot tub and expected warmth and comfort. Instead, I held cold sadness.
As the song goes, "You don't know what you got...until it's gone...and I found out...a little too late."
However I am not obligated to love any other cat...
We had his burial, and it was relatively undistracted except for by my infant, who does not even know what a cat is, much less a dead cat, much less the words cat, or dead, or anything beyond “Igonnagitchoo.” Simon now occupies 2.2 cubic feet out in our pasture, and I know this because I simply took his length by his height by his width plus a lot of guesswork, sheer conjecture and educated supposition entirely on my own. Also because I googled how to compute cubic feet.
Here's Simon with our former dog, Primrose, who is also dead. I assure you we are not pet-killers.
That little ball of fur that was utterly precious to us. Correction. Let me start that over again because it was incorrect. That little ball of fur that was utterly precious to my wife is now laid to rest, and we have lots of memories that we can reflect upon. My wife will reflect upon stroking his fur, and how when she went to nurse our infant, she placed a pillow on her lap (for our infant), and Simon instantly jumped up onto it. For the record I think I should point out that she did not nurse our cat. My wife will also reflect upon how she loved him, how he snuggled up against her and would sometimes be found in the morning on her chest, staring at her, purring: a notion which terrifies me to my very core. I do not wish to wake up to that, and am perpetually glad that I will not.
For my part, I will reflect upon kitty litter everywhere, cat hair and dander rubbed into the corners of our walls, and the demolition of one of my favorite shirts by Simon’s velociraptor-like claws. Oh I didn’t tell you the story? Here, let me explain.
I had never had a real cat. Plush, won-at-the-fair types, yes, but not one I could ever call my own. You see, I attempted to bond with Simon early on in our marriage (to my wife, not Simon) by taking him for a car ride to the post office. It never occurred to me that according to Universal Cat Laws, you should NOT EVER DO THIS EVER. For some reason I was under the impression that Simon was a dog. My wife cleared it up for me later, reassuring me that he was in fact a cat and not a dog. A reassurance that I really had no need of, because upon my first insertion attempt of Simon into my car, he proceeded to scramble up my front, over my shoulders and down my back, digging what I remember to be seventy-five 8-foot-long blood-drenched talons into my flesh in a mad attempt to escape. In the process, he shredded one of my favorite shirts, a long-sleeve FDNY shirt I had owned since 9/11, the trauma of which seems now to pale in comparison when stacked up against actually owning a cat.
Farewell Simon. I won’t begin to pretend that I liked you. Not for all the Bottle Caps candy in the world. But I did love you. Your nine lives are over here, but we wish you well across the Rainbow Bridge into your tenth life.
Even though you never performed a single voiceover, you were our Voiceover Kitty, and I will miss you.
RIP Simon 2003-2020. Enjoy the rainbow bridge and please clean up your hair after you've crossed over.
NOTE: This blog is purely for commentary / educational purposes. I make no money from these blogs; though I do not refuse large cash gifts if it means I can pretend I'm a church.
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