By Dave Lindorff
Our cat died two days ago.
Soren, a little female, orange and white with a long tail and soft but fairly short fur, was a spirited, willful, and very intelligent creature.
She could be incredibly affectionate and also could turn on you, scratching or biting when bothered--and sometimes, with a nip on the foot or the hand, just for no reason at all except that she got bored with rubbing against it. (Last year, when I went to visit a dermatologist for a check-up for the first time, she looked at my hands and said, "You have a kitten don't you?" I had to reply, "Um, well, a four-year-old cat, actually.")
We've had other cats over the years, most of which lived to be 17 or 18 succumbing to some disease of old age, whether kidney failure or cancer. Soren, who was seemingly completely healthy and just five years old, died in her sleep on a comfortable chair she favored at night.
I found her, stiff but still slightly warm, looking relaxed, lying there in the morning when I got up. Her mouth was clamped down on a hunk of the bed sheet that we used as a throw over the chair to keep the two cats from scratching up the upholstery. It looked almost as if she'd died in the middle of playing with the sheet. The vet said the biting appeared to be a result of a convulsion that probably happened when she suffered a blood clot in the brain--the most probable cause of her untimely demise.
We are, quite simply, devastated by her death.
It's amazing what a presence a little animal can have in a house--even one that includes two working parents, an 18-year-old son who is just finishing high school, and another cat and even a turtle.
Soren was just that kind of a pet. Originally picked out by our son Jed at a local shelter, when she was a little kitten in a cage that had a sign identifying her as "Tinkerbelle," she was always around or underfoot. While I worked, she'd hang around my home office, either perched on the windowsill where she could simultaneously watch me and the birds outside, or on my desk, sprawled on my papers and notes (if TCBH! had a mascot, she was it). If I went downstairs for lunch or to make coffee, she'd get up and follow me across the house and down the stairs. She wouldn't be seeking food (she was never a big eater); she just liked human company...
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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net
. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...
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