The Cat is Dead

I have owned and loved both cats and dogs since childhood. But, all things considered, I am more of a cat person than a dog person. Samantha and Copper, Hershey, Fergie, Emma, Sophie and Othello, Blue, Sterling, Forrest and Indy are a few of my beloved cats. But, unfortunately, being a cat owned by me is a fairly good indicator of a shortened lifespan. It’s both horrible and horribly funny.

Samantha was my childhood Dreamsicle-orange long hair cat who was so mellow that I dressed her in baby doll clothes and shoes and laid her in a baby doll stroller to walk around the neighborhood. But, one day she took a trip around the neighbor’s car’s fan belt and found herself on the fast track to death.

Emma was my lovably grumpy, vocal and temperamental silver Persian cat. When one of my roommates was allergic to her, my parents took her in for foster care and pampered her to the max. But, Dad called me one day and without warning or social chit chat said “Your cat is dead.” It was just “Hello?” and “Your cat is dead. She woke up dead.” (And that is sooooo my Dad’s dry humor there…..I think that is where I get the dark sense of humor.)

Blue was a cream and blue calico feral cat who slowly tamed as Joel and I fed her from the back porch. In time she became so docile that we took her to the vet and spayed her, and she could freely come and go from inside our house. But, on Christmas as we returned from the out of town Cook family gathering, we saw a body in the road and I knew it was Blue even from a distance. She died on the Highway to Heaven.

Sterling was a Blue Russian stray who found us and stood at our back porch door and meowed until we fed him. He was a regal gun-metal silver short hair and loved to be doted on. But, one night as I drove home, only months after we vaccinated and fixed him (when it became apparent that he was really our cat) Joel called, quite upset and not fully articulate at first, to say “The cat is dead. I ran over the cat in the garage and the kids were in the car (a Chevy Suburban) when I did it.” Suburban life for Sterling was unkind.

Indy’s mother was a stray cat who turned up at my parents’ house as an unwed mother. Forrest and Indy became our kittens from that litter. Noah named Indy, a grey striped tabby, after his favorite movie character, Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, unlike his namesake, Indy’s ability to escape close calls was poorly developed. Two weeks ago on the day before we left for vacation, Joel called me, again upset and hard to understand, and said “The cat is dead. I found him stuck in the garage door.” He was strangled in the garage door with his head sticking out one side of the door and his body dangling on the other side of the door. No sequels for Indy.

So, we are now left with only Forrest. We hope for our sakes’ and for his, that life will be like a box of chocolates and that he will not meet a terrible fate. And, I would just like to stop receiving phone calls that tell me my cat is dead. Again.

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