On 1-12-11, at a quarter till 6:00, my big orange tom cat, Kit N died. Uncle M, the girls and I were eating dinner. You have to understand the layout of my dining room/kitchen to get a good picture of this in your mind. It is one large room, and my dining room table sits in front of double sliding glass doors. Kit N would hang out on the back porch just beyond the sliding glass doors. He was hanging out there just like any other night, and Uncle M looked up and said "what is that cat doing?" I looked, and he was laying on the ground, seizing. I jumped up and grabbed my shoes. Uncle M ran out in his socks and grabbed him. By the time we carried him into the house, into the bathroom and shut the door, he was dead. Uncle M tried to force air into his lungs, and we did chest compressions. His little body was so limp. He was just... gone.
We kept the girls from seeing as much of it as we could. They saw him seizing, and me trying to get to him. They could hear my crying through the bathroom door, and I could hear the Vampire say "why is TT crying?". They opened the door and came in, even though I kept asking them to stay outside. I didn't want them to see Kit... or me like this. The Drama Queen hugged me and said "I'm sorry your cat died" then danced off in her way. The Vampire mimics her every move, and did the same. His death didn't seem to phase them. I guess they don't realize just how permanent it is. Uncle M dug the hole to bury him, and I didn't have the heart to put him in the ground yet, so he spent one last night in the garage. I know my mind was playing tricks on me because he really was dead, but every time I looked at him I could see his little chest move. Uncle M wrapped him in a towel, and put him in a box in the garage. I scrubbed the bodily fluids out of the bathtub, and the girls fought the entire time. I finally told the girls through the tears in my eyes that Kit being dead was permanent, and I needed them to please stop fighting and play, because I was really very sad that he was gone. They calmed down after that. The Drama Queen asked me again at bedtime if I was still sad about Kit dying, and I told her yes. She asked why. I told her because I will never be able to hold him again. He will never rub his face against my hand, or rub his body against my legs. He won't be waiting at the back door for some of our food and affection when we come home. Uncle M added that we won't have to worry about him being outside anymore, and we won't have to worry about him being hurt. The Vampire cried a little. I read them both a story. Then they went to sleep.
Kit N was one of my strays who found a permanent home with me. A neighbor had a stray cat who had kittens in the summer of 2003, and kept asking me if I would take one. I finally caved and brought the fuzzy orange Kit N home for good. He was an ornery little soul. My grandpa called his kind a sore-tail because sometimes when you touched his back near his tail he would turn on you. He and I got along fine, though. I knew his moods, and he knew mine. He was a bit of a bully, and would try to hog my affection away from the dog and my older cat, Bombaata. He would actually lay on top of Baata to get him to move when Baata would be on my lap, and Kit would want the spot. In the spring of 2008, I had to turn him outside. He had a horrible habit of peeing and pooping in the house. He would use the litter box, but only when it suited him. It broke my heart into pieces to do this. It was hard for him at first too. He stayed away from me for a bit, was afraid, and wild. When he adjusted to this new life however, he seemed to enjoy it. He made friends with other cats in the neighborhood, and had his usual haunts. He would pull disappearing acts, and I would worry myself sick until he came home. A couple of the disappearing acts were because he was attacked by dogs in the neighborhood. We had to take him to the vet and have the wounds from the dog bites patched up. I worried about my decision to let him stay outside constantly.
He was a tough little guy, and never seemed to get along with my mom. Their personalities were oil and water. I hope he can forgive my decision to turn him outside, and I hope I can forgive myself... because I believe this is what caused his death. Uncle M says he doesn't believe this, and it was just his time to go, but I can't help but feel responsible, and wish I had done things differently. He wanted to come inside the house so badly the night before he died, and I just can't help but wonder if I could have saved him, had I given into the urge to let him in. Uncle M says I can't dwell on that - it was just his time to go.
I sat at the table after the girls were asleep, and looked out at the snow in my back yard. I could see his little footprints coming from the fence section that is leaning against my garage, where he felt safe to lay in the sun and sleep. I asked Uncle M to clean the dirt off the door, where he would paw at the door to be let in at times. He was my third stray that I took in as a permanent member of my family. I will miss seeing him lay on the back porch curled up in Hobie's (the 90 lb lab) legs. I will miss the aggressive head knock into my shins to let me know he wants some of my attention. I will miss his silly gurgling meow, as always sounded like a Wookie from Star Wars. I am glad that he is at peace now, and that I won't have to worry about him anymore, but it doesn't ease the hole left in my heart.
I hope this snow melts soon, or we get a lot more to wash away the traces of him in my yard. It will be awhile yet before I stop looking at the back porch to know that he is home, safe and OK. I hope that he knows how very much I loved him, and never doubted that. I hope I can learn to live with my regrets and guilt. Rest in Peace Kittle Bit. Mommy loves you.