If you read this blog at all, you probably know that I have two dogs, but what you probably don’t realize is that I also had a cat. I say had because last night I had to have her put down. She was suffering from acute kidney failure and there was no way to keep her alive and comfortable without the use of a home IV. So to pay tribute and to help me with the whole grieving process, allow me to share Cleo’s story.
I’ve had Cleo for 10 years and she was the very first pet I’ve ever had that was all mine – not a childhood pet and not a family pet, all mine. I had just moved into a house full of girls I didn’t really know that well and I was living in an attic bedroom about the size of a closet – in fact a closet didn’t even fit in the room. I had just met my now husband and our relationship was new so we didn’t yet spend all of our time together, plus he was in a fraternity so he was always on the go and I was lonely. One day instead of going to the gym I found myself in the parking lot of cat welfare. An hour later I walked out with a two year old gray cat with white feet. I forget what her original name was, but I named her Cleo, Miss Cleo officially – after the psychic lady on TV that I thought was hilarious at the time.
We took an instant liking to each other. When I was home she was with me either in my lap, next to me on the couch or following me from room to room. Even when I took a nap I would wake up to her curled up next to me or often on my stomach staring at me. Since I lived on campus, I moved a lot and Cleo moved with me. I can’t even count how many places we lived. Then when my husband and I moved in together she moved with us several times until we finally moved into our house.
As a timid cat she was terrified of the dogs when we got each of them. But she soon learned to adjust and push her way in to get her way. We even joked that she was the boss. And while the dogs demanded more of our attention, Cleo was with us constantly. She still followed me from room to room and slept curled up next to me until everything went down hill three days ago.
She had some funny quirks. She used to sit at the window and bark at birds. She took to drinking out of the dog’s water bowls and she loved to sprawl out on their pillows. We would have to put our cups up high otherwise she would drink from them and her favorite food was soft served ice cream. In fact every time we came back from Dairy Queen there she was instantly stretching out her little paw for a taste. She used to chase imaginary things. We would hear her romping around all by herself and when we looked there was nothing there. She also did this cute little butt shake right before she pounced on anything. I could go on and on, but before I bore you let me just say she was the sweetest little cat ever.
This morning, our house feels oddly quiet and empty without her. For 10 years I was used to her always being in the same room with me and now she won’t be. I keep thinking I’ll turn around and there she’ll be or that I’ll feel her rubbing against my legs purring as I sit here and type.
It’s very sad and she’ll be very much missed.