My cat is sick. It’s quite serious. My mom is fighting to save his life and there is an alright chance that he’ll make it. But it struck me for the first time that he won’t stick around for very long.
My cat is 10 years old – that’s a lot of time even in human years. He has been with me through more shit than any other living being – outside of my immediate family.
My cat and me go back to the day before I got married to that maniac-depressive con artist – the ex-husband of mine. My cat was around when the gross total of my lovers amounted to 3. He was in my life before Radioaktive, before I’ve ever been to France, Spain, or Germany. My cat already lived with me 3 hired apartments ago.
He’s been there to witness some of the darkest days of my life: my husband’s blackmail-out-of-divorce suicide attempt; my short-term make over as a street vendor (for couple of days I was selling my numerous books in front of the local farmers market in a futile effort to pay off my wacko ex’s debts); my first heartbreak...
Two years after I joined Radioaktive, I became the company’s only new business producer. My department partner, Lera, has eventually traded the joys of bidding for the joys of production managering – and there I was, face to face with our average of 16 tenders per week. It was the time – remember? – when showreels were recorded to VHS tapes directly off Beta SP – digitizing took too much time and hard drive space. It was a time when only one computer in our office could burn CD’s. It was a time of – ouch! – early inkjet (as in pre-laser) printers that at their top speed produced couple-three pages per MINUTE… In short, being the one and only bidder at that time meant… no, not even “no life” – it meant “no living”! It was beyond hard on me – it was even worse on my cat.
He’s the kind of cat who identifies with people and not with his fellow domesticated felines. Basically – I’m pretty sure – he thinks he’s a human. He loves company and conversations – and he partakes in them, i.e. he produces sounds whenever there is a pause. Not meowing or purring sounds, not crying for food or sex sounds – he rather opens his mouth and utters long low-pitch noises, sort of like you do when a doctor examines your throat (“Now, say ‘Ahhhh’, darling!”). He interrupts the air-flow at various intervals – apparently to make his point. So it can be “Aaahh-ah-ah! Ahh?” or “Ah-ah-ah, aaaaah!” Ridiculous as it sounds – it makes a distinct impression of communication attempt. And it never fails to make those present laugh.
Naturally, staying all alone – with nobody to “talk” to – for an average of eighteen hours in a row, month after month, was a torture for my cat. So I made a call to ship him off to my parents’ – where he lives at this point, being the pride and joy and marvel of the family. No shortage of people around him there. Once a month or so I come to visit – and for the duration of my stay he betrays his “new owner”, my mom, and comes to sleep in my room.
It’s commonly believed that there are “dog” people and “cat” people. Well, I’m neither. I’m a “no pet” person. I have never had an animal live in my house before. And I had never had a preference of what would it rather be if I was given a chance to get one. My cat was my husband’s fancy – I just went with it. Yet my cat immediately made it clear to everyone that he was MY cat. So I went with that too.
Somehow there has been no single long-term relationship in my life. No one – my semi-crazy semi-criminal ex-spouse aside – has outlasted a year. My cat though – he’s been there all the time. He picked me and stayed with me. Even after I relocated his furry ass. For some weird reason he decided to commit.
And now he is sick. So I’m just hanging in here and hoping for the best. While learning to accept the fact that pet owners tend to outlive their pets…