I Should Write More Often

Why is it that I only write about the bad stuff? I guess that's not really accurate. Looking back over the archives I only see a few negative ones. It kind of feels that way right now, though. I mean, I didn't write about it when we bought our house five months ago or when we brought our puppy home four weeks ago. I haven't written anything in over six months. And what finally gets me to start again is the email I got from my mom yesterday, telling me that another one of her cats died over the weekend.

When I saw the subject line--"We are down to one cat..."--I figured that this time it was the oldest one, Leon, the one who I found as a kitten in our back yard when I was a kid, the one I had grown up with and who was now crotchety and arthritic and going blind and senile. But no, it was Bill, a stray that my parents took in while I was in college.

Because I was already moved out when Bill came on the scene I never really got to know him all that well. He was sweet-natured and had a very cute face. My mom says that he always got along well with the other neighborhood cats; which was unusual in our house because the other cats were always either extremely timid or ferociously territorial. Once, a friend of my stepdad's brought his two-year-old daughter over and she was quite taken with him. She couldn't pronounce "kitty cat," though, and it instead came out as "diggy dat." From then on he had the nickname "Diggy."

Last year, not too long after my parents moved to Virginia, Bill was hit by a car. One of his hind legs was shattered and he had to have steel rod installed in his leg. When we came to visit last spring he was still recovering; the incision from his surgery hadn't healed completely and from time to time the tip of the rod would poke through. He limped a lot, but he seemed in good spirits even though my mom says he never completely got better.

This past weekend Bill's kidneys began to fail. The vet said that there wasn't anything they could do for a cat of his age--he was 12 or 13 by then--and on Sunday my parents decided to put him down. They were pretty upset about it, especially my stepdad. Meanwhile, their remaining cat, who is 16 years old now, has been looking like he's had one foot in the grave for a while now, but he still eats like a horse and even catches the occasional bird or squirrel. Hopefully, Leon will last at least long enough for me to see him when we go visit my parents this summer. Up until just recently he was the pet that I most thought of as my own and I have a lot of good memories of that cat.

I was sad for my parents but not being very attached to Bill myself, I didn't feel much personal loss. What really struck me was that someday my puppy is going to get old and die. I've got 10 years, maybe 15 if I'm lucky, but it'll happen and that thought does make me sad. When I stop and think about it, it's kind of weird that I've become so attached to Cooper in so short a time. A month ago I'd never ever set eyes on him, and I was even a little resistant to the idea of getting a dog. Now I find that I think about him all the time and I really love the time I spend with him, whether it's taking him for walks or playing in the yard or just having him sit with me while I watch TV. It's a really weird phenomenon, that a person could feel such a strong bond with a creature, but I do.\nIn the absence of a real conclusion for this entry, I'll just end with a cute picture: