I knew it in Dusty’s silence when I asked about Katie, that something was wrong.
“She’s in a better place…” he started.
I burst into tears and full out wailed. I wasn’t trying to be dramatic, it just poured out of me from deep in my heart. I couldn’t control it. I could barely talk and Dusty tried to calm me enough to tell me what happened.
“She looked like she was asleep, all cute, and curled up, looking peaceful..” his voice broke and I could tell he was being stoic for my sake.
“I’ll take care of everything you need done, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier, I knew this last week was important and I wanted you to get through it.”
He also knew that he couldn’t lie to me if I asked.
He allowed me to cry and sob as he comforted me. I thanked him profusely for being so sensitive about it. Pets aren’t people, I realize that, and a lot of people don’t understand that kind of love..but Dusty does. He didn’t make me feel silly for being so upset, he didn’t downplay my pain, he genuinely felt horrible that this had happened to us…and genuinely sad that his “little Katie Couric” (as he loved to call her) was gone.
Our “little Katie Lou Hoo” with her big round eyes.
I tried to call Howard but it was well past midnight on the east coast and I knew he probably wouldn’t hear his phone. By the time I hit “publish” on this post, he will know. I would NEVER do that without letting him know first.
It’s just that writing is my therapy..and I have to get it out.
What can I say about our Katie girl? Howard found her when she was just a tiny kitten with a bad cold but a lot of moxie and they fell in love with each other instantly. I remember when he called me from the office telling me he had “a surprise” for me.
“We don’t need another dog”
“It’s not a dog”
“We don’t need a cat”
“Oh honey, she’s so cute…tell you what, I’ll bring her home, we’ll take her to the vet tomorrow and find her a good home.”
“Okay, because we already have too many animals in this apartment”
And we did. At the time, we had two dogs and our apartment rules only allowed 1. And it was a small apartment. I didn’t want to push our luck any further. I was lying on the couch when he came in through the back door and he placed her on the floor and she tippy-tapped into the room and looked up at me and meowed a sweet little cry that sounded like she was saying “milk!” Howard KNEW I would not be able to resist her. Needless to say, she became ours. Or should I say, Howard’s.
She was the consumate “daddy’s girl”. If Howard was in the room, she had to be right next to him. She slept beside him every night. She always waited until we were all settled in and then she jumped up on the bed, walked over all of us, made sure we were all present and accounted for and then found her daddy.
She was a tiny little thing who just kind of stopped growing after reaching 8 pounds. The vets always assured us that she was perfectly healthy…she was just a small cat. We called her our “little fairy cat” because she was so dainty and little.
I’m not just saying this because she’s now gone but she was probably one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever had. She was always meowing and talking to us. Always offering a “head butt” whenever we leaned down to offer kisses to her…she always got along with the dogs. Especially Lucky dog…in fact, I don’t think I ever saw the two of them fight. They always just accepted each other and the love was always there. They were like an old married couple…aging together…
Most of you know that last year, almost to the day; Brian and Dusty flew her to town because she was so sick. She was in renal failure and the vets weren’t sure if she would pull through. She did but they told us that we had to commit ourselves to keeping her kidneys flushed but even that might not allow her to live much longer. We did everything we could to make her life better. We were committed to making sure she wasn’t suffering. She thrived and made a full recovery….or so it appeared to us.
It got to where we didn’t need to dose her at all anymore…and in fact had started her back on regular cat food because truth be told, she hated the prescription stuff, and Howard and I agreed that her quality of life was more important than her possibly starving and being unhappy because she hated her cat food. In the end, that may have been her undoing….but Dusty said she looked happy and peaceful and didn’t appear to suffer. That, in the end, was the most important thing to me and I know it is to Howard too.
So, goodbye sweet baby girl. Go find Zeus, and Z-dog, and Poogie and show them who’s boss. Zeus will be so happy to see you, he always loved you so. And finally, go find Sebastian, the cat I had when I was in high school that my mom “sent away”..the one I never got over losing…the cat you reminded me of when you walked into my life that night 15 years ago. You were the best kitty in the world. Wait for us baby girl, we’ll be there soon.