Thursday, March 10, 2005

Smokey The Cat - I'm Not Ready To Say Goodbye

  • Smokey has managed to somehow get my wife's ear warmer around his body.

  • Smokey, our special needs child, is just over eleven years old. He is a complete bastard. Chase him off the table away from your food, he'll be right back. Ignore him and he will howl at you. Pet him and he will purr until he gets annoyed and bites you violently. He is not afraid of our dogs, they are afraid of him. Stupid as a rock and stubborn as a mule, Smokey wanders from on day to the next. He does not know his name, he does not appear to have a clue who Laura and I are, although we have fed him for eleven years.

    Recently Smokey has been spraying in the house. This is not typical of him; he is normally very fastidious. A trip to the vet showed the our son is like his dad: he has a damaged liver. The difference is, four years without a drink and mine has healed. Smokey's is getting worse...much worse. It looks like we might even have to put him to sleep now, just before I head out of town.

    Smokey, the complete, incorrigible bastard. The cat who can send me into a fury quicker than anything or anybody by doing something so senselessly stupid and destructive it will amaze me - Smokey, our sweet, stupid special needs child; I wish you could continue being a complete asshole pain in the ass for years to come. I am not ready to say goodbye to you, my frustrating friend.

    Please indulge me as I relate some of my favorite Smokey anecdotes.

    We'd just moved to Colorado in 1994 (or 1993, I don't remember which). Smokey was wandering in our new apartment when he saw a squirrel outside the window, in the tree. Like a gray streak he raced across the room and leapt -SMACK- right into the window glass. It was like a cartoon; he hung there for a split second before sliding down the glass and collapsing on the rug. Unfortunately, this encounter with the glass did not improve his intelligence.

    Another time in Colorado I was quite drunk and on our second floor balcony. About eight feet of open air over a sidewalk separated our balcony from the opposite balcony of our neighbors. I was hunting for Smokey who had disappeared. Gathering Laura, we went downstairs and hunted in the bushes, by the pool...nothing, no Smokey. As we are about to climb the stairs to our apartment we hear a meow and look up. There, looking down from our neighbor's balcony, is Smokey. But right next to him, looking down is a ferret. One bleeding and torn arm later, we have Smokey safely inside. It turns out our neighbors had found a ferret and put it on the balcony until they could look for the owner in the morning. Smokey saw it and attacked, but when he got there he was either outmatched or too stupid to know what to do.

    My money is on too stupid.

    Or Smokey's endearing habit of getting on the dining room table and, thinking himself very clever, inching closer and closer to our dinner plates. So, I would whack him lightly with a folded section of newspaper. Other animals would get up and leave. Smokey? He just would get this very annoyed look on his face and keep inching forward.

    Anyway, the cat is a complete asshole, but he is our complete asshole and I don't like seeing him in pain or suffering. So we are taking him to the vet tonight. I think that will probably be the end; but I don't want it to be. I want him sneaking up on my eggs and sausage for years to come.

    I love you, you big, stupid cat.

    Even as I am typing this I can hear Laura's familiar cry in the kitchen: Smoookey! Goddamnit! Stop doing that - ow! Come here! He must be facefirst in her cereal bowl.

    Goddess, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (Smokey's liver failure), the courage to change the things I can (Smokey's suffering) and the wisdom to know the difference. Thank You for putting him in my life. Blessed Be.