Most people who know me on the Internet, know me, to some degree, as that chick that writes about death. I write about a lot of other stuff too, but the death stuff increasingly tends to be how people first encounter me. It also tends to be a mix of my best stuff and stuff that gets me, rightfully, in trouble for not letting the ideas or feelings get all the way cooked or considered.
And, like everyone else on the Internet with cats, people tend to know my cats. Alas, currently, that’s just Cricket, because Pretty died at 18 1/2 earlier today after an awesome and dramatic fight with cancer. So, as much as I actually try not to write personal stuff on this blog anymore because I’m an exciting pop-culture thinky person or something, right now, you’re getting a eulogy for my cat, who was the awesomest pop-culture diva of a cat ever.
Three days after I got her as a kitten, someone I knew tried to drunkenly steal Pretty at a party. She ran away from home several times — once being gone for days before returning (and this for an in-door only cat). Another time she hid in the bottom of a box for 36 hours before we noticed. Being half-siamese, she screamed constantly. She also liked to climb on top of the refrigerator, and sit creepily on the chests of her napping victims.
In fact, I can name at least half a dozen people who have had nightmares about her stealing their soul, and another two dozen more who would swear up and down she had a human trapped in her and you could see it. That someone eventually figured out that her odd and very human gaze was the result of her being near-sighted is entirely besides the point.
Despite efforts to give her a non-embarrassing name (Aziz), Pretty Kitty was what she liked, and what stuck. She also insisted on sitting between Patty and I whenever possible and was a ridiculously powerful presence for a cat that was rail thin and deeply eerie looking.
I had Pretty from the time she was 11 weeks old. She saw a lot of boys, a lot of girls, and a lot of apartments. She went from being a cat that hid under my bed for so long, so often that she was only referred to as “the other cat” to being The Cat. Cricket is Cricket. Little was Little. But Pretty is The Cat, a sort of stand-in for all of cat-kind everywhere.
All pets are special. But Pretty was otherworldly, and not right, and sometimes very beautiful and sometimes sort of ugly to some eyes. She was a weird cat. Spooky and neurotic, and she did this thing where she slept with her eyes open all the time. People also always pointed out how much alike we were all to an extent that’s hard to be comfortable with right now.
While it’s far from atypical, I am doing a lot of death work right now. Projects you do and don’t know about. Pop-culture interests that are obvious if you tend to see me around social media. It’s all weird and somewhat comically tangled in my head right now. Literally, I don’t even know why I’m sobbing at this point in the day — plenty of good reasons, but I’m a Libra and choices are hard.
Anyway, RIP Pretty Kitty, September 1995 – May 20, 2014.
Thank you for any kind thoughts in advance. It may be a few days before I can respond.