Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Kritter, My Kritter -- A Valentine Lament

I suppose it is appropriate to be writing this on Valentine's Day because it is a love song for my dear departed feline friend Kritter.  Or to be more acurate J. Kritter -- J for jungle.  (Somewhere in that name is a reference to T. S. Eliot's poem "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock",  the name "parted on the  left hand side."  I wish I could remember who said that.)  I have a penchant for long thought out, meaningful (to me) and different names for my cats.

He was a plain brown tabby who I tried to give away after he was given to me by a student.  I had asked for, and been told I was getting, a grey female.  Brown tabbies were my least favourite type of cat.  They brought back memories of a neighbour's cat from my childhood,  unimaginatively named Brownie.  Although thinking back that cat was female because I remember her having kittens.  And there was nothing wrong with her.  She was a little wild, but not mean.  Just a boring colour.

But as I tried to give this tiny kitten away 12 years ago, I gradually fell under his spell, because he was the most affectionate cat I had ever known.  At the time I had either 2 or 3 other cats.  ( I was trying to work my way towards crazy cat lady status.)   I adored my cats, but they were rather stereotypically cat cats.  Would allow some touching.  Liked to be with me but didn't really want to be cuddled.  Not  Kritter.  He demanded to be picked up and fondled.  At all times.  As the years wore on and I became disabled from rheumatoid arthritis,  he spent most of his nights sleeping on the pillow next to mine.  The one for which I had dreamed a male companion of a different kind.  When not on that pillow, he was curled up beside me with my arm around him.  Sometimes he wanted that position so much he would sit on any other cat by my side and eventually end up in the coveted spot.

So on January 22, 2012, my beloved Kritter went off to kitty heaven, having had a heart attack, or so the vet thinks.  He hadn't been deperately sick.  He'd only been unlike himself  for a couple days.  I had just begun to think of taking him to a vet.  I'm not a bad mommy.  He really had not seemed sick.  My first thought was he had eaten something he shouldn't have.  But early Sunday morning I could not find him.  It took nearly all day, in my movement restricted state, to find him.  He was tucked away under a bookcase over a heat vent in a tiny space where no cat ever goes.  I guess he had slipped away to find some place to die.

I miss my Kritter desperately.  (Remember Elly May's kritters from The Beverly Hillbillys?  That's where his name really came from.)   I mourn his loss and am having trouble dealing with everyday things.  I know this trauma will lessen.  I have been through this before.  But right now it is a big gaping hole of pain.  This writing has been therapy, and if anyone is actually reading this, which I doubt, well, it was just something I needed to do.

Rest in peace my beloved Kritter.  Kia and Kaliko are looking for you.  And I miss my "cuddle-bunny".

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