I was going to post something this weekend about the movies of Fred Dekker, who made two of my favorite movies, Night of the Creeps and The Monster Squad, but things didn’t work out that way.
I was supposed to be in Atlanta this weekend attending wedding of my brother, but things didn’t work out that way.
I hadn’t been feeling well the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if it was Covid-related or just my back injury and gimp knee bothering me with this stupid August heat in Oklahoma and pop-up storms.
There were some other factors I won’t mention as to why I didn’t attend, but one of them had to do with my cat, Baby Kitty, who sadly died sometime between 2-8 a.m. this Sunday, Aug. 22.
Baby Kitty, who was 13, was named that because my ex and I didn’t know what else to call her. I was intended to call up an animal shelter in the town of Wagoner, Okla., where I worked for the Wagoner Tribune.
In July of 2008, I was coming out of the City Council meeting in the town when I was making chitchat with a resident in attendance and we heard a kitten meowing. I turned to my left and there was this tabby kitten running up to us. The rest of the people were coming out behind us. It was after 9 p.m. and had gotten dark. I was afraid the cat would run out into the road and get hit by someone leaving. I asked everyone else if they wanted the cat but they didn’t.
I scooped her up and put her in the truck I drove and went by my office to grab a cardboard box to put her in for the ride home. But she didn’t stay in the box. Instead, she crawled out and on my shoulder as I drove home, wanting some love.
When I got her home, we fed her. I don’t know how long she had gone without eating, but when my ex went to get her a small plate of food, she tried to jump up on the counter, but didn’t make it.
It wasn’t the right time to get a cat. My ex was going to Florida that week with her daughter and the grandkids. And they were going to the hair and nail salon the next day, before their flight first thing Wednesday morning.
So, I didn’t get around to calling the shelter. Baby Kitty had a wonky right eye that I just knew was going to be a red flag. Someone might have wanted to adopt her, but I didn’t want her to be euthanized. She was a very loving kid and like a little baby, she’d cry unless you fed her or held her.
She also had found a daddy cat in Pookie, who was the alpha male cat in the house at the time. We had seven cats before her and now we had eight as Pookie became more or less her protector from the other cats. He’d let her eat and she followed him around for those first few years.
After she became neutered, she became a chonk and got bigger than Pookie eventually.
Pookie, so far, is the oldest living cat I’ve had. He had to be put down last year. He was 15. Ever since then, Baby Kitty had been acting differently. She was wanting more attention from me. She would then spend a lot of time underneath the bed.
I got a new mattress and boxed spring in late May and it was higher off the ground with the frame. So, already having a hard time getting up out of bed, I took it off the frame. And thus, Baby Kitty didn’t have her space.
She had gone to getting into the bedroom closet for solitude, which is what she did for most of this weekend.
Over the past week or so, she had been lying in the litter pan. I had previous cats do this when they were close to death.
This summer, Baby Kitty was also getting up in the window and sleeping sitting up. She had also been sleeping on top of a bookcase that was about three-four feet off the ground and falling off. So, I placed a huge couch pillow on the floor to catch her fall.
But I had been noticing a change in her behavior for several months and realized it was only a matter of time.
So, last night, she got out of the closet and crawled into one of the litter pans. I tried calling her name but she was unresponsive. It was only when I petted and rubbed her, she meowed but I could tell if she made it through the rest of the weekend, I’d have to take her to the vet as soon as possible on Monday.
I stayed up until after 2 a.m. before going to sleep. When I woke up after 8 a.m., her head and front paws were hanging over the side. She had passed.
So, I went out and dug a hole in the yard near where I had buried previous pets including Pookie and it took me a while. Even after getting some rain overnight, the ground wasn’t as soft. We have a lot of rocks in the ground and it’s been very hot. I had to rest after a while but I went back out and finished.
I took her outside and buried her. As always, I place some potting soil or mix on top before covering her with the dirt.
I only have two inside cats now, BeeBee and Skitty, two siblings from a mother cat who showed up in 2013. We named her Sweetie and she died in 2018, along with Caramel, who was from the same little BeeBee and Skitty were.
There are other cats milling around outside. This is the country, and I do keep food out for them. There’s no point in letting an animal starve. Some just come and go. Others stay.
It’s always helpful in many ways to show kindness to an animal.