Far too young to die and yet she lost her life early on Friday morning, July 1, 2011. It was my decision to make and I did. Beloved friend, companion and cat. An awesome cat the vet told me. She really was.
“Ceaseless as the interminable voices of the bell-cricket, all night til dawn my tears flow.” ~Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji)
Whereas some high schools have museums or cultural centers Randleman Sr. High School has barns, cows, chickens, goats and other assorted farm animals. About six and a half years ago several of the cats gave birth and the school was overrun by kittens.
One day, while waiting to be picked up from school, Tracey set her backpack down and ran back in for a forgotten item. When she returned there was a tortoiseshell kitten sitting beside the backpack. She took it as a sign and brought her home.
Two days later whatever kittens weren’t taken home were sent to the pound. At that time the Randolph County pound killed every cat or kitten that came through their doors if they weren’t indoor animals. When Tracey told me it seemed the kitten was in the right place, at the right time.
At the same time we had fostered a German Shepherd who needed a home. He could not stay with us because he was all about killing cats and I had five of them. As it was he eventually killed Matrix and probably another cat but this isn’t their story.
When I put him in the paper I knew a future forever home would have to be screened carefully. That Monday when I got home from work there was no one home, no Wolfgang. However, there was a tiny tortoiseshell kitten sitting in the chair whose green eyes were blinking at me from an amazingly beautiful face.
A couple of thoughts flashed through my mind. The first and most ludicrous was that our cats had gotten together and somehow cursed the dog so he was now a kitten. Second was alarm because it seemed something had happened that wasn’t supposed to.
It turned out it had and the people who took Wolfgang weren’t very happy because they also had cats. I didn’t blame them and Wolfgang came back to us that night. Now there was a kitten to protect, too. To make a long story short, Wolfgang did find a forever home to someone who didn’t like cats either. Perfect match.
For a couple of weeks I kidded myself I was going to find the kitten a home, too. In the end I asked Paul if I could have her for a birthday present. He smiled at me and told me that was the whole idea.
You’re probably wondering about her name. Paul got it as soon as I named her. As kids we grew up watching H.R. Pufnstuf. There was a character in the show named Witchiepoo and my kitten reminded me strongly of her. Full of sass, she was a little spitfire.
The older cats loved and played with her constantly. Coleurs and Jazper in particular took her under their wings. It was hilarious to watch the bigger cats run by with that tiny ball of fluff chasing after them. Then they would turn around and chase her.
Witchi was often the victim of Dino’s revenge. She loved to sit and bat at his tail. Because she was christened so much I began to wonder if I had cursed her with that name but it suited her and she it.
A very vocal cat was our Witch. She answered when we called her and loved a good conversation. She talked to us and to the vet to the very end. Oh, God. Her loss hurts. As I told a friend my heart has a great, bloody gouge in it.
A funny story is when I had her spayed. The day after I dropped her off I sat watching everyone else get their doped up, very quiet cats. I could hear my cat coming. The staff was smiling and everyone in the lobby was laughing. La Witch was pissed and very loud in her discomfort. As I carried her out the door I heard calls of good luck.
The thing about Witchi and the one that hurts me the most is that she truly was a great cat. Awesome as the vet said. She sat back and patiently waited a turn that sometimes didn’t come. Because she wasn’t a squeaky wheel she often missed it or was overlooked.
I sincerely thought we had time, you see. I kept thinking her turn would come and there would be more time for her. It turns out we didn’t have that time and it hurts more than I can say. Death has been compared to a thief in the night and yeah, in this instance, it for damn sure was.
I’ll miss her very, very much.
I have to take a break for a while. My heart is just not into posting right now. Give me two or three weeks and I’ll be back.