I am very sad tonight. We had our cat Cleo put to sleep today. She was 13, not super old for a cat, but old enough. She developed a cluster of health challenges rather suddenly, and she was in pain and not herself. My husband and I were with her at the end, and the good people at our vet clinic were as kind as I could have ever hoped for. (God bless vets and vet technicians!)
Cleo came to me as a stray street kitten. One day I was visiting my mom’s house, stepped out of my car, and there was this little fluffball, gray and peach and white (what I would later learn was called a Tortie), meowing up at me. At the time I was totally broke and couldn’t afford to take her to the vet to get shots and rid of fleas, so I asked my mom’s neighbor to keep an eye on her for a week or so till my next payday. When the payday rolled around I took her to the vet and brought her home. I’ll never forget watching the fleas just drop off of her and die from the medicine they gave her. She slept most of that day and then started bouncing off the walls as kittens do, playing with and getting used to my other cat at the time, the unflappable and dignified tabby Gus.
A few months later I started dating the man who would become my husband. Two years later we would all move to our new house. Three years after that, my son was born and five weeks later sweet Gus kitty passed away. I don’t think Cleo was quite right in the head after those events. She was an anxious, vocal, possessive kitty. She loved me fiercely and I loved her, even as challenging as she could be.
Here are some things I want to remember about Cleo:
She always wanted to be in my lap at night, any time I sat down. If I reclined she would get up on my chest and fall asleep.
She had the softest fur. She was 90% fur, I think.
She was beautiful.
She could be hateful to anyone besides the three of us who live here. We had to put her up in my bedroom when we had company over. But she was still a sweet kitty to me.
She loved to go outside and eat grass.
She never was much good at killing bugs. I always wanted her to take care of them for me, but she’d just kind of half-heartedly bat away at it for a minute and then lose interest.
She loved to sit in the window and watch the birds. She made the funniest little squeak when she saw them close by.
She was such good company at night, when my son is asleep and my husband at work. It’s awfully quiet and empty feeling in here tonight. It’s gonna take some adjusting to not having a cat in the house for the first time ever. I know that we will get another cat some day, but we will never EVER have another cat quite like our crazy Cleo. She had a good life for a one-time street kitten. Rest in peace, Cleo, and have fun catching up with Gus up there. I’ll miss you.