Friday, December 10, 2010

aebleskiver two plunderschnecht, a good cat

We'll wait for the headstone until the . . . settling . . . takes place.

Superman's says, "I love cats because they're nature." Pinga's says, "I like Skiver in the box."

I try not to anthropomorphize animals. I think it is silly and degrading to both the animal and the human. But I feel a very keen sense of loss about Skiver. He was a grand cat, and a wonderful companion. And if you're the sort of person who believes in heaven (which I am), I'm sure you'll agree with me that heaven would not be heaven without animals. I hope he scopes out a good place for our mansion!

We got him the day after we blessed Superman, because a big fat mouse had brazenly run across the family room right in front of us while we were watching a movie with my sister Aleece and her husband Dave. I am not afraid of mice, but I'll be darned if they're going to be running around in my house, pooping in my Zoom cereal (kidding, I don't even eat Zoom--but I'd like to!) and eating my face at night.

We got him from South Salt Lake Animal Services. He only cost eight dollars because he had been returned by the last family who adopted him because "he wasn't friendly enough." They were obviously idiots.

He looked like a cat I had when I was a little girl who used to bat aebleskivers around on the kitchen floor, so we named him Aebleskiver Two Plunderschnecht.

As soon as we brought him in the house he walked downstairs, found the mouse hiding under the couch, and killed it immediately. To my knowledge, this is one of only two mice he killed. He was more of a bird guy.

My parents never allowed animals in the house, and I thought that's how I would be. But I felt so guilty about keeping him in the cold garage that I caved, and said he could sleep in the house, as long as the food and litter box stayed outside.

We had to give him medicine for his kennel cough, and he scratched the daylights out of my hand. I think most of the medicine went on the floor.

I held him like a huge, hairy baby for at least an hour the first night we had him, and he laid his head on my shoulder, purring happily.

He hated riding in the car, and when we moved here he moaned and growled the entire drive up. We had to shut him in the garage for the first week to teach him that we lived here while we were waiting to get the keys to the house.

There were mice in the house when we moved here because it had been empty, but they disappeared within a month or two. We never saw Skiver catch any of them, but we think just his presence told the mice they'd better clear off.

He loved killing birds. We found feathers on the back porch all the time. Usually starlings.

Superman does not know a life without Skiver in it. They were best friends. Superman used to pack him around like a sack of corn and dogpile on him, and Skiver suffered it uncomplainingly. He put up with untold amounts of abuse from countless babies and toddlers, and he never scratched or bit any of them.

He was huge and glossy and we joked that he was more like a dog than a cat.

Often when I was going to the bathroom he would push on the door with his head until it opened, then he'd come stand next to me and put his paw on my leg, trying to get me to pet him. He didn't understand private personal time.

He started getting sick a little over a year ago. He stopped cleaning himself and his hair turned dull and started falling out. Recently he started having regular accidents in the house and he walked with his back all hunched like his guts hurt him all the time. I picked him up the other day and he started peeing all over the floor. He smelled like there was something wrong with him. The bath I gave him on Tuesday morning didn't help at all.

When we took him to the vet they gave him an injection in a vein in his neck, and he died instantly. I cried, and we curled him in the box that we brought for him. It's the box my red ankle boots came in, just the perfect size for him to be curled up the way he liked to be. We used to say he looked like a hairy croissant.

He was our friend.

Thank you for permitting me to be a little bit maudlin and syrupy.


All8 said...

Did the vet have any idea what caused Skiver to get sick? I hate it when animals but especially pets get sick. Wish I could send you a (((hug))).

tipsybaker said...

That is so sad. Syrupy and maudlin -- appropriate when you lose an animal like that.

Sarah said...

Sorry for your loss. Aebleskiver was always good and patient with my little ones, even though they've never had an animal and probably treated him like a toy. Thanks for sharing some of your memories of him.

Tori said...

I'm so sorry about Skiver! A good cat is a hard thing to lose.

Jill said...

Sad.:-( He sounded like a great pet with a fun personality.

Claire said...

"Ahh, that is just cute." Ike makes me laugh. Skiver, you were more than a cat, you were a kind, patient friend to all. I think it was good you guys put him to sleep. He was not well. Sad.