Our Mama Kitty died this morning. She managed to do it at home, which to Graham and I is a large comfort. Her least favorite thing in the world was going to the vet and we both hated the idea that her last moments on Earth were going to be a terrifying, confusing, loud, and cold subway ride ending at the place she feared and hated. It was thankfully not to be. She died on a pillow in our living room, with Kingsley lying next to her and watching. It was the best death we could hope for her.
She came to us 5 years ago next month, meowing at the door, on a cold afternoon. Unknown to us, she was carrying 5 little stowaways in her belly, and two months later she gave birth in our closet. I am looking at one of those stowaways right now as I type. I named her Sleater-Kitty, but the name never took. It didn’t suit her really, and when she had the kittens we started calling her Mama. Why a name like Mama would stick is so baffling. It was always so embarrassing when someone asked what her name was. “Uh, MAMA.” Both of us would CRINGE at the sound of it outside of our home, but that is the name that stuck, and that is the name she answered to.
She was always a pain in the ass, a little hyper, neurotic, and totally moody (aka a CREATIVE TYPE). She hated change and whenever someone came over or stayed with us, she was frantic and bit pissed off about it. Loud, strange voices drove her to swiping. In short, she was a problem child. Nobody really liked her, but us. And she was devoted to us. Graham and I always knew when the other was home, because she would go to the door when she heard one of us come in the building through the door downstairs. All day long the door downstairs could open and shut, but she would only budge when it was one of us coming through. I have no idea how she knew it was us, but she did.
She loved the heat and would lay in front of the oven when it was on. She was fixated with all the things she wasn’t allowed to do like getting on my desk, the kitchen table, and being in the bedroom when Gus was sleeping. She was so conniving about getting into the studio and bedroom that in the middle of the night she would wait for one of us to PEE, and while we were INDISPOSED, go BUSTING IN THE DOOR. (okay, maybe I won’t miss THAT)
We worried about her reaction when Gus was brought home, but her reaction turned out to be the last gift she gave to us. She came running when he cried, trying frantically to get to him to see what was wrong. She wanted to sleep in the crib with him. She knew he was part of the tribe. It helped.
What can I say, but that she was my first serious pet. She made our apartment a home. Saying good bye to her is like saying good bye to some of the best years of my life. I loved her dearly. Thank you for your great effort, Miss Mama. You are loved and missed.