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In Memorium

February 20, 2011

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.

  1. February 20, 2011 8:37 pm

    This was a beautiful tribute Summer. By, Miss Mama Kitty.
    Cats make our homes HOME like nothing else. Even crazy cats. Sigh.

  2. Sarah permalink
    February 20, 2011 10:30 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry Summer. Thinking about all four of you.

  3. February 21, 2011 12:30 am

    I am so sorry to read about Mama. I know how much she meant to you all. I send you my love.

  4. February 21, 2011 2:09 am

    Dear Summer, Graham and Gus,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve already lost a couple of feline friends myself. I definitely believe in a Kitty heaven, where our little problem kitties–and they can all be stinkers from time to time–go to their just reward for the love and warmth they brought to our lives. RIP Mama.

  5. February 21, 2011 2:31 am

    My heart aches for your loss. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Karen permalink
    February 21, 2011 9:35 am

    I am sorry for your loss. What you write is really touching, Summer. I wish everyone would respect their pets like you do. Thank you.

  7. summer permalink*
    February 21, 2011 12:19 pm

    Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the kind thoughts and words. I woke up this morning so sad and it was so good to see these messages. Thank you.
    xo Summer

  8. February 21, 2011 2:07 pm

    Dear Summer,
    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    I’m sure others may have sent this, but just in case they did not:
    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  9. February 21, 2011 3:23 pm

    So very sorry. xox

  10. February 21, 2011 5:10 pm

    I’m so sorry. We lost our cat last month. You wrote a beautiful tribute.

  11. Mare Freeborn permalink
    February 22, 2011 4:10 am

    Dearest Summer – So bummed. Don’t know what I would do w/o my Kitty. Here’s to Mama Kitty. RIP. 😦

  12. Lisa Parsons permalink
    February 22, 2011 5:53 pm

    I’m so sorry that you lost Mama. I am also so happy that she spent the last years of her life loved and part of a “tribe”. We’re thinking of you guys.

  13. February 22, 2011 7:51 pm

    It’s wonderful that she chose you to be her family and that you gave her so much love. It had been a couple weeks since I visited the blog, one of the last posts I saw was the picture of Mama Kitty and Kingsley you drew, and my heart sank when I pulled up the site and saw this post. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  14. February 23, 2011 10:40 pm

    Hi Summer, I am a little late but also want to say how sorry I am to hear you lost your Mama kitty. I remember some of the stories you wrote about her, especially in the beginning, and I totally get how you loved her anyway. You loved her and gave her food and a warm place – what more can a cat ask for? So glad she was able to die at home, there is grace in that. And if it’s any consolation our cat is called “Stinky”! We, too, tried other names but that’s what stuck. Take care, Kerstin

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