Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Letter to Olivia

This note is, in a way, a follow-up to my fare well letter to Missy. I adopted Olivia about the same time as I wrote that note, and have been trying to really understand her since then. This letter isn't exactly a welcome letter, but it's more that than anything else.

Dear Olivia,

How's it going? You seem to be getting fairly comfortable here. I know you are still frightened by new people, and kind of skittish about when we move around you here in the house, but you seem to sort of be getting better about that. I hope you know that we wouldn't ever hurt you. Yes, we are humans and a bit clumsy, but if we step on paws or tail, its always an accident, and really you've never been close enough on the floor for that to have happened.

I'm glad to see that you like the furniture we picked up for you. I was worried that I had spent that money in vain, but since you seem to perch on it or scratch at it every time you aren't in the bedroom or playing, I guess that's all right.

I hope that maybe you will get over your fear of going outside and will try it in the harness and lead that I got you. I'm surprised that you take better to the harness than you do to the going outside part. Oh well, if not, I hope we can find things to do to keep you happy. I don't want to see you get bored. I couldn't imagine never going outside, but if its what you prefer, I'm not going to force the issue.

I also hope that you will start playing with me a little more. It kind of worries me that you ignore all the toys that I try to catch your eye with. Not to say that you aren't playful, It's hilarious to see you chase around the house after a ball, or "ambush" the turbo scratcher, but I was kind of hoping that you might play with some of the "interactive" toys with me, but perhaps that too will come in time.

I know so little about you, though I think we are starting to learn. I know that you like to give me slobber-loves to the face, and that you tap my ankle if I'm not quick enough with dinner, once we've started the process. I know that you'll eat a whole lot more than Mouse was ever willing to. So far you've tasted popcorn and chicken, and I had to fight you off of my ham sandwich.. or was it chicken casserole? Either way, we are going to have to discuss your preferences for human food. I have no problem with you eating it, but not off of my plate.. You might be given a taste, but never when I'm eating, so forget it, and I choose what you get, not you. You aren't aware of some of the things we put in our dinners that can hurt you. I know you don't like grass like Missy did, so we can skip that in your diet. However, you are a lot more excited about your treats than she ever was too. I go anywhere near the cat drawer and I have you under foot all the time. Its kind of maddening, but I can't blame you for persistence.

I'm amused by your insistence on fresh food every night, and amazed at how much you drink.. and well, we'll leave the rest to the imagination. Could you kindly let me know what food to get you though so that you stop.. um.. farting? It's kind of gross you know.. and we really need to find you some help for your breath.. You really need to visit the dentist.. which is going to cost me a pretty penny I fear. *sigh*.

Oh and thanks for getting gentler when you "wrestle" and love bite my hand. its not as tough as your fur covered self, and I like to see the little "love marks" healing. Its kind of nice to have those leave.

I do promise to take care of you, and hope that we will be good friends in years to come. I appreciate the steps you've taken toward this relationship as well. I'm not a big fan of slobbery kisses, but I know they are meant well, and its pretty endearing the way you follow me around these days. I know that your little "squeaky" voice is just your way of being polite, and yet demanding attention or food.. or whatever, so I'll work on learning what you mean with it.

I know this is a much shorter letter than the one I wrote to Missy, but we haven't know each other as long. I'll write again if I think of anything I should add.

Love you Livvy,


(I'll upload a picture later tonight or tomorrow. I still need to get them off the camera.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Farewell Letter to Missy

Since this is the happiest bit of this entire blog entry, I've left it at the top. I have a cat named Olivia now. She will never replace my Mouse, but its nice to hear the cat bell as she roams through the house, and she's setting up shop in her own litter corner of my heart. I plan to write her a letter in future as well, but tonight is for Missy.

I know its been a year, but I felt the need to write tonight. I had to say goodbye to my Mouse Cat (Of blog name fame) on Monday, March 8, 2010 at about 6pm. She had a bunch of fluid in her lungs, and we couldn't seem to improve the situation with oxygen and diuretics as a treatment. The vet told me afterwords that it was right side heart failure (which she said is very difficult to treat, and it was likely that if we had kept fighting, Mouse never would have recovered). In the end, we had to say goodbye and that's hurt me a lot. I felt like I wanted to write down all the special things she did for me, and honestly I don't know that I'll ever have them all down, but this is what I've written so far, and its a good, if incomplete description of her life, and what she meant to me.

March 20, 2010

Dear Missy,

It’s been about two weeks since we had to say goodbye. I hope you know that I love you and I miss you an awful lot. I’m writing this letter to you, to be honest, mostly so I can remember those special things you always did that made you my special little Mouse cat. I called you Missy Mystery at first, which kind of fit. There were a lot of mysteries that never were solved about you. I even called you Squeaker, before that, till I realized how loud you really were, (and what a lame name that was.) In the end, you were Missy Mouse. (Allais’s Missy, Mouse, Miss Mouse, Mau-Mouse, Fuzz brain, Loud Mouse, Trouble, Little One, Goofy-goose, Goofy-goo and Dum-Dum) I guess this is a letter to say how much I loved you, to remember all the reasons why, (and to try to figure out where you got so many silly names.)

I loved how you always used to greet me when I got home, you were always so loud, and so excited. Even that last night when we took you to the vet, and the very last night, when we said goodbye, You wanted to come to me, and you made sure and said “hello” in your vocal little way. You really were a loud Mouse, you know that right? I’m gonna miss that bit of Loud Mouse attitude. There’s nothing in the world quite like the way you greeted me, with a shout, and I love you for it. It was strange, but part of the ritual, so I also love this, but what was with “clawing” my shoes and my backpack? I kinda loved it, but you have to admit, you were being weird. It always tickled, especially those rare times you caught me in sandals or decided to “claw” my leg.

You had some other amazingly funny little habits too. You used to be so good about stretching out belly up, in all the most unlikely places. It was so funny to catch you belly up in the middle of the living room with your paws flipped forward and the goofiest little grin on your face. I loved to just watch you when you did that, just cause you were so silly.

I’m never going to forget how much you loved getting your water in strange ways either. It was hilarious to turn around in the shower and see you, front half soaked, trying to “catch” the shower water. It was nearly as funny when you would sit on the edge of the tub, and drink the water, or just hang out while I was in the bath, with your tail in the water. I never understood that about you… You didn’t want to get wet very badly, and yet, you didn’t seem to mind if it was on your terms. You also used to give me the nastiest looks if I wouldn’t run the tap for you to get a drink. Or else, after you took your “shower” you would wander between the shower curtains. My goofy goose.. You were so silly.

I always thought it was funny the way that you would play catch with me in the middle of the floor too. I’d roll the ball to you and you, like clockwork, would “toss” it back. (You didn’t have very good aim, though). And you would always get so angry if I stopped because we lost the ball. Not that you would get up after it, you lazy little thing. It was also funny how you chased cords though you drove me crazy if I was trying to work on something.

I liked how you used to turn and “butt” your head against me when I held you. I always felt so loved when you did that. It was special to me even in the beginning when we didn’t know each other very well.

Thanks for always making me laugh. You weren’t ever very good about tears though. You always would wander off if I was upset. It always exasperated me, but that was just part of who you were. You wanted an “upbeat” relationship, and by golly you were going to insist on it.

You were always such a troublesome thing about wanting to go out too. I remember more than a few trips out the door when I had to haul you back before I could be on my way. Your curiosity was boundless, (which led to you being underfoot more than once or twice.) If I remember right, you went and visited the neighbors once too. That wasn’t very nice, and was kind of an embarrassment for me. I wish you would have just stuck to the hallways. Speaking of the early days, do you remember when I was a dufus and got us locked out of the apartment at 2 in the morning? Alicia, Brandon and Alan were pissed. They had fun laughing about it later though. I know, I’m a goof too.

It was neat that you would stay fairly close in the yard so we could let you explore in the spring and summer. I always worried you were going to fall off that balcony since you refused to stay on this side of the railings, but it was nice to let you out here, at this apartment. Sorry the vest thing didn’t work out, I was just trying to protect you. I’m sorry it was too cold and nasty here the last few months we were together. If I would have known, I’d have let you out when it was at least a little nice. I remember how much you like to eat grass, I don’t understand, but I remember, and I think it’s pretty funny.

You were always so soft too. I never met a cat quite as soft and silky as you were. Your fur was a joy to stroke. You always did a good job of taking care of it. I never did have to give you a bath, which I have to admit was pretty great. I don’t think you would have liked it if it hadn’t been your idea to get wet (though I loved how you smelled a little bit like cinnamon and smoke when you were). Thanks for letting me tweak your tail, and rub your ears. I know it was odd, but I was just trying to show you my affection, and I was always so fascinated by that scar in your ear. I hope some day I can find out where that came from. It was always such a mystery to me.

I remember how you liked to rub against your brush when it was grooming time too, as if to say “hey let me just get that itch.. ahh there it is.” You loved that brush that got all that dead fur out of your coat too, which I have to admit was kind of nice for me too. I’m sorry I didn’t brush you more.

While I’m apologizing, I’d like to say I’m sorry about the medicine, but I couldn’t help it. Your tummy would get so upset, and cause an awful lot of problems if we didn’t give it to you every night. I know you didn’t like it, (though once again, it was funny the way you would hold your mouth shut and turn your head away every time I tried to give it to you). I’m also sorry that you didn’t get to know my friends very well. That was a little your fault too you know. You know they couldn’t see that you were usually just sitting out of reach waiting for attention. They didn’t realize that you were strangely, a bit reserved like that. Finally, I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but I’m sorry you were so tired in the end. That’s why I finally made the decision I did for you. I would have kept you with me if I could have. It was obvious that you were tired, you wouldn’t have been so good for the vet if you hadn’t been. Remember how nasty you would get with them? It was almost funny, when we weren’t at the vet, though when we were, you were a terror. I’m sorry about that too, I have a feeling that you wouldn’t have minded them so much if I hadn’t had you declawed. If it’s any consolation, I won’t do it again to any other kitties. I’m sorry that you probably didn’t feel very well a lot of the time. You were awfully good about it. I tried to do the best I could to keep you healthy and happy. (I know that “healthy” and “happy” were two different things when the vet was involved, but what could I do?) I hope your eyes weren’t uncomfortable, and I hope I at least helped with your tummy. Despite all that, thanks for always being so good about crawling into your carrier. I was always surprised that I didn’t have to fight with you to get you to go in there, even though we usually were going somewhere you didn’t want to be.

Thanks for putting up with all the moves, and thanks for the laughs. Thank you for being gentle to Aydyn and Amanda and all of the other little ones that came to visit us. I know a lot of other cats would have hidden, or even been nasty. I’m so proud of you for that. Thanks for handling the guide dogs pretty well too, even when they ate your food. I’m never going to forget how you “put Jockey in his place”. I still want to know what you did there. I’ve never seen a cat and a dog in a staring contest before or since then. Nor have I seen a dog that gave in so readily to a cat. It was pretty cool of you to get along with Marc too, even though he called you “Stupid” and teased you. I’m sorry that you and mom never got real close, though I’m glad that you were pretty good friends and that you would have been a better friend to her if she’d wanted it. Thanks for sitting in my lap on cold nights when I was reading too. It was great to see that you trusted me enough to fall asleep there.

I almost forgot to mention this, but thanks for always wanting to be near by, even if you were doing your own thing. It was nice to see you in the chair next to me, or napping on the couch, or the end of the bed while I was working on things. It was even nice, if a bit concerning and frustrating how you wanted to hang out in the kitchen with me (right under foot). I always laugh when I think of how you always looked in the fridge like there was something in there for you even though you wouldn’t touch human food. (Fuzz brain, you were a screwball, end of story.)
It was also pretty cool that you wanted to sleep on the “mom” blanket, even though that meant we fought for that part of the bed every night. By the way, it was not necessary for you to always try to take up the entire queen sized bed. Livvy’s doing just fine curling up in a much smaller part of it. I’m curious to see how she’ll handle me making the bed considering how you always insisted on helping by lying in the middle of it, and not even moving if I covered you up.

I hope you understand that I’m not replacing you with Olivia. I loved you too much, and there’s no other kitty in the world like you were. I just needed a friend, and Livvy needed a friend, and well, I figured we could comfort each other. You wouldn’t have liked her, but it’s not her fault, she’s very sweet, you just never did get on with other cats. I wish you could have. You always seemed a little lonely to me. Maybe when we all meet on the other side you’ll be a little more understanding of my other kitty friends. (I don’t know if we will, but I have to hope so, I can’t imagine heaven without you there to greet me, I know that sounds strange, but there it is.) If you are in heaven, do me a favor and try to make friends with Tortuga, Snickers, Whiskers, and Dolly. I don’t want to have to sort it all out when I get there, and you guys have time. You may as well make up with Shadow too. Alicia and I will be spending time together there, so it’d be pretty cool if you were decent to her cat.

It’s awfully quiet here without you. Even though I’ve got little Olivia to keep me company, it’s not the same to come home without your very vocal greeting. I’m gonna miss your purr, it was so unique, and I’m going to miss your soft fur, and your shouting. Know that no matter who else comes and shares my home, you will always be my beloved Mau-Mouse.

Cuddles and head-butts,


P.S. Oh, and you totally rocked that pink leopard print collar.

Missy - My fuzziest friend from January 2006 - March 8, 2010. Goodbye Mau-Mouse, you will be missed.