Wednesday, November 13, 2013

End of an era

On Saturday, I said goodbye to my decrepit old cat, Gypsy Boots.

In his younger and more gloriously fuzzy days.
His body just gave up on him.  Between the wildly fluctuating blood sugar, and the neuropathy making his ass end unreliable, and the food allergies, and the kidney problems, he was ready to go.  I spent the night in the living room with him on Thursday, helping him walk when his butt decided not to work. Friday afternoon I came home from work for a few hours at lunch to sit with him in the sun on the front porch.  Friday night my mother took the jealous jealous dog, and the Old Man and I had one last sleepover.  We hung out in the living room and ate whatever the hell we wanted, and watched a Phyllis Diller special, and slept in a basket on the floor, and enjoyed each other's company in a bittersweet sort of way.  On Saturday we took one last car ride.  Everyone, including the vet and the techs, cried.  He was surrounded by people who cared for him when he died.

If there is a Cat Valhalla, he definitely sauntered in, probably uninvited.
Gypsy wandered into the house in 2002.  When I say "wandered in," I really do mean that.  He waltzed into the house from goodness knows where and just stayed.  We thought he was a girl, because whoever neutered the guy left him nothing :::ahem::: to indicate his dudeness.  I asked her what her name was.... "Sonja?" >ignore<  "Ursula?"  >ignore<  "Gypsy Rose Lee?"  >coy meow< "Your name is Gypsy?"  >another coy meow<  It was only later that I learned that she was a he and that "gypsy" is a terrible racist slur.  By then, I was calling him "Asshole" almost exclusively, though, so it worked out.

With Turbo, who formed the rest of his motorcycle gang.
Gypsy hated Trixie.  A lot.  A LOT a lot.  Trixie was incredibly jealous of Gypsy (and anything I pay attention to that isn't her).  Gypsy tolerated my mother's cat Simon, and didn't care about the Nephews one way or the other.  On his last visit, the Heir delighted in saying "Gypsy is OOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLD" over and over and over.

During a rare truce.  It was hot, and this is where the breeze was blowing.
Generously sharing his chaise with Simon.
Being tolerant of The Heir.
In his younger days, Gypsy was a vicious predator who preferred to consume his victims rather than leave them as gifts for his humans.  The only evidence he left of his killings was feet.  I have a rather macabre little collection of bird feet because of this awful hobby.  His last confirmed kill was two years ago, when he managed to drag a large dove into the house and proceeded to murder it in front of horrified houseguests.  I do not know how many victims he claimed over the years.

I am Death.  Merry Christmas.
Gypsy's other awful hobby was sexually abusing inanimate objects, usually blankets and shoes.  He liked to do this in front of people, and occasionally in front of Simon.  The rhythmic thud of a shoe being dragged down the stairs by a feline pervert will always be one of my cherished memories, and one that the rest of my family will desperately try to forget.

Heeeey, is that a shoe?
Gypsy required two insulin shots a day for the last several years of his life.  It was inconvenient at best, and a burden at worst.  He was also unable to climb into the litterbox for the last few years. He destroyed every flooring surface he came into contact with.  I have become friends with the guy who sells 123-Odor-Free carpet cleaner as a result.  Got a urine problem?  That product is legit.

I got you a present.  Here's a hint- it's not in the litterbox.  Happy Holidays.
He actively hated every man I ever dated.  

I DO NOT SHARE MY WOMAN WITH HUMAN MEN.
He gave up grooming himself in the last two years, preferring to become a matted, sticky, dandruff-covered mess.  I finally gave up this year and started shaving him.  His last few months were very goofy looking, but much more comfortable.

Why have you stolen my dignity?  And where is my rubber ducky?
Aint nobody dope as me, I'm just so fresh so clean.
I loved him dearly, every horrid filthy perverse jealous stinky repulsive inch of him.  Even when he was pissing in every corner of my house.  Even when he was being rushed to the emergency vet to the tune of thousands of dollars.  Even when he could only eat expensive prescription food.  Even when he bit me for trying to comb out his fur.  Even when he could no longer make his legs work and had to have his food dish pushed under his nose to eat.

Gettin old aint for sissies.
Gypsy Boots was my boy.  I loved him.

People used to ask me why I put up with all his foolishness, why I let his ailments and faults destroy my property and my social life and my sanity.  I always replied the same way.

"I will be old and inconvenient someday, too, and I hope someone will put up with me."  

It remains true.
Goodbye, Old Man.  I love you.

16 comments:

  1. A beautiful tribute, Tante. I'm laughing through my tears. You were a good mom.

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    1. "Laughing through my tears" is my lot in life.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Gypsy, you hero of a furry man baby. Fare well in to the black sky and purr, claw and dance your heart out in Valhalla.

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    1. I may have to put "Heroic Furry Man Baby" on his urn.

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  3. Oh Tante, what a beautiful tribute to the fuzzy old man. Here's to Gypsy, may he have many more beautiful hunting days in Valhalla. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love.

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    1. Here's hoping that Sparrow and Rat Valhallas do not overlap Cat Valhalla, or it's gonna be an ugly afterlife for many small creatures.

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  4. Oh man, this made me laugh and very nearly tear up at my desk. I am sorry. You were so very good to him.

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    1. I had his back. It was a sticky, dandruffy, filthy back, but I had his back.

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  5. I'm so sorry for the loss of Old Man. I think he knew that he had come to the right place when he visited you for the first time. Very few would have had your patience with him. You treated him like a king. Sleep well Old Man.

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    1. They always know. There is a beacon above my house that says "SHE PAYS VET BILLS," and all the sickly beasts flock to my door. Old Man wasn't the first, and I'm sure he won't be the last!

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  6. How beautifully written, Tante-- I was in tears already by the beginning... the loss of such a companion is tough on the heart.

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    1. It's been very surreal this week. I keep reminding myself that there is no cat here.

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  7. A beautifully written tribute. It's a labor of love taking care of an aged pet. He was a fortunate Old Man to have you caring for him in his golden years.

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    1. I've always said- you don't want em when they're old, you don't get them when they're young. Pets aren't disposable.

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  8. This made me bawl like a baby. I am always so sorry to hear about the loss of a pet - I've been there myself, and it is heartbreaking. I am sure he appreciated all you did for him, and making his last moments as comfortable as you could.

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    1. I did a lot of crying last week. This week I'm doing a lot of sweeping-up of cat hair and stray kibbles.

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