20 September 2008

Duerme en Paz, Gata Gata

On Wednesday night, my parents had to put my cat to sleep. She was old -- about 18 -- and clearly getting slower each time I saw her. The last time, she had lost a lot of weight and I remarked to my mom, "wow, she doesn't have much time left." Earlier in the week, my mom mentioned that Gata hadn't been eating, so there was fair warning. Still, I didn't expect it to affect me the way it did.

We were never a cat family. I wanted one badly, but my brother had bad allergies (and I ended up having them, too) and my parents said no. Still, about 16 years ago, this furry friend started showing up in our backyard, and my dad fed it. Her owners put up signs about a lost cat, but when we called, they said they didn't want her, just to know if she was alive. She had been ours ever since. Her official name was "Handsome Stranger," apparently a line from an old movie.

For a while she split time between our house and the one behind us, where I am pretty sure she partook in whatever drugs the son was doing. She was about as mellow as they come, and this really showed when playing with her best friend, our dog Bocci. We would yell, "Gata Gata," and Bocci would go after her, putting her head in his mouth, pushing her around. Then, when she was tired of it, she would just swipe at Bocci's face, and he would run away and pout. She would let the kids pull her tail, chase her around...and she would then come back and cuddle with her.

She has been mad at me for the past 1.5 years, ever since I brought the little poochie into the house. She had been my cat, and now I had disrupted that. But she would still try to commandeer my lap whenever Luca gave her the chance, because, in the end, she was still mine.
I am rambling a lot, I know, but her death really signaled the end of something for me. She was around for 16 years of my life...before I went to college, and when I came home. She was the last thing that my parents, brother and I really shared; now any pet that my parents may get will be theirs. It just feels weird.

RIP Handsome Stranger.

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