Our cat probably has at least another decade left in him. He won’t be dying any time soon. Nevertheless, I keep thinking about what I’ll miss about him when he dies. I think I’m trying to cushion the blow as much as possible, because I know I’ll be absolutely devastated when he goes.
When I was younger and had less sentient pets (hermit crabs, for example), I couldn’t understand why people were so upset when their dogs or cats died. Well, even though he hasn’t died yet, I now know why I’ll be upset when he does finally kick the kitty litter. First of all, we have a relationship. Yes, one can imagine a relationship with one’s hermit crabs, but really how much affection is shown (Oh, it poked one claw out of the shell today—that must be an expression of love!)? Secondly, dogs and cats just live longer. Indoor cats can live up to 20 years. That’s a long time to be spending with another being.
Well, it’s entirely possible my wife and I would eventually get another kitty, but here are some things I think might never be replaced:
- He does “the monkey hug,” where he’ll wrap one front paw around my neck when I hold him.
- He lets me clip his nails holding him upside down, and he actually appears to enjoy it, sometimes purring and kneading while I do it.
- He will let out a few meows when I first put him in, but he doesn’t seem to mind baths (he just walks around the tub while I shampoo him).
- He lets us manhandle him more than any other cat I’ve ever seen. We can pick him up in pretty much any position, hold him upside down, put his paws over his face to play peek-a-boo. Yes, we are cruel, but in a playful, nice way. Not enough for people to sic the SFSPCA on us.
- He moos. Yup. Like a cow. Sure, he also meows, but most of the time he sounds like a cow mooing.