Saturday, October 14, 2006


It has been three weeks since the Bug went out and never came back. She was 14 and in decline. She started loosing weight and eventually stopped eating. We think that she went off to die. No trace has ever been found. We think that she had hyperthyroid disease, and one of the side effects of this disease is potential heart attack.

I realized that I did not have very many pictures of her when I looked. I took a few when she was younger, but I soon came to discover that a black cat is hard to photograph. Especially if her eyes were closed.

I got her as a kitten. She was 7 weeks old and had been away from her mother since she was 4 weeks. She had been in two places by this time. Apparently the first fellow that had her was a heavy drinker and didn't feed her so the neighbour took her in. But this woman had two small and very active children and was concerned for the tiny kitten's safety. Enter me. I heard about her from a friend and went over to see her. She came right up to me and mewed. I took her right home. Because she had been taken from her mother so early she was a suckler. Big time. She had a litter of kittens when she was about a year old and funnily enough, she stopped suckling. She was a good mother.
When she was little, she liked to eat peanuts and raisins.
We moved several times and she always adjusted quite quickly. Even if there were other cats involved. In fact the first move we made together was in with a friend who had a cat about the same age. About three months old. After a week of hissing, I saw the two of them together on evening grooming each other. It was lovely. A few moves later, we ended up in a second story bachelor apartment right down town. Her outdoor days came to a halt. At this same time she some how injured her back. We had been living in the country and it might have been a kid, a car, or a cow. She never said. She had a cracked spine and was at the vets for about a week. They said that she would probably be fine if she managed to go to the litter box. Otherwise we would have to worry about kidney failure. She survived, but her jumping abilities were affected and she was always tender in her hind quarters.
She hated to be held like a baby.

Her first name was Hagel. Which came from the Norse ruin meaning a disruption in ones life. The summer that I was pregnant with Mira, there were an awful lot of small green lacewings that were flying around the apartment. She liked to eat them. LOVED to eat them. That summer her name slowly changed to Bug. She was a hunter of spiders and flies.
She was not a hunter of other things. Although she did once catch a bird, and once a bat. Both times, she brought the live creature to the foot of my bed and stared at it as if to say " OK. Now what?" The bird survived the encounter, but the bat didn't.
She never played with my yarns or fibers. I could wind a warp or a bobbin and she would just watch. Occasionally she would sniff.
She was a small cat and people were always amazed that she was so old.
She was a lap sitter. She loved to be on my lap. Any adults lap actually. She liked to have about two minutes of petting, and that was it. And if some unknowing person stroked too hard by her tail, she generally just hissed.
She liked butter. I have to say that I am not going to miss tongue marks in the butter.
Nor am I going to miss the litter box.
But I still keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye. Asleep on the couch, or curled up on the futon. Until the shape reveals itself to be a discarded kids sweater or cap.
Good bye dear Bug. I'm glad that we had 14 years together.

And to all of those who are wondering, No. I am not going to get another pet. Unless you count the spider in the bathroom.


amanda said...

sounds like sweet bug was a wise girl and a great cat.

Cathy said...

I'm so sorry Jackie.

Cynthia said...

Jackie I am so sorry to hear about bug. It is very hard to lose a pet. I understand the black pet thing; I have a standard poodle, Gryphon who is black, is 12 and like you cat has been through tons. And she is getting older which is hard to watch. My cat is 17 years old, totally antisocial (dumpster kitty) and initimdates my old girl Gryph. I look at them and think I can't handle this process (of course then I know why we have such a hard time with aging and death - it sucks). My thoughts are with you.

ms. pea said...

Goodbye, Bug. She sounds like such a sweet girl. Rescued kitties are so wonderful and full of love.

Leigh said...

Jackie, I'm so sorry. Even when they get old and we know they will eventually pass it is still sad. They still leave a hole in one's heart. She was a lovely cat and you made her life good for her.

Rascal said...

I'm furry sorry too. Purrs.