|Misty and Atrees, Siamese twins always|
Friday, 7 October 2011
Bye Bye Wee Baby Girl
My little baby girl passed on today, but its all right, she lived a very full and happy life for the last twenty years.
I can smile through the odd tear here and there, tears I’m not ashamed to say that I no longer feel the need to blink back now I’ve had a glass or two of good Chianti. I’ve been known to be a bit of a hard ass emotionally, but when it comes to animals, any animal, my heart melts like a twelve year old girl trampled in the mosh pit at a Justin Bieber concert.
Her real name was Misty, but I always called her Moooooost and that was the name on one of the passports she had in her little life; the people looking at me as I had to spell it out as if to say 'really?' For Moooooost was an international cat of mystery and her real name could not be told. My niece and nephew, when they were kids, called her Moosty Moo Moo, and in fact she had many other names, one of which I was reminded of today on Facebook from an old friend’s comment; Misty Fish Finder. That brought back a memory or two, and a little laugh; I hadn’t heard that in years. But that’s because she had cool parents, ones who actually included her in the family as being just that; known and loved by pretty much everybody in our lives, come and gone as they might’ve. Frankly, when we mentioned her sometimes recently, some expressed great surprise that we were talking in the present tense, for we’ve all changed and done so much, gotten old, moved on in life, a pet from so long ago, supposed to be one of those memories you look back on and say ‘awww... remember such and such.’ But no, it’s only today that we can do that.
It makes me feel better to write down my emotions, devoid as they can be otherwise, I did it for my beloved Angus, my dog taken heartbreakingly and suddenly only three years ago, ‘cept for him I wrote a poem. I can’t read it now, and I don’t know if its because it was so amateur, or if its still too painful, maybe both, for he was special too in ways many might not understand fully - and I’m not just talking about him being a beloved pet; bringing so much more than just unconditional loyalty. But here, I just want to briefly mention the fabulous life Moooooost has had, and who she was.
Born in Dubai, a little ball of mist with bright blue eyes when her mum first picked her up, hence her name (which I always thought to be a bit cheesy actually, but still... she suited it). Cute as could be, but teenage Misty drove us fucking crazy though; wailing like a baby when she first went into heat, and I mean non-fucking stop. If the local police in Dubai actually knew their way about the city, I’m sure they’d have been knocking on the door, looked under the beds, in large suitcases and trunks for a body. We had to try and appease her hormones with a particularly inventive use of cotton buds. And then came along Atrees, or Tweeeeeesy Boy, as we called him, as I still do (Atrees a name I always thought a bit pretentious for a cat who should’ve been called Charlie, but really suits him anyway) anyhoo, he was Misty’s husband and the same age. Recently when I was in Italy, and I'm so glad I got to see her, both of them these two years running, she'd become a bag of bones with age, looking a bit like Bob Marley I have to say; unable to groom herself properly. But the point is, she was Vanessa’s baby from beginning to end, the bond between them extremely special; Misty a one person cat, whereas Atrees (a little man whore who’ll let anybody, and I mean anybody, stroke his belly to the point where they could work up a good arm muscle) always had a special connection with me.
Some years after, Vanessa and the cats all came to live in Canada with me. And that was special, we took great pleasure in watching them for they’d never seen a bird or even a tree; the weather disgustingly hot in Dubai, and the city an arid, sandy terrain at the time. Both were completely intrigued by the first snowfall they’d ever seen, completely excitable. They lived in some swanky places too, in luxury, a birds eye view of the city from sunny decks, yes, positively flaunted themselves in 'no pet buildings', cat-calling all the alley cats in language I can't possibly repeat here.
Misty would only usually let her mum touch her; deeming, on the odd occasion as time went on, to sit close to me. Privileged indeed. But no way would she allow me to toss her around playfully like Vanessa did, not quite hissing, but staving me off if I even thought about it. I got there in the end though; after her mum went to live in Italy to start a new chapter in her life, the cats remaining with me for a few years. Yes, she allowed me to pick her up, cuddle her, always wanting to sit with me, especially at my feet, and taking the best spot in the bed right next to my face - despite that being something that saw an asthma attack or two and hives that any queen bee would give her sting up for, and, worse, so that I had to wait at least two bloody hours every morning before I could actually enjoy a fag. And there was the old game that she just loved, us walking along the wall holding her up as she sought out insects that didn’t exist. But she adamantly refused to play one of her favourites - messing around under the sheets when the bed was being made, a pastime obviously reserved only for Vanessa; looking at me as if I was stupid as I let the sheet fall on her with a big ‘wooooh’. But she and I developed our own games and Vanessa was shocked to see when she visited from Italy a few years later, that I could roll her over with my foot and tickle her tummy. Yes, astounded when Misty would sit with me instead of her now, come to bed when I did, unrelenting in her refusal to forgive her mum for leaving. But it didn’t last, and in the end Misty Moo became a two people cat; reserving different traits for both of us.... but still... always a mummy's girl at heart.
But Vanessa had to return to Italy, and while I knew she really wanted to take the cats back with her, she never asked, for she knew how much I loved them too and having had them for years, they’d become mine in the sense that matters too. I could tell, even apart from her friend whom I spoke to on the phone subtly suggesting it, but I just couldn’t let them go. In the end though I did, when I went to live in Italy too, a different part though, the babies flying into Rome to be with their mum, where they really belonged and where they’ve soaked up the Amalfi sun ever since watching all the poor stray cats in the grounds outside - where we rather suspect a few Siamese looking kittens are running around due to Atrees having escaped once or twice – something he was always good at and which once resulted in me screaming over the balcony to the Cathy Bates look alike (from Misery) that lived underneath us, a very rude name one Sunday afternoon when we discovered she’d been keeping him there with the hundreds of other cats she’d stolen – well okay, were actually hers; knowing we were franticly looking for him. But tiring of him though, getting scratched a little once, playing with him, and then rather cheekily phoning us to complain about it. Tweeeeeesy wouldn’t hurt a fly, but this is about Misty, and she definitely might’ve.
How we laughed when she would hiss at any one that wanted to touch her; Cathy Bates would never have stood a chance if it’d been Misty that went down the builder’s scaffolding instead. Funny indeed. That was a most excellent game, all sweet and innocent as she looked, caught between the clouds of heaven and the fires of hell depending on who it was trying to stroke her; the shock of their faces as they quickly withdrew their hands from the cute innocent looking little missy. Priceless.
Our pets are not just pets, they’re a real part of the family, and ours have outlasted many of the people who’ve come and gone in our lives, as well as remaining in many others, touching them too, as was also pointed out in the nice messages on Facebook today. They’re in hundreds of pictures, kids have grown up around them, and they’ve left a lasting impression on us that we’ll simply never forget; their love and their loyalty, their quirks (and their hives, if you’re me) meaningful in many, many ways.
When I thought about it today, Vanessa had Misty for almost half of her own life, that’s huge, and so not just a cat, her baby, a part of her family that’s been there for most of her adult life, lived in three countries with, and so, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing this letter that she sent to me today; I want to, because it says it all... and perhaps better than I can here:
“My poor little baby girl, she’s seen me through so much in my life, from crying over boys, having fun, moving countries and starting life again, meeting my partner, losing my Mum and the birth of my child, I just expected her to last forever, I loved her so much, and only you could know that, and how deeply. I held her in the palm of my hand when I first got her and she had her babies on my chest. She waited for me to go to bed every night and come home from the pub! She was just always there.
I know you must be suffering too, you were her Daddy and she loved you. Thank you for all the love and kindness you showed her and me. She’s gonna be buried in a friend’s garden with a lovely view and she can sit in the sun and wander free now.
Atrees seems fine, don’t worry, he’s too daft to know anything’s amiss, bless him.
Well they say when someone dies they take an animal with them; I told my Mother out loud she could not have Misty, and now look! She always loved Misty.
Man oh man what a bloody sad day. My eyes look like piss holes in the snow!
Will ft tomoz as will cry today if I see you :-( xxxxxx.”
It’s very sad, yes, naturally, but I’ve always said that when anyone lives their full lifespan, and a happy one to boot, then nothing more could’ve been given to them. So yes, my heart wants to shed a tear, but my face doesn’t have to try too hard to smile, I have, as do many, wonderful memories.
Finally, we all take private comfort in our spiritual beliefs, whatever floats our boats I says, if it makes you feel better, so I choose to think that everything that once lived, returns to energy, man or beast, and to me, therefore, our wee baby girl has gone not to the big kitty litter box in the sky, a horrible expression, because that would be hell for our snooty little Misty Moo, but a big comfy cloud directly in the sun’s rays with an angel or two flapping their wings to cool her every now and then in-between portions of chicken.