Dear Little One,
So the last post was… a bit of a downer, to say the least. So, I’ve decided to go in a very different direction this time. Specifically – kittens! We have two cats at the moment – Tweek and Bastet – and they’re pretty much as different as possible.
I got Tweek in the spring of 9th grade, which was way back in 2002. She was a tiny little kitten and she was still a bit dazed from going to the vet, what with all the shots and such. All the other kittens were fairly average looking tabbies, but she was clearly a tabby/Siamese mix who’d gotten a lot more of the Siamese looks than the others. We brought her home and she stayed sleepy for the rest of the day, but soon we realized that she was nothing but energy.
It took a while to settle on a name, but eventually I went with Tweek, after the character on South Park (what can I say, I had just turned 15). We had other cats at the time, but she was always mine. She’s always been by my side, even through years of moodiness and depression in high school, then college and post-college poverty, on into today.
She’s always been extremely emotionally intelligent. She knows when people need her, whether they’re sad or sick or injured or whatever, she’ll come cuddle and purr to offer as much comfort as she can.
She’s no longer full of energy, though. We often refer to her as a grumpy old lady (and who can blame her, given that she’s effectively in her late 70s now). She loves to sleep and be wherever it’s warmest.
When you were born, she was fairly okay with it, though she was not a fan of the noise. But you slept a lot, and she liked that idea well enough. Not a huge fan of the grabby, excitedly shrieky toddler thing, though…
You, on the other hand, looooved her. Your first real word was “ ‘itty” (I mean, you’d been saying “Dada” for a while before, but it was kind of in reference to everything you wanted/everything good. All things were “Dada”). You became obsessed with cats on everything – shirts, pants, etc. She has learned to cautiously tolerate this love, though she generally still avoids you, as she’s too old to really flee or fight back if you get too grabby. We never let either of you get hurt or anything (“Kitty doesn’t want to play right now. You need to leave the kitty alone.” is/was a frequently stated thing), but kids tend to not be quite as gentle as is needed. Luckily, you have the dogs at daycare to practice with, and they have years upon years of experience dealing with toddlers & preschoolers.
Barring some sort of miracle, Tweek will almost certainly be gone by the time you read this, but I wanted you to know about her. To know that she is/was a very good cat. She’s loving, caring, and has stayed with me through a lot of shit. I haven’t had nearly as much patience with her these last couple of years, as now I’ll do just about anything to get sleep/keep you asleep (and anyone who’s dealt with a Siamese should know why that’s been an issue), but I will be extremely sad when she passes.
Pets are, by and large, better friends & family than we really deserve. They give us life and make the world a little less dark, which is pretty damn important. I hope that you maintain your love of animals and I hope that you’ll someday have your own kitten (or puppy, or whatever) that can be there for you like she’s been there for me.
(Sheesh, are all these gonna end on a downer or with a lecture? Sorry about that…)