Catch you on the other side

Nov 11, 2016 | Rambling


Read what you want. I copied three posts from a while back. While the world sat worried over an election, I sat with a small cat. Actually I slept with a small cat. My final goodbye after almost 10 straight years. Everything went wrong on Monday. Business has been so right. Life has been good. The one day I knew would show up appeared. I spent Monday night curled up on the couch with her sporadically purring and grunting. I really thought I’d wake up at some point on Tuesday and it would be over. I woke up on Tuesday and things had gotten worse. I ended up at the vet. I ended up sitting there for two hours agonizing over what to do with her limp on my chest. I’ve walked into my office 100 times since Tuesday. I’ve looked for her 99. Maybe next week it will be 98 or 97. I know. Not a human or a person and I shouldn’t be this bothered. I will be. After I told a few people the discussion started that instead of 14 she might have been 16 years old. Which only depressed me more because I’ve only had her for 10. A rescue off the streets. A good friend for a long time. In the last 2 years she’s traveled with me. I smuggled her into a college on GIS day. She has enjoyed life as she knew it on a heating pad with food twice a day. For the record if you read all the posts below – cremated. They all go with me at the end – the dog…the cats. I prefer their company. I’ll never have another four legged friend like this one. Ever.

Goodbye Miso. Catch you on the other side.


From a post on Google+ 3.5 years ago: 

There are some things you can’t fix and there are some that don’t need to be fixed. When I moved into the house 12 years ago it was an explosion of fixing. Nails and saws and hammers and screws. I was neither Bob Villa nor Norm from this old house. I wore a trail out to the street carrying things I was throwing away. Every day the pile would grow and mysteriously every night the pile would shrink. That’s when I met Mary.

Mary was this gnome of a lady that lived across the street. As I threw things away she would pick through it at night and carry the best bits back to her house. It didn’t much matter what the garbage was: burned up microwave, cinder blocks, a door, two by fours, and odd pieces of plywood. The odd pieces also morphed into whoever happened to be without a home in her family. A daughter with whatever drug addicted boyfriend she had at the moment. A grandson that believed you needed to have a carry permit to get from the front door to his truck. A daughter that would randomly show up and then disappear.

One day I was outside and she came out on the front porch, “I got’s a kitten – the lady at church gave it to me. I named her Skeeter”. It was an exceedingly small Siamese kitten. She had a collection of cats and dogs that lived in the house. Every animal she owned looked more miserable than her.

A year or so latter a neighbor stomped her way onto my porch. “That bat tried to give all her animals to the Human society to be put down. I grabbed them all”. I went down to the house and there was noah’s ark of goofy animals. Eventually all the animals ended back up with Mary after a lot of apologies on her part and promising it wouldn’t happen again. All but Skeeter. Skeeter wasn’t looking so great. Skeeter stayed with my neighbors for a month or two…eventually she escaped and made her way back to Mary’s house. I’m not sure how many teeth a cat has. She had about half of them left. We had decided that a poor diet had contributed….and some cats just lose their teeth. It happens.

Three years later Mary was gone. She moved in with the grandson. She left everything more or less in the house. Microwave. Cinder Blocks. Plywood. Skeeter.

I was about to walk out the door for a last minute trip to Atlanta. It was a cold wet and rainy October. There sat Skeeter under a neighbors car. Before the wife could say anything I picked her up and went to go get gas…..which ended up being a trip to the vets office. “I don’t know what you guys need to do….she’s small…skinny….and sick looking. If you have to put her down then you have to….but try to fix her”.

Three days later I was back at the vets office just pulling in from Atlanta.

“Well – she’s small, has a cold, and has only four teeth left in her mouth – they’ve all fallen out….but other than that given a bit of warmth and some food – she should be fine. She’s 4.2 lbs”.


“Yes – it happens. Bacteria. Diet. Her palate and gums will toughen and she will be able to eat about anything. Do you know how old she is? We can’t tell – well – because of the four teeth”

Most likely she’s four. Maybe five. Well…..I guess I need to find you a home. By the way Skeeter – you are now a Miso. You’re Siamese….not redneck.

I came walking back in $100 lighter to a scowling wife. “We can’t keep her….we’ve already got enough animals.“I know….but she’s small and doesn’t have any teeth…well at least none worth mentioning. I’ll get her healthy and find her a home”.

…and she stayed. A small blanket and a heating pad became home in the spare bedroom. A small bowl provided mashed up food. I had decided in 2004 that if she were actually 4 this wasn’t a long term arrangement. She’s too small and probably (per the vet) has liver damage. So you might get two or three years out of her.

One day I’m working in the kitchen with a small hole cut in the floor. I turn my back and Miso is sitting on the back porch having jumped through the hole and working her way outside.

One day I’m asleep on the couch and wake up to find a small cat planted on my chest. She jumps down and grabs a toy mouse and sits on it and starts beating it with her back feet. Eventually she sits on it with all the anger 4 lbs can muster and smothers it…had it been alive. Well – that answers the question of what she ate and how she killed it.

One day she vomits blood and I race to the vet clutching a cat so small hardly anyone noticed her when I went running in the door. “Congrats – she has no teeth left – the last one fell out…and she’s probably a lot happier. We’re down to 3.9 lbs by the way” One IV later and I carry her back home.

I turn around 4 years later and it’s just me left in the house. The bedroom is cleaned out and Miso is sitting on her heating pad that has been off for nearly a day. I sit on the couch and she comes and sits on my knee. I stack three plastic crates together and turn on the heating pad and toss a blanket over the pile. It’s almost the height of the bed that was here.

Four years after that I’m told I need to fix my current situation. I work too much. I go out rarely. In between trying to fix me I begin work on the house. This frantic push to fix a lot of the carpentry and cosmetic issues I’ve got hanging around before I sell it. I hate carpentry.

In between all of that – the one thing I fixed quite well comes and sits on the desk just between me and the monitor. It’s spring….a few more weeks and the heating pad gets replaced by a blanket. A few months the blanket gets replaced by a heating pad. A squirrel that probably weighs as much as she does tempts fate 5 times a day as it sits and stares at her just outside the window…she sits and stares back and lets it live. One day the squirrel won’t be lucky. Maybe tomorrow…and Maybe tomorrow I finish fixing the house.

It’s never a long term arrangement with a cat…especially a 4 lb cat…well 3.5lb cat. It’s one thing I don’t need fixed currently.


From 3 Years ago: 

Miso – my constant everyday companion is getting old also. She’s not my only pet but at times she feels like the only pet. About three weeks ago I was getting ready to teach a class and she disappeared. I found her sitting under the desk stuck in a corner. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t move forward or left or right. So she sat. She Cried. I scooped her up and realized why all the stumbling the last little bit. Blind. Her eyesight had slowly been getting worse and I guess something clicked that day and it went finally. My thoughts of moving the office to the extra bedroom diminished. The office stays as is.

I texted the ex which seems to be happening more than I want these days. With the house sale there was a ton of paperwork. Calls from the ex family with “we never hear anything from her” did prompt more communication than I want.

M: “Miso went blind”
H: “What…oh no…do you need money – take her to the vet”
M: “I’m not – she’s old. This is the way it plays out remember. The first vet visit was somewhat of a prediction. She’s too small. When things start failing it’s a downhill slide. I consider this the first failure. She’s 12 or 13…maybe 14”.
H: “Well – is she OK?”
M: “Yes – she’s warm, happy, well fed, and old. We’re both getting old”.

Being one that always needs a plan, I looked up on the shelf and saw two more pets. Cremated. Which made me wonder what I would do with her since she’s been pretty much glued to me for 8 years. Technically if I was going to bury her I would find the old neighborhood more appropriate. I can’t just leave her somewhere. Which is overwhelmingly silly since dead is dead. She hates the cold. This heating pad should get bronzed since It’s been pretty much on since 2006 from Fall until spring.

From 2 Years ago: 

Eight years ago the last thing I wanted was a cat.

We are four or five months into being blind. What started out as one morning’s being stuck in a corner has turned into more work than I wanted. It’s more work…but it’s different work so it’s OK.

For the first week it was a disaster: Walking into things….getting lost four feet away from her bed….not eating. That was slowly replaced with finding her water bowl 6 feet away from her bed. Not getting lost as much. Even to the point last week she stumbled over a toy and started playing with it.

Food in my house is a chore for me and them. There are other cats I don’t talk about. Typically I yell “Food” and everyone scatters.  One to the bathroom, the sisters into the bedroom, and miso  who would stand and wait….now just aimlessly walks about like a pinball. I let her bounce off of things and right before her bowl appears I say “Miso” and she stops. Most of the time I pick her up and carry her and the bowl to a central spot. As soon as I sit her down she knows the bowl is right in front of her.

Because of all of this – I didn’t turn the heating pad off when it warmed up. Yesterday I caught her “baking”. She was flipping herself over every 30 minutes because she was too warm…but not warm enough to get off the heating pad. For two hours in the morning The sun booms through a window with no blinds. So yesterday a towel and relocation. For two hours the sun heated her from a different angle and it was good.

I stood there for a few minutes. I’ve got to leave for a couple of days next week. I hate leaving because of the food situation. The chance she will get stuck somewhere. I miss saying Miso at night and Miso in the morning. I know this isn’t permanent. Very few things are permanent.

Yesterday I vaccumed. I forgot and left it out. A few minutes and I heard a “boink” and got up and she was head to wheel with the object. Something new she couldn’t get around. I forget and leave things out. One misplaced thing and the room changes and she gets lost.

Eight Years from some point in the future I will look back want this cat. Enjoy it while it lasts.


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