As much as I teased the beast and groused about cleaning up after him, I miss him already. Yesterday, the Sweets decided to put down Simon, a.k.a. Simon-Cat, Sea-Moan-Pussy-Cat, Beaster, Pizzacat, Thunderpuss (alternately Thunderpuss E. Cat). We knew that it might be an inevitability for quite some time. That sucked all the more, because we had to wait for it to happen, watching him be alive. We got second opinions at the Atlantic Venerinary College, but they said they really didn't know why he'd been so sick.
Simon has never been a friendly cat. Or not constantly friendly, anyway. This isn’t about him not being friendly. Don’t think that we’re terrible people who buy a cat and expect it to stay cute and fluffy and kitteny for the rest of its days. We’re not. In fact, if we cared about how he looked, we’d have been pimpin’ him out to cat modelling agencies or something, because he was a very handsome cat. He wasn’t a disposable pet. We had him for ten years. If he was simply unfriendly and aloof and left it at that, we could have lived with it, but he was unpredictable and sometimes aggressive and dangerous. Several people, including me, bear scars courtesy of Simon.
He’s also been unwell. My last summer in Hamilton, he was vomiting two or three times a day, was losing weight and his fur was shedding at an incredible rate. My sister and Dad took him to the vet and they thought it was a thyroid problem, so they gave him food that helped him gain weight and stop barfing. He never really re-gained all the weight, and lately he’d been barfing and shedding again.
For the last four weeks (!) we have had painters downstairs, sanding, plastering, priming, and painting, and because Simon has been unpredictable around strangers, we locked him in my parent’s bedroom from 8-5. I hate to think that his last days were spent cloistered in that room. Last Thursday, though, we didn’t lock him away early enough and he screeched and snarled at one of the painters in the morning, and chased the poor dude out into the garage. Later that night, he growled at both Mum and me.
Dad has always especially loved Simon. He chased him around the house and was fascinated with all his movements. Dad doesn’t do a lot to occupy his time outside of work, so I think it must have been a very hard decision for him and Mum to make. I was upset that Dad was the one that had to take him for his final ride, because I didn’t want to make Dad do that. It seems cruel in an Old Yeller kind of way.
I’m a little agitated at myself for being upset about the end of the cat’s days. It’s just a cat, and I am not a fan of owning pets. Basically, you’re feeding something to clean up its poop and pee, which seems like a very humiliating self-fulfilling prophesy. (I also consider it to be like a small-scale zoo, and I think zoos are cruel.) Still, the Beaster has been around the house for ten years. I’d grown accustomed to his face. I don’t think I could have been kinder to him over the years. He always let me hold him longer than anyone else, maybe because I put him down the moment he squirmed. I do regret putting that new-sock sticker on his back that Christmas, though. It was funny as hell, but it probably did register on the cruel-meter. I won’t ever do that again.