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Friday, August 5, 2016
Nineteen years and 1 month ago, I adopted two cats. At the time I was engaged, but unsure of my commitment to the relationship. I already knew there was a chance that the whole thing would fall apart, as it did just six months later. But the cats were a sure thing. I joked that the cats were the longest term commitment I was capable of making, and in the end, they certainly outlasted a lot in my life.
My cat Pipsqueak, the tiny gray cat in the picture above, died today in my lap. He stopped eating on Monday, and had been on pain medication since Tuesday. This morning, after getting my daughter off to school, I gathered him up in a blanket in my lap and held him as he lay, limp and frail, in my arms. Looking back on it, I realize now the moment that he died, but at the time, I didn’t know. His breath was already so shallow that I didn’t realize right away that it had ceased.
Pipsqueak outlasted 3 apartments and my first home. He outlasted my Saturn coupe. He outlasted my fiancé. He outlasted my other cat, Shadow, by two years. He outlasted 2 of my husband’s cars. For the last 12 years, my husband has woken up and given Pipsqueak a new name, and now we are down to just one cat.
Pipsqueak used to steal food right out of my hand. I had to lock him in a closet or my bathroom when I was eating! One day, as I was eating Pringles, he took a flying leap off the arm of the couch and went straight in the can! I had to grab his tiny kitten back claws and drag him out! He just couldn’t resist those salty parabolas!
Pipsqueak at his fattest weighed 24 pounds. His head was just a wee bit too small for his long large body, but he was also a fat cat for many, many years.
It is a strange thing to realize that a part of your life is gone forever. With Pip’s passing my last links to my life in the DC area are gone. It was a good life, an independent life, a wild and fun life. Life now is good too, wild and fun but not nearly as independent.
Goodbye little Pipsqueak.