"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vale Mitzi

I think the old cat deserves a little blog-time, so I'll tell her story and share some memories. Mitzi came to us in 2004. She was Wayne's pick; we had lost our old gentleman-cat Sylvester a while ago, and thought we could do with another cat. At the Burwood RSPCA one Sunday, Wayne spotted this black and white cat, looking very much like Sylvester, and hey presto! she became ours! Any thoughts of this one being a gentle, affectionate, friendly kitty like Sylvester were quickly dispelled, however. We should have known the grumpy visage was matched to an equally grumpy disposition. We do NOT like to be picked up, we do NOT like to sit on a lap, we do NOT like more than three pats at a time! Well, we all adjusted, didn't we?!
Mitzi (all our cats have a 'ts' sound in heir names - don't ask me why), got used to our ways and we to hers. She had to endure cuddles in exchange for food, soft bedding, door duty.... When we got her, we didn't know how old she was, the vets reckoned about 7 years. She was a solid little presence on short legs at nearly 8 kg, but slimmed down over the years to a svelte 5kg. She was quite happy living with dogs, and was  eminently able to handle them on her terms - have seen many a large, tough dog quake before her presence! Mitzi had absolute right of way with dogs, even going after German Shepherds. Over the years, she mellowed and eventually discovered that sitting on laps was actually quite nice; my shredded legs and jeans bearing testimony to that! She still didn't like being picked up but when held securely, purred her head off. She had some endearing habits, for example she drank by sticking her paw into the water bowl and then licking the water off. She had a thing about water, drinking a lot and looking at her reflection in the water bowl. She also made sure she wasn't forgotten at lunchtime, sitting next to me and scratching my legs until I dropped a treat or five. When I had Cheerios in the house, we shared them, Mitzi seemed to like them as much as I do. Mitzi wasn't impressed when I brought home Pretzel; but after a couple of hissy-fits they tolerated each other. In recent times, Mitzi lost her eyesight, but she still enjoyed going outside, just sitting on the doorstep or the driveway. She had trouble finding her litterbox, so we distributed a few more near her favourite places. She had no trouble finding my lap though, or her little 'tent' on the comfy chair.The other night, she left her chair, walked into the laundry and went to sleep. Wayne buried her with Sylvester, Gomez, and Muesli in the back paddock, where the ghosts of cats keep the birds away.