As we were sitting at the table last week reading papers, discussing world politics and planning our TGIWednesday, Dave asked me, “Do you want to know the bad news now?”
A million horrible thoughts exploded in my head. Anyone with knowledge of what we’ve been going through for the past year and a half has to know where my thoughts went.
“Yes. No. You have to tell me now.”
“The cat died.”
“Steeger, the cat. He’s dead.”
Now, a little bit, and I am ashamed to share this, I was relieved. Oh, the cat’s dead. Whew.
I had been gearing up for something much worse.
(Yes, it’s that bad.)
But no, our cat died.
Dave doesn’t know what happened. He found him at night when he was putting the dogs to bed. Poor fella was hanging outside the back door, stretched out and comfy. And not moving. No visible marks, wounds, blood, nothing.
I feel horrible that Dave found him like that. He made me adopt a kitten a year ago November. We almost took his sister, a muted calico, but the disposition of the striped American short hair with white paws that looks like 2/3 of the cats out there was just too sweet to pass. He named him Steeger after his favorite Blackhawks player, Versteeg.
My cat is dead.
That’s not fair! I liked this cat! He was a good cat. The first cat we’ve had that actually did “good” cat things, not the “bad” cat things like ignoring you, pissing inappropriately and shredding your furniture. We’ve had those cats.
Everybody knows I am not a cat person, but this breaks my heart.
He could be a shit, it’s true.
Disruptive, Hey, I was reading that!
Obnoxious, Why thank you, my reward for petting you is your butt hole in my face. Messy, Of course everything on the counter was supposed to be on the floor.
But he was also gentle, adorable, and cuddly. And very entertaining.
There wasn’t a box around that he didn’t claim as his own, no matter its size or his. Every table and counter was his private level, he’d clear the area as he deemed necessary, or just sleep on the pile. He’d occasionally get the “cat crazies” and tear through the house, around and over furniture, down the stairs then back up again. No reason, just felt like it. If he thought he was in the house alone he would call out for company. I’d clap twice and he’d come running to whichever room I was in.
He got on well with the dogs, hanging out with them, walking around the pool with them, booping them on the butts as they passed by. Did I mention he was entertaining? He slept with Buehrle, played with Nellie and avoided Ozzie at all costs. (Ozzie is the friend that you’d rather wash your hair on Friday night than hang out with.)
It sucks not knowing what happened.
It sucks thinking he died alone.
It sucks that he’s gone.
Bad news, indeed.
Dearest Steeger, you are missed.
I am sad.