My husband has this cat: Ethel. People laugh when they hear her name, but it fits her perfectly. She’s almost thirteen, and she’s a crotchety old lady. (In all actuality, she was named in a pair as Lucy and Ethel. Aaron just got stuck with Ethel.)
If I were to describe her least favorable quality, it would be that she just won’t die.
“Lydia!” you say, “How dare you be so crass about a living, breathing creature?”
You don’t know Ethel.
Aaron got Ethel as a Christmas present many moons ago. He kept her because, at the time, she was a cute little kitten and he — although he’ll deny it up and down — is a big old hunky softy. He didn’t get her declawed because it cost too much (and now that I know what they do to declaw them, I’m actually okay with this choice), and she was someone to come home to in his empty home as a bachelor and coach with late nights.
Fast-forward to meeting him and learning that he had a cat. She is pretty soft and fuzzy. She’s pretty self-sufficient. She’s kind of cute. I’m not a cat person at all. No, I love dogs. I have two to prove it. I like that they are super excited to see us when we get home, and we can train them to do awesome stuff. I like that they do things outside that I can choose to clean later rather than having to worry about a smell inside the house.
But I digress. When I learned that he had a cat and then we were engaged soon after, I told myself I could handle her living with me, my daughter, and my dog.
So, they moved in. My love for Ethel – what little there was – quickly diminished.
She ripped up my carpet.
She barfed everywhere.
She walked on my counters.
I was not a happy New Cat Mom.
She’s been with me for five years now. In that short amount of time, we’ve thought she was headed to meet her maker at least five times. In fact, she was barfing like the little girl on The Exorcist one time, and we just knew that was it. She moped around the house and wouldn’t even let Aaron love on her. I made the appointment to take her in. I’d steeled myself against the fact that I’d be driving home with a box full of dead cat.
And then the doctor prescribed steroids and an antibiotic, and guess who bounced back?
That was in March of this year. It’s now October, and she seems to be doing pretty well. Every time I get annoyed by another small pile of puke on the floor, Aaron makes me feel horrible by saying, “Don’t worry. She’ll die soon.”
Will I be sad when she finally does cross that rainbow bridge? A little. But probably only because she’s been a part of my husband’s life for so long, and he’s certain to be a little sad.
But, that’ll probably never happen. She’s going to live forever. In fact, we’ve already decided she’ll outlive all of us.