Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good Night Elvis

Ladies and gentlemen Elvis has left the building. Our family cat Elvis passed away last night at the age of 13. She’d been ill and the decision had been made to let her die at home. Still it caught us by surprise.

Elvis was a couple of years old and had led a really hard life before she came to live with us. It took Elvis years before she was able to trust people. Still for 11 years she made us laugh every day with her little quirks. The way she sat... the way she'd cradle her head on her paws using them as a pillow whenever she slept on the floor...the way she ate scooping out her food with her paw and bringing it up to her mouth …her habit of sitting in the kitchen facing the wall while mom cooked as if she were protesting the fact mom wasn't making fish. We’d always peek in and ask Elvis if she was on a “time out” and in return she'd give us that look of contempt that only cats are capable of getting away with.

Then there was her daily 6 AM habit of waiting for mom to emerge from the bathroom and ramming her head into mom’s leg as a greeting , “Good morning Elvis!” mom would say bending over to pet her and from there on she'd follow mom around as mom did her daily morning routine. When the day was over and mom would be closing "shop" for the night Elvis would follow my mom to her room. Mom would pet her and say, “Good-night Elvis”, and Elvis would stay until mom drifted off to sleep. Then she'd head back to her favorite spot in the kitchen. Over by the radiator underneath the window and from there she'd protect us all from any suicidal mouse that dared to wander into our house. Those are the little things we'll miss the most.

She was fearless as she was kind. She wasn’t afraid to bitch slap Kane my dad’s pitbull whenever he got on her nerves. My father always feared one day she’d end up pulling back her claw with one of Kane’s eyeballs attached to it but she was never that rough on him. As long as Kane kept his hyper ass in check Elvis was content to let him be and even let him take naps at her side. For some reason kids gravitated towards her but no matter how badly they harassed her she’d never scratch or bite them. When they got too rough she’d gently swat their hands and walk away.

In her last hour she walked into my parent's bedroom and let out a meow calling for my mom. She'd always done that, whenever mom wasn’t in sight she’d meow until mom would call out, “I’m in here Elvis” and then she’d saunter to what ever room mom was in. This time her meow sounded panicky; we all knew the end was near. Mom sighed, “I’m coming Elvis” and headed into the bedroom closing the door behind her. Mom sat down on the floor next to Elvis and said, “Hey there girl, you’re not doing too good right now are you?” She moved towards my mother placing her head in my mother’s lap and purred away as my mother gently scratched behind her ear and ran her hand the length of Elvis’s body. As my mom petted and talked to her Elvis looked up at mom and let out a sorrowful weak meow, “It’s okay Elvis, I know honey. It's time for you to go. Don’t worry we’ll be fine. You don’t need to keep watch for mice anymore. Go on honey get some rest.” she licked mom's hand as mom stroked her face. Not more than a minute later with her eyes locked on moms she let out a sigh and slipped away. My mom sat alone with Elvis for awhile before my dad came home from work and entered the room. It was he that told us that Elvis was gone and I swear he looked teary eyed as well.

We had a bit of a problem finding a box to bury Elvis in she by no means was a small cat. She was long and weighed 15 pounds a regular shoe box would not do it. I remembered I had a brown pair of knee high suede boots still in their original box in the closet. She barely fit into it. My mom wrapped her up in a shroud of baby blue satin and placed her in the box. My father buried her in the back yard in an area where the wild flowers my mom planted bloom every spring and fall. On her burial box my little sister wrote, " Here lies Elvis she was a great cat and mouser extraordinaire. She was deeply loved and will be missed." I can't add any more to that. Good-night Elvis.

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Posted by @ 9:44 AM
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