kitty considerations

It’s been four months since Leonard died. I remem­ber going to bed that night, con­stantly turn­ing over my pil­low to find a dry spot, sob­bing so much I couldn’t fall asleep.

The necropsy showed that he had a mas­sive liver and kid­ney infec­tion. My vet excused his lan­guage and said, “Shit hap­pens” when I asked (per­haps with a quiver in my voice) what I could have done to pre­vent it.

Soon after, he sent me a card offer­ing his con­do­lences, and said it was a plea­sure deal­ing with some­one who cares so much. It was prob­a­bly the best thing any­one could have done to assuage any feel­ings of guilt. That fact that Leonard had a stub tail with no signs of scar­ring makes me sus­pect that he was the runt of the lit­ter, likely born with a weak con­sti­tu­tion, but that doesn’t stop me from always feel­ing like I could have done more.

He was always so affec­tion­ate, almost to the point of being overly so. Every morn­ing he’d rub his nose on my face until I stirred, which would be extremely aggra­vat­ing if it weren’t one of the most seraphic ways to be woken up.

I remem­ber him sleep­ing with me one bright after­noon. Dolly decided to nes­tle her­self in the crook of my arm under the blan­ket, and Leonard soon joined us, though he decided to curl up on my neck instead. It was the per­fect nap configuration.

I’m still glad I had him, as short as our time was. It sad­dens me most to think that I never got to know what he’d be like as a mature cat, whether he’d keep his play­ful­ness and extro­ver­sion into adult­hood. At the very least, Heather G and Sergey, Aaron and Trolley, Darren and ____ all got to meet him before he died.

Leonard at the Humane Society

I took this pic­ture of his Humane Society pro­file before head­ing over to meet him. They named him, “Elvis”.

I’ve been check­ing the Humane Society web­site for male kit­tens avail­able for adop­tion ever since. I recently found one with the right details and a goofy face too, but I don’t think I’m ready for another cat yet. I’m not sure I could han­dle it if the next one hap­pened to die so sud­denly as well. But I know that soon enough I’ll be itch­ing to adopt again, and that the idea of hav­ing another cat in my life will pre­vail over any worries.


  1. Wow.… too sweet, he really seems to have treated you like a mom­cat. Not just a food-giver.

    • The thing that wor­ries me is that I’ll never find another cat like him again. Now that I know how affec­tion­ate cats can be, it’ll be hard to accept that they’re not all like that.

      • I know, I get that same feel­ing about my dog now — he’s super­cud­dly, more than any I’ve met.

        But as a small-pet owner over many years I can tell you every ani­mal, while dif­fer­ent, never dis­ap­points. They are all indi­vid­u­als and I’ve never regret­ted mov­ing on and find­ing and help­ing yet another lit­tle crea­ture. You find dif­fer­ent joys with each one, and save a life.

  2. Get a kitty! You can give such a good home … and com­pany is so good to the life of you present cat! Just my 2 cents. :)

    • I’ve decided to hold off for a while until my life set­tles down and I’m fin­ished trav­el­ing, just because I don’t want to be away while I have a kit­ten grow­ing up (and poten­tially destroy­ing my house). But I don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold out!

  3. Awh. I’m sorry to hear about this. I couldn’t even imag­ine if one of my kit­tums passed away, they’re such a huge part of my daily life. I have three cats, and they’re all dif­fer­ent, but they all have pretty fan­tas­tic qual­i­ties. I think the cats we brand as anti-social are only so when an owner ignores them or some­thing. Otherwise all the ones I’ve known that had qual­ity time with their own­ers were def­i­nitely affec­tion­ate to some degree.

    but it’s good that you gave him the best life you could while he was around.

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