Sunday 11 August 2013

R.I.P. QUE (Q)

Nearly twenty years ago, a friend of mine invited me over to pick a kitten from the litter her cat had
the litter of silver-grey tabbies was the cutest thing,
it would be more than a dozen years before my ancestral journey would reveal I had an Egyptian Mau 
as we sat down and talked a female snuggled against my thigh while her siblings vied for attention
all but the scrappy little runt with the white paws scurrying and darting about the floor, pouncing at our feet
when asked which I wanted, I said the little one with no interest but playing
the one who has not stopped moving for even an instant
the one with the white paws being her favorite, she picked him up asking about the girl snuggling against me
while she was sweet as a button, it was the scrappy little one with the white paws
squirming and playfully biting my friend to be put down 
when I picked him up he settled some, like putty in my hands
seeing how happy I was, she agreed although parting with sweet sorrow
she asked what I was going to name him 
I told her I'll wait till it comes to me
his head darted about, seeing the room from a different vantage point
eyes shifting, ears turning while I carried him to the car outside
his head tilted up seeing the big blue sky for the first time
I realized I needed to stop to pick up a few things for my new friend
but as he didn't sit still the whole car ride I decided to drop him off first
I introduced him to his new home, watched him explore his new digs with curious fascination 
turned on the TV, turned the channel to Star Trek, and left
got cat food and cat bowls, cat litter, and cat box
decided to put off till tomorrow what I planned to do today
in an excited rush to get home to my new friend
once I got in the side door I smelled burning
followed the smell down the stairs to my apartment opened the door finding a tornado had torn through my room
maybe I should call him a tornado I thought following the path of destruction to the knocked-over lamp
up on my dresser without a shade, the naked bulb had landed on a stack of blank paper
burned a black patch the size of a ping pong ball through sheet after sheet halfway down to the stack's bottom
ready to flare up, making me glad I came straight home
I found my new friend sitting on my Enterprise D toy, watching Star Trek no less
an episode featuring Q, the Enterprise crew's greatest nemesis 
it came to me clear as day, 
I'll name you... Q

on his veterinary file, it was misspelled, Que
a file of nearly twenty years of checkups, shots, getting snipped but keeping his claws
being the scrappiest of the litter he never required much affection, preferring play fighting instead
some might say it was just a cat, not a child or friend 
nearly twenty years Que was with me, making me roll on the floor laughing at his comedic antics
comforting me when loved ones passed
infuriating me with his rebellious behavior
cleaning up fur balls and sick, nearly twenty years of scooping and cleaning his litter box
of feedings, watering, cleaning his bowls, sweeping the floor around his food bowl so as not to attract ants
of being there for the highs and lows, 
of being an energetic cat never requiring much affection
nearly twenty years of being so playful he learned to play fetch with a ball
a cat that loved the outdoors and was content exploring the boundaries of the property  
while I attended never more than a few feet away
a cat disciplined enough to obey and follow when it was time to go inside, 
nearly twenty years of never taking the chance of leaving him outside unsupervised in a suburban world filled with dangers natural and not
in nearly twenty years only going missing two or three times when sneaking through a gap in the fence when out of my sight for but a moment
he was there for breakups and new beginnings, he was around to meet my love
my love who was allergic to and didn't like cats, grew to love him the same as I
once warning us when the cigarette butt from the ashtray dumped in the kitchen garbage was about to flare
a friend that always helped capture or kill spiders and centipedes
a friend who had to adapt when we brought home a kitten left locked out of an uncaring friend's home
left to fend for itself while they took the dogs and went out of town for the weekend during the New Year
in the middle of winter
our fat orange ball of hair Minkya
he taught a cat raised with dogs how to be a cat 
had relations when she was in heat despite being snipped
comforted her each time she would freak out after being sick
ran around the apartment together, fought, and cared for one another
seemed concerned the week she was quiet and unlike herself
gave her space when she sought human comfort when we didn't see the signs she was not well
he followed her around as she walked aimlessly suddenly struggling in what were her last breaths
I left her struggling and shot outside to start my car wanting to warm the engine on that cold winter's night 
I raced inside with the step-by-step plan to get her to the vet, let the car warm while digging out the carrier 
he stood beside her as she lay dead upon my speedy return inside too late
he shared our mourning the loss of our Minkya, rescued 5 years to the day
proving indoor cats live much longer than those allowed outdoors unsupervised
he was sad for a long while, no longer played by himself
became needy, constantly craving the affection that comforted him during his time of mourning
refused to come out from his spot under the bed when checked on by family while a week on vacation
becoming even more needy upon my return
taking long to adapt to the addition of our dog Lola
no longer having the energy to keep up with our spirited young pup
eventually growing accustomed enough to her to sleep again in his regular low spots
I worried every day about what to do with him during our upcoming destination
Lola is a two-year-old bichon poodle that will adapt more easily to temporary surroundings 
Que was the nearly twenty-year-old cat that clung to me after I got home from work
Que was much more than just a cat
it's scientifically proven we experience increased activity along a broad network of neurons
feeling the pervasive impact a loss of any kind can have
it's a process that doesn't distinguish between the loss of human and animal 
he was there when I received word my best friend Marlon died nearly twenty years ago
a member of the family that could never talk but always listened
I had things to do with my mom, planned to take him to the vet after, 
it was my mother and her common sense who advised to do it now
he was weighed and checked, with her stethoscope she listened to what his body could only tell her
what he couldn't tell me
when the vet advised putting him down, I had to ask three times what she meant
despite understanding through her heavy East Asian accent
I thought back on the three times I took him in this last year alone
because he was throwing up his food and becoming dehydrated
three times the shot and medicine prolonged the inevitable
then I thought about how he looked, despondent, confused... barely able to stand
this time no appetite, no interest in water
how I used a plastic syringe to force him to drink then gave him coconut oil, his favorite treat
for a bit, he seemed fine, until the familiar caterwaul that signaled the onset of getting sick 
I called her back, canceling the blood test
all it was going to do is confirm the inevitable
in the meantime, he could be suffering, and I could not abide
for nearly twenty years he was well loved, fawned over by every visitor
lived a happy life of play and comfort, never wanting for much
I spent private time while waiting for my love to arrive, allowed Suzanne a few minutes with our final time
until no longer able to draw out the inevitable
the first injection was an anesthetic to dull his eyes and numb his body
the floodgates opened as he drifted into waking slumber
the second needle took him from me, closing an important chapter in my life 
I raised him from a kitten, trained and taught him well
for nearly twenty years he was my best friend
R.I.P. Que

1 comment:

  1. 3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you actually burn fat by eating Coconut Fat (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from major medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!