Friday, November 6, 2009
RIP Armenia, 1995-2009
Well, you really never know what's coming around the corner, do you?
I have a little cold brewing so I left work early yesterday, having spent the previous night in New Jersey. I got to my apartment about 4:30 p.m. When I unlocked the door, Armenia wasn't there to meet me.
I came inside and saw her lying on her side at the foot of the bed. From a distance she looked like she might be asleep, except that she didn't move as I approached. I bent down to touch her, and she was cold and stiff.
It's very strange to touch an animal you know to be warm and soft and cuddly, and instead feel that.
I called Dave and left a long, bewildered message, and then called the vet. I knew I had to get Armenia's body to his office before it closed, or I'd be sleeping with a dead cat all night. I carried her over right away and left her to be cremated.
Now, I'm just in a state of shock. Armenia wasn't young, and she had her share of health problems -- weak kidneys, for example. But she seemed fine on Wednesday morning, when she ate her Fancy Feast as usual and lay purring on my chest as I read. I never, ever expected her to literally drop dead.
My feelings are kind of complicated. I'm not quite sad, though maybe that will come. Armenia and I always had a complex relationship. She was not a warm-hearted cat, and in fact was quite feisty -- she bit me more than once when I did something she didn't like, such as comb her fur. She was almost universally disliked by my friends, who were the targets of her hissing, spitting and cold glares.
But the truth is, she was just insecure. She loved me, she really did. She wasted no opportunity to lie on my chest, and in fact could be quite insistent and annoying about it, regardless of what else I was trying to do at the time. She was a kitten masquerading as a tiger.
I'm happy that she died here at home, and didn't have to endure her last moments in a cold vet's office. She died near the heater where she loved to lie all winter, soaking up warmth.
I'm sorry, though, that she died alone. It seems to have happened quite suddenly and I don't think I could have stopped it. And I'm not sure she'd have wanted me here -- animals instinctively go off by themselves to die, and often seem to prefer it that way. Still, I wish I'd been around.
My apartment now seems very empty.
(Photo: The last picture I took of Armenia, from Monday night. She's annoyed at the flash.)