In 2001 we moved from a small duplex to a house with a garage and yard. We had one cat and one dog, and soon added a pair of orphaned kittens.
One of the kittens (on the left in the above photos) was sweet and gentle, and the name “Sabrina” seemed just right for her. The other kitten was fierce and playful and somewhat neurotic, and she defied naming. Nothing quite fit. She became “Scamper” on her medical chart, because I had to put something on her chart, but at home she changed names as often as she changed moods. She was The Scamperer. Thing 2. Her Neediness. The Bad Cat. The Wee Baby Kitty. Supercat.
She was The Bird Watcher. (When it was too cold for open doors and windows, birds on television were better than no birds at all.)
In her middle years, she grew overweight and lazy. None of her kitten names fit anymore, if they ever had. She was still Scamper when she went to the vet, but at home she was Herself.
In many ways, she was the essence of what I love about cats — neuroses and all.
In her later years she liked blankets and patches of sunlight and, every so often, an afternoon nap on the couch with me.
Health problems came with age. There were medicines and special diets, all of which helped for a time, but as 2015 progressed her condition declined steadily. She lost weight faster than medicine, food, and love could counter. The calendar turned and she lost more weight. Then, in early February, she stopped eating altogether.
So I made one last trip to the vet with our cat of many names. I stayed with her through the euthanasia process, which was gentle and peaceful, and drove home to a house that is achingly incomplete. There’s an empty spot near her favorite upstairs window, one that can never be filled.
Note: Most of the photos in this post were taken by my husband.