Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Saturday, January 2, 2010

god Is Spirit

It is over and it is done. The Vet just left my house with the remains of what used to be my cat. My pal, confidant, companion, and my love. Her name was god.

Felix In Hollywood is a joyous place and please know that, attendant grieving aside, I am indeed joyful to have spent the last almost 16 years of my life with such an extraordinary being. And I am joyful that her suffering in the last weeks is over.


On April 1, 1994 I moved to an apartment in the Fairfax district, largely because the building allowed pets. After some research, I found that the Petco on 2nd and LaBrea had cat rescue adoption on Saturdays, so on the 9th I went. I had had male cats as pets before and that's what I was there to find. A male cat. I also knew I wanted an adult for two reasons. One, everybody wants kittens and nobody wants to take the adults, and two, I wanted a 'turnkey operation', I really didn't want to go through the manic kitten phase.

The very first one I spotted looked great. Black and white, sort of like tuxedo markings done by an unsteady hand. I walked up to the cage and within seconds, the woman running the adoptions said, "Oh she's a lovely cat." She? I moved on. Most of the rest were kittens and I found myself back in front of the first cage. You can call me nuts if you want, but I swear this cat and I were able to communicate with one another from the gate. 'Look around all you want, but you've got to get me out of here, I don't feel well.' she was telling me.

I turned to the woman, "What's wrong with her, she doesn't feel good?" I asked. She sniffed with indignant outrage, "There is absolutely nothing wrong with her, all our cats are in excellent health!" Since there was no point in trying to explain that the cat had told me differently, I just said, "I'll take her." Mrs. Adoption Agent squealed, "Oh, you'll be very happy, she's a very good kitty. Her name is Melba!" I glanced over at the cat, who shot me a look saying, 'Don't you Dare!' My look replied, 'No worries pal'. After finding out that she was roughly 14 months old and was found in an auto body shop (I do like a gal with a questionable past) I signed a bunch of paperwork, paid some money and packed her in the car to head home. She screamed her head off for the whole ride.

Once home, she jumped out of the carrier and hid behind the stove, where she remained for the next three days. In the mornings I would see that she had eaten, drank her water and used the litter box. Finally, on the third night, I was watching tv on my bed when I saw her in the hallway at my bedroom door. After about 20 minutes she jumped up onto the bed and settled herself on my lap, purring furiously. The next day, I took her to the Vet and found out she did, indeed, have a wicked case of worms. A few pills later, she was fine and our life together began in earnest. One of the first things she made clear to me was, 'Look, just tell me the rules around here. I'll do whatever you want if you don't take me back to that cage.' "Fine," I said, "chairs, couches and beds are all okay, tabletops and counter tops are out of the question, at all times." And you know what, if she ever has gotten onto a table or counter, she's had the good grace to do it when I'm not home. We quickly discerned what I expected out of her and what she expected out of me. For over three months I wasn't able to come up with a suitable replacement for 'Melba' and she wasn't talkin'. At last, one night a friend was over and, in conversation I said, "You know, I think I'm gonna learn a lot of spiritual lessons from this cat. She's really simple, she's all about love, and as long as her needs are taken care of, she's reasonable flexible about her 'wants'." My friend said, "Well, she's just a regular little God, isn't she?" I looked at the cat, who had been laying with her back to us, ignoring us, and said, "God?" She whipped her head around to me, did her little purr/meow combo thing and started to walk over. And thus, she was named.

We've really had a blast together, she had a very wicked, very subtle sense of humor.
Like cigarette smoke that drifts to the one person in the room who's a non-smoker, she would always make a beeline for the person who wasn't particularly a cat fancier, and insinuate herself on their laps, daring them to reject her.  They would typically just suffer in silence, delighting her to know end.

Rob scoffs at god
She loved the good life and all forms of pampering.

  She was intoxicated by fine footwear
She loved hide and seek, especially the counting part while I hid.

  I honestly think she used to peek

Last week she came up to me and said, through eyes that could no longer see, 'Please get me out of here'   and so today was the appointment.  Thankfully, they came to the house so she could just lay on the couch and drift away.

All this week I was telling her, "The angels are coming soon to get you, so you can fly with them".  And typically, even in her misery, she would perk up when ever I said that.


MJ said...

Mistress MJ is getting teary reading this.

You see, my old boy is 17 and I know that one day I’ll have to face what you experienced today.

she's all about love

That says it all.

What a lovely tribute to your friend.

jason said...

oh no :(
I'm so sorry. God bless her.

My own dear Pyewackett (who was 21, if you can believe it) died just a few months ago.

normadesmond said...

boy, i hope it helped to write this.

buried bella a year ago august. she died too soon & it took me forever to get over her. i'd wish my days away every morning, anxious for the day that the sting would subside. still don't know if i did the right thing, brought bella home & buried her. as i lifted her up to put her in the ground, her bladder emptied & she peed on me. oh shit, now i'm really crying.

libby's in a box in the night table. she was the first and it was awful, but she did live close to 14 years, good for a corgi. we're lucky right now, the girl's are 4 and 1, so we're in our leafy salad days, presumably.

i long for the day when science can (and they will!) make cats & dogs live a lot longer. it's when they get older that you really both fall in love with one another.

i'm so sorry...but that's the fucking "gotcha" about life & love. and would any of us trade the love for the comfort of no pain? heck no.

TJB said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry. Wish I were there to give you a big hug right now.

FelixInHollywood said...

Dear folks.
Your offered love and shared remembrances mean more to me than you can imagine.

For a chuckle (and who amongst us doesn't need that!) I have to tell you that, wouldn't you know, the first call and visit I received to sooth the pain was from my friend Rob. He's the alleged 'non-cat person' in the picture with god on his lap.

Turns out he's nothing more than a big pussycat himself. He and his beautiful wife Caterina came over for a lovely couple of hours last night.

I'm such a lucky guy. It seems those black-eyed peas worked!

Much love and gratitude.


Sir Prize said...

Just found your blog. Sorry about your cat.

FelixInHollywood said...

Thank you Sir. Welcome aboard it get cheerier from here.

Anonymous said...

I lost my black cat Coal three years ago to cancer. I know exactly how you feel. I still miss him so much. He lived 18 years. Peace be with you Bro.

Doug....Los Angeles, CA

Ponita in Real Life said...

Found you at MJ's and wandered over...

One month ago, I lost my beloved BB, at the age of 15 1/2. He'd been with me from the age of 7 weeks. He was black and white also.

I know the pain... but I also know the love... and it's a wondrous thing. One day, another kitty mind will meld with yours and a new journey will begin.

I have two youngsters with me still - 3 years and 8 months. I know all about the manic kitten phase! Keeps me in stitches most of the time. :-D

savannah said...

came over from mj's. what a lovely and moving tribute to your dear gal pal, sugar! i had an apartment in the fairfax district ages ago, so i know what a friendly area it can be. peace, love and joy be yours in this new year. xoxo

Damien Oz said...

Dear Felix,

Barrukah for you and your treasured companion. My HaShem grant her a field of toys and friends to play with.



1904 said...

My deepest sympathy, dear one. And good to see you in this new year. I am just getting caught up on your postings. I saw the Lost And Found matchbook and my heart skipped a beat. More anon, 1904

mrpeenee said...

Do we ALL have old cat stories here? Apparently so, which is ok by me. I'm trying to be all snarky and carefree, but this left a lump in my throat the size of a cantaloupe. I can't say anything else.

ayem8y said...

That’s a sad but delightful story.


I do love Bakers Kitties. (black cats that look like they rolled around in the flour).

I remember a Readers Digest cartoon, A dog wagging his tail and when the master placed a bowl of food in front of him he said, “They must be God”. When the master placed a bowl of food in front of the cat it said, “I must be God”.

And so it goes with felines.

So sorry for your loss.

FelixInHollywood said...

Thank you my friend. Time is doing it's magic healing thing.

By the by, so nice to have you here!

Stephen said...

We do love our critters, don't we?


That is a lovely post & I am so sorry for your loss. There is a lovely book:
THE TENTH BEST THING ABOUT BARNEY that I reccomend for you, or even better- send me your snail mail address & I will send you a copy. best wishes & heartfelt condolences from Portland.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago my cat Wilma passed away.I found her in july of 94 in the dumpster in a box that was duct taped shut. so needless to say she was mine for the rest of her life.i had her 14 years,She passed away the day before my birthday. all the other cats (6) and Alberta(my Dog) walked to the bathroom and said goodbye to her Alberta stayed with her the entire night. She is at peace now. My heartfelt condolences to you.
John from Tucson

Dean said...

You are such a great writer. I just found your blog recently and have been backtracking through it when time allows. And this, well, moved me to tears. Such a beautiful story.

I met "Chubby" when painting a mural at a friend's home. I knew the family wanted to give away this cat, because of a new baby and a crazy big dog as well. Chubby was relegated to spending most of her time either on the washer/dryer or really anywhere high enough to escape the madness of a large family. When I started working on this mural, she would sit beside me when I took breaks. Almost immediately I was getting the message "Get me the hell out of this crazy place". So, I did eventually (actually when the job was done). She was 6 years old when we started living together. We had 8 great years together. She went downhill extremely fast after a stroke and so I asked her "Do you want to leave?" and I quickly got the answer. Even though it broke my heart, I did what was best and she left, laying peacefully on the couch, with the help of "Dr. Housecat" (the name this vet actually goes by). She was, by far, the best thing to ever happen as a result of my art and I'm so grateful for our time together. She will always be in my heart, as I'm sure "god" will be in yours as well.