I was at work this morning when I got the call from my wife that our cat Flit had died. This was not unexpected. She was 14 years old, and her liver and/or kidneys were failing.
I had taken her in to the vet on Saturday, where they hydrated her and gave her a shot of steroids to give her a few more days so we could all say goodbye. She perked up a bit, and I planned to bring her back in this week once the drugs wore off. Apparently Flit didn’t want to go back to the vet…
Flit was one of three kittens I got back in 1997 before heading off for grad school. (I asked my mother to get two cats who needed homes from the vet where she works, but Mom was never that good at math when it came to needy pets.) Flit was a cute little gray poofball who flitted all over my bedroom like a manic butterfly as she explored her new home.
She was a gorgeous cat, and dumb as a rock. She was the best hunter of the three … when she could remember what she was doing. I once watched her sprint across the living room in pursuit of a vicious fly, only to stop halfway and sit back, head tilted to one side. You could actually see the thought leaving her brain as she forgot what she had been doing…
I’m pretty sure she was part Maine Coon, although she was always a relatively tiny cat. She had the Maine Coon look, and she loved the sink, where (in the words of Janet Kagan), she waged a neverending battle against the evil water snake.
She was a ridiculously happy beast, purring at the slightest sign of affection. She had a tendency to forget about her tongue, and would sometimes lay there with her tongue poking out of her mouth, looking around like she was trying to figure out why the humans were all laughing.
Toward the end, she had pretty much stopped eating, and was almost as light as she was back when she was a kitten. But she didn’t appear to be hurting. She still jumped into the sink to see if her arch-enemy the water snake had returned. She still purred at the slightest provocation. She was still happy, and as far as we can tell, she died peacefully.
I’m going to miss that goofy cat.