Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Requiescat in pace, Bemis

My cat Bemis died during the night.  She was old, she'd been obviously fading for awhile, and when she lost interest in cat treats I knew she wasn't going to be around much longer.  My own fear had been that I'd end up having to make the euthanasia trip to the veterinarian with her, but that didn't happen.  As it turned out, the cessation of begging for treats and the cessation of life in general was less than 24 hours.  She curled up in the cat condo sometime during the night, went to sleep, and never woke up. We should all be so lucky.

Bemis joined the household back in my grad school days.  She was born feral in my dissertation advisor's garage in Blacksburg, Virginia, and was apparently the only kitten in the litter that survived long enough to be live-trapped and placed for adoption.  We got her when she was barely six weeks old, but the feral ancestry still showed.  She was never a cuddly cat, hated being held, and tended to be more than a little paranoid.  For years she refused to walk across the middle of a room -- she'd hug the walls -- and on those occasions when she got to enjoy being an outdoors cat was never the type that would amble casually down the middle of a driveway.  She liked small, enclosed spaces, and was the only cat I've ever owned that I didn't have to fight with to get into a cat carrier -- or at least not much.   

She was generally a quiet cat and managed to be rather unnoticeable much of the time, although, like all cats, she had a knack for being annoying in small ways.  For awhile after we moved into this apartment I was convinced she was trying to kill me by always being underfoot as I stumbled down the stairs first thing in the morning.  She also possessed the domestic longhair's talent for depositing truly disgusting hairballs or puked up cat chow where you were guaranteed to step in it when you least expected it.

I had been hoping she'd make it to spring so she could exit this world from the farm in Michigan and not from Atlanta, but that didn't happen.  Goodbye, Bemis, I'm going to miss you.


  1. So sorry for the loss of your lovely cat. It's always so hard, even when it is not unexpected.

  2. You have my sympathy. We have four cats and one of them is starting to fade. Losing a member of the family, whether human, feline or canine, is tough.

  3. I am sorry for the loss of your companion. Our little dog goes through bad patches and then perks up again. I hope she goes in her sleep like Bemis.

  4. Oh, Nan, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful kitty she was. And even if she was a bit skittish, I am sure she was grateful for years of comfort in your warm home instead of a short and rough life on the streets. I'm sending warm thoughts your way. May your little kitty rest in peace.

  5. I'm sorry for you loss, but what a great way to go. We should all be so lucky.

    My old cat Rianna who died last year began her life as a feral kitten and was given to me by the little girl who found her and named her after herself. She lived 20 some years. I lost count after 20. And like your cat, Rianna was never a cuddly cat. I still miss her but dogs have taken over my life. Someday I'll have another cat, but with three dogs that's just too many critters.

  6. I feel for your loss. All you can say is 'She was a good kitty' and leave it at that. They really do have our hearts don't they?

  7. So sorry for your loss. Our last two are buried in our back yard--they were 17, a pair of littermates. Now Oliver is 14, still a kitten at heart. They are our children and hard to lose.



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