“Honey” appeared to be the perfect name: she was golden yellow, with a little white, and she was small and cute. She was already 13 when she became my office mate in 2020, after it became clear that she had little tolerance for other cats … or most people.
I learned quickly that the sweetness was tempered with some hot spices.
She adored me and loved to sit in my lap. As soon as I entered the office, she sauntered over to take her place. I’m used to dealing with a cat or two while working in my office. But, Honey had a very particular ritual surrounding “lap time:”
- After slowly getting onto my desk, she would stare at me for several minutes. I thought she wanted help getting onto my lap. But it took only one attempt to realize that she was going to summit my lap on her own terms and schedule
- She would eventually take a tentative first step onto my leg. This was usually just a foray, as it would take several tries before she attained her initial foothold.
- This was followed by a good five minutes of trying various positions, until she decided on a final spot.
- This position had to be as awkward as possible. It wouldn’t do to be in a stable position on my lap. She had ½ of her body on my leg, the other ½ on the arm of the chair,
- This was a position in which the slightest movement would cause her to slip, at which point she would get very angry. This was all my fault, after all.
I put up with it, of course, during the years she was with me. BTW: this is still her sweet side.
The “spicy” side appeared when she had to be pilled. We are all familiar with how cats feel about being pilled, and at Tabby’s Place we have, I can honestly say, some of the best “cat wranglers” in the world. But, Honey was from another universe.
She screamed like she was being flayed alive. And, if you weren’t very careful, she would happily inflict a scratch or bite. I believe she was the most difficult cat to pill in the 20 years we have been taking cats.
Once the torture was done, however, she headed back to her rightful place: my lap. It was as if nothing had happened.
There were many times when I thought I was losing her. Her kidneys worsened and she lost weight over the years. But she never lost an ounce of her determination: “death (or, at least, injury to humans) before pilling.” And she bounced back repeatedly.
During the last two weeks, her kidney function declined precipitously, and it was clear there was not much time. She was quieter and spent less time with me. She did rally one last day, eating several plates of food and sitting on my lap twice. But I knew the time was near.
On Tuesday, she stopped eating completely and was not interested in attention. She appeared uncomfortable. Her blood work was horrible. I was not ready to let her go. But she was ready to leave.
She left the world quickly and peacefully, in my office, surrounded by those who cared for and lover her.
I love her more than life itself and I will miss her every day. RIP, baby girl.