I’m typing this while sitting in bed, while my cat, Splotchy, makes strange noises and enjoys her senile behavior. This is reminiscent of when I was younger. Her story is as much mine as it is about what’s happened to me and my family.
Splotchy was born in April 1995, when I was about 7 years old. Her mother, Chili (the family cat at the time), had relations with some stray that was roaming around near our neighborhood, and she one day, gave birth. The cat went to the darkest, quietest place in our house, which just happened to be my closet.
For the first few weeks, I was not allowed to even enter my own closet, but after about 6 weeks, the kitties were starting to develop their own personalities and looks. Splotchy was an interesting looking cat, a tortoise shell (or a Black Cat hit by a pumpkin pie as my mom used to say), but she and I immediately developed a deep bond when one night, she jumped on my bed, and crawled under my covers, purring and rubbing up against me. She was so sweet, but at the same time, she was the first of the kitties to even figure out how to do this. I knew from that moment she would be my pet forever.
Splotchy’s brothers and sisters were all given away, and I begged my parents that we keep her, which they let me, and my sister chose the runt, Sally, a tabby. Sally ended up being completely insane, and my mom had to take her to the animal shelter, while their mother Chili ran away one day and never came back. We believe she was eaten by a Coyote. Ironically enough, Splotchy is the only surviving cat of the litter, as all of her brothers and sisters, save for Sally, have all run away, died, or been euthanised.
When we made our first major move out of Palm Desert when I was about 8, I had anticipated she would not be coming with us, as the owners of the place we had rented did not like cats, but my mom snuck her in with us, not telling the owners until after we had moved.
Since then, she has come along with us for every move we’ve made, surviving, exploring, hunting, and enjoying herself. She’s gone from a huge house in Beverly Hills to a small Hotel room in El Segundo and everything in between, and whenever I’m around, she always wants to be near me, even though she’s now almost 16 years old and near death.
Yes, my cat is not in good shape. She’s old, she’s tired, bored, and she’s becoming skinny and bonier by the day. I love her, and I hate seeing this happen, but I also realize that this was going to happen some day, whether I liked it or not. She might be soon talking to Dr. Death, but she’s still as smart, if not smarter than she ever was, just maybe a little more senile, and louder.
Splotchy is one of the greatest pets I’ve ever had, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life, staying with me, and loving me for me as all pets do, instead of loving me in all the wrong ways that some of my personal relationships have proved with other humans.
Some people might think that it’s a little nutty to call my cat a member of my family, but she’s been a constant in my life for the last 16 years, one of the only ones in a dynamic that has changed multiple and innumerable times. Though her time is near, she will always hold a place in my heart, and I will never forget how much she’s made me smile throughout the years.
So here’s to you, my little keedle-deedle, Splotcher, Splotch, kitty kitty, meow, and otherwise one of my best friends; a remembrance of days gone by.
I love you with all my heart.