I just found out that my Portland Siamese cat, Lit’l Smokey, died this weekend. She was older than I realized, probably 13 ½. I got her way back in fall of 1994, the year I graduated college, at a strip mall Newberry on trashy car dealer lined 82nd St. of all places, for fifty bucks, which was a lot of money for an unemployed ex-art student. (I soon got my first job, part-time work at the public library that set the foundation for my current no rhyme or reason career. I had to take the civil service exam the week I got Smokey and was scared to death to leave her in the apt. alone because I was convinced she was going to squeeze through the few inches between my cracked open windows and the sill and fall two stories to the ground. I honestly don't see how young moms of humans survive; a kitten stressed me out at 22. Even now, a baby would spazz me out.) She was so tiny she could fit in the palm of your hand, though I have no photos because this was pre-digital era and I didn’t even own a camera.
I admit I hadn’t been a good cat mom leaving her with my mother after having her four years to move to NYC. I didn’t know I’d necessarily be here ten years later (next month) so in essence she wasn’t my cat anymore like when irresponsible parents’ children get raised by their grandparents and turn out all wretched and commit crimes with no remorse.
There was a cat controversy in the early ‘00s that I wont rehash (or even link to my ranting from the time) because it caused bad blood and also made me aware that my mom read my site. Smokey got diabetes and my family wouldn’t treat it, not that I blame them exactly. I figured she would’ve been dead at least five years ago. But they essentially put her on the Catkins diet (Costco chicken breasts, the same that I eat) and she seemed to improve.
I last saw her in 2004 (I’ve only been back to Portland three times in a decade because frankly, I’d rather ration my measly vacation time for Asia or Latin America) and she didn’t seem terribly sickly. In fact, she was half the size of my current obese half-Siamese that won’t lose weight no matter how severely I restrict her diet. The idea of insulin shots makes me sick, so she had better get her act together.
I’m semi-superstitious so I’m not sure what getting diabetes and then having my diabetic cat die means. I can’t seem to shape it into a good omen, though.