May 28th, 2009



Mléko was by no means a small cat. Tipping the scales at something like 25lbs. she had an enormity of presence which had everything to do with size. When we lived in NJ she would sit in a cardboard filebox lid, filling it to capacity; looking very much like the fatted hen sitting on an egg. "Cat in a Box" it was marked. She would sit in it every evening watching my wife and I watch TV. It was both humorous and unnerving.

Nor was Mléko a bold cat. Of the few times she actually made it out the front door of our apartment, she would "freeze" two steps out - not knowing what to do with her new found freedom. She rode with me in the big yellow moving van when we relocated to Texas and set up in our little pink house.

Mléko was a superstitious cat. There was one edge of a doorway between the kitchen and the hallway that Mléko loved to rub up against. She rubbed up against it so much it turned white. My wife found a self-adhesive 'brush' contraption that you could fill with catnip and apply to the corner. She thought it was the devil and never went near that corner again.

Mléko was not an outgoing cat. She didn't like people much, but when I had to relocate the cats temporarily when we sold our home, celtmanx took her in...then decided not to give her back. They were two peas in a pod, those two. Due to a series of hysterical, yet unfortunate events for celtmanx, we reacquired Mléko November last year and she reintegrated flawlessly. It was good to get her back.

I've lived a pretty insulated life considering that having Mléko put down was one of the more painful things I've had to endure. I attended the euthanasia. Her weight loss had nothing to do with celtmanx and his feline-DNA experiments. It was hyperthyroidism. She wasted away to nothing. We had her on medication, but they weren't helping. She became listless and unable to stand. I made the appointment with the vet and stayed by her side during the entire ordeal.

After the vet removed his stethoscope, he left us alone in the room. A sobbing adult and a dead cat.

I was not as emotionally attached to Mléko as I was Daisy, though we'd had her longer. Nonetheless, she'd been a part of my life a very long time. As I pet her unmoving body I noticed her face. It was the most peaceful I've seen her in months. Cats don't have expressions as you and I know them, but hers was free from pain - a pain I was unsure she'd had until that moment. It was then that I knew we'd done the right thing. So yeah, it was tough, and the image of her on that table is going to be with me for awhile. But so is the one where she finally looks at peace. And looks like herself once more.

Good-bye, Mléko.

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