I apologize in advance. This is not a story post like previous ones, but an airing of my emotions. I felt that this was the most appropriate place to post my feelings on this matter that is very important to me. Facebook and Twitter seem far too needy. Approaching my friends in private chats or on the phone seems the same way. My family is asleep, and my local friends have day jobs or school.
I also apologize for the title. It is a bit inaccurate. The real time frame is almost one year.
On the seventh day of the year two thousand twelve, someone very important to me died on a cold metal table, almost a mile from home. He was surrounded by a crying thirteen year old, my mother, my best friend, the doctor, and his parent– me.
His name was Quazimoto. To me, he had many names, the most commonly-used being Quazi. He was a rescue cat, saved from a cold winter at my grandparents’ farm. He was a weak runt, infested with worms, fleas, and disease. Grandpa told my mother that this little grey kitten would not live through a week.
My mother took me with her to get him. I promptly named the little cat “Blossom” because I thought it was a girl. I have no idea why my mother thought it would be a bright idea to give a dying kitten to a little child, but every day, I am thankful for it. That little kitten, given for free by my grandparents, cost us thousands of dollars in vet bills.
Every day, my father washed him in the sink. Every day, he had a crazy child chase him around. He grew up angry, and I loved him. He got fat, and we were happy together.
In middle school, I drifted apart from him as my world became awash with hormones, depression, and thoughts that ending my own life was better than going to school. I slept much of my time away, and have few memories of my precious baby during that time.
In High School, I began to notice that other students were dealing with the deaths of those they loved. I began to try to re-learn how to feel. My progress was slow as I taught myself how to hug. I practiced on Quazi quite often, and he eventually softened up.
From there, Quazi became more tolerant of the various forms of bull shit that crop up when a person’s home is constantly invaded by foreign children. He actually made friends with several foster children that my mother cared for, and helped them when I was off in college– much to my dismay.
When I dropped out of college, I often kidnapped the now-old cat from my mother’s room to cuddle him. He was growing feeble, and his fat was gone. He looked ill, but he continued to fight for life.
Many times, I tried to imagine what his death would cause in me. I imagined laying in my bed for weeks at a time like I did in middle school. I imagined lashing out at myself. I imagined what I thought was every possible reaction I could have. Still, he lived. My brother called him a zombie cat, because he always bounced back from his various bouts with illness. My mother joked that Quazi had ninety lives.
I became convinced that even when mom said those ever-present words: “He might not make it this time,” that he would survive.
Finally, he stopped eating. We all knew something was wrong. Quazi loved eating more than anything– even stealing socks and underwear. We took him to the vet, fearing the worst. The results came in. He was having organ failure. I can’t even remember if it was kidney or liver failure. Regardless, it was a death sentence. We took him in the next day to be put down, before he could suffer. I took many pictures, and in the end, I was the only one with dry eyes.
He was put down on January 7, 2012. He was surrounded by his parent; the woman who always doubted his survival, but never really gave up on him; a foster child who felt loved by him; his parent’s best friend; and the veterinarian who always found a way to keep him alive before.
To this day, I regret that I could not continue to look Quazi in the eye as he faded from life.
To this day, I thank Quazi for teaching me that I am capable of love.
To this day, I still cry when I think about those things that will happen “never again.”
To this day, he is still my Baby-kins. He was, and still is, my child. I still see him out of the corner of my eye, and I have a memorial in my bedroom, set up in his honor. That cat gave me everything, and I feel that I did not give him nearly enough.