Of Cats and Men

George Sprague

Let me tell you about my cat, KC. This was no ordinary cat. I know, I know—most pet owners will say this about their animal companions. But as Nemo has observed: these animals are more than pets, they are family members. As such, they hold a unique place in our existence and their absence can never be filled.

KC was a tiger-striped tabby with a countenance described by my dear Shawna as a “pucker face.” He was well-proportioned and robust at 13 pounds, and his antics and qualities were ineffable. I have never been so close to a living creature as with KC—we were two peas in a pod, as it were.

[Our animal companions]
are more than pets,
they are family members.”

I inherited this cat nine years ago, when I moved. His previous owners left him behind, and, since I was familiar with him, I took him along. We bonded like brothers and friends will do. So you can imagine how hard it was for me when he developed cancer last year. I’ll never forget that last trip to the vet. KC let me know it was time to go; his pain no longer made life bearable. As I held his face in my hands, the vet proceeded with the fatal injection and in seconds he was gone. And yet, there was a strange calm about him, as if he were saying, “It’s OK, this is best for me.”

Why am I telling you this? Research, that’s why. I had KC cremated, and he rests in his basket in my home. But even before he was back, things started to happen. Though his litter box had been cleaned and moved to the garage, I heard him scratching in it. Several times I heard his distinct “I want outside” meow. I could feel the bed move, just like it would when he jumped on it to sleep next to me. And, though most of these activities have subsided, I occasionally catch a glimpse of a familiar form headed towards the kitchen for a snack.