Our little kitty, Peach, died a couple of weeks ago. We only had him for about 6 months. We adopted him in early November from the Peninsula Humane Society (where we had previously adopted 3 kittens). McKinley and I had gone there on a Friday afternoon in October to check out the black cats, which are always the last ones to be adopted. We identified two sets of kittens that would be great for us – a set of blacks one and a set of orange tiger striped kittens. We had to rush to make Jasper’s football game that afternoon so we had to return another time. We went back a few weeks later to get the kittens when we could all be there to see and play with the cats.
Unfortunately, neither set of kittens was still there, so we started our search over. We checked out all of the cats there – big and small. There was a litter of 5 black kittens and we played in their room for a long time. The boys were torn because they were trying to figure out a way to just choose two of the five kittens. They wanted all five (which wouldn’t happen unless we lived out in the country). Jasper suggested a little grey kitten that talked to us as we came close to her cage. I wanted a little white kitten that looked like it might be Siamese – he had blue eyes and orange ears and an orange ringed tail. He was adorable. He was also a little sickly, a little runty. We were torn with wanting to get a pair of black kittens and the gray and white ones. The grey one was a little skittish and the white one was a snuggler and they played pretty well together except for a couple of hisses from the grey one.
We decided to go ahead and get the mixed pair and forgo trying to choose only 2 kittens from the litter of 5 black ones. It took a little bit of time to fill out all of the paperwork and get clearance to take the kittens home. We got a few cans of food from the shelter and we stopped at the store to get cat stuff – a litter box, kitty litter, cat food, and bowls. And more than a few cat toys…
We took more than a few days to name the cats and even though his given name was Snowy, we renamed the white cat, Peach. And even though the grey kitten was, ironically enough, named Peach, we renamed her Mystery, (the boys still insist on calling her Bowser, which to me seems like a dog’s name). We were advised to keep the cats in a small space for a couple of days so that they could get used to the new surroundings. I think that lasted exactly 10 minutes before Peach figured out how to get past the barricade we set up in the hallway. He sought out people and laps. They grey one just hissed and hid for the most part.
Peach wasn’t shy about sitting on your lap or snuggled up against you (or the grey cat). He mostly loved to sit where it would be the most inconvenient for you. We only had him for about 6 months, but he had a huge impact on us and everyone who came over to the house. He was a cute little cat with a big personality.
In the end, he had a failure to thrive, whatever that really means. He died with me holding him; I won’t go into the details, but I did get to hold him in his last hours. He never got very big in his 9 months and when he died he weighed less than 5 pounds. I’ve been brooding about him and his loss over the last couple of weeks and I finally wanted to do something to put all of these thoughts and feelings down on paper in a poem. I also made a little photo book for us to remember him. Enjoy the poem:
PeachSit on my shoulder Snuggle under my chin Sit on my shoulder Play with my hair Sit in my lap As I try to work Climb up my leg To hear me yelp Climb up my leg To find a sweet spot to sleep Sleep curled up in a ball Next to someone else Be a naughty kitty Climb on the counter Be a naught kitty Climb on the table The spray bottle you ignored It was the only way you got clean Try to keep warm Sleep on my keyboard Try to keep warm Sleep on a fleece blanket Drink out of the toilet After you’ve fallen in Never do cat things Like clean yourself after eating Never do cat things Like use the outdoors Hiding who knows where Even though we call out Playing like a kitten Hunting for pipe cleaners Playing like a kitten Going wild for the laser pointer His favorite cat toys Involved a good chase He was a runner When there was an open door He was a runner When you needed him inside He was a little white streak When he caught his first bird Climbing up the cat tree To look down from above Climbing up the cat tree To find a sleeping spot for hours Claws out like a hunter But never claws in, get stuck Try to keep warm Sleep in the sun Try to keep warm Sleep on the heating pad Sleep well Our sweet Peach