Thursday, June 28, 2007
In Memoriam: Zip Zip Kitty, April 1992 - June 2007
Our Zip Zip. Oh how we miss her. Our Purrpaw; little Foursquare - her squares of calico color decorating the back of her neck in quadrants; Purrball; Kitty Zip; Kitty in a Catsuit; Wibble; Whipple; Kittens Plural (applied to one cat: go figure); Sweet Purr, Zhip-Zhip. Endless affectionate names to call our sweet best companion for 15 years. Her mother, Inkspot, of whom Zip was probably the last living of her five kittens, is so blue without her kitten-soft, thick-furred, blue-eyed, dilute calico daughter. She asks to go outside and then sleeps endlessly in her rocking chair on the front porch, and we find it as hard to console her as we find it to console ourselves.
At left, Zip Zip in late 2004.
Zip Zip, my husband, and I shared our lives' most important moments to date. Zip's fascination with strings and sewing notions, her waiting at the base of trees, nose upraised, ears perked, tail quivering, while squirrels danced, heads down, and chattering, teasing her just feet above. She wouldn't hunt, but loved to watch, and the squirrel population grazed nearby restful and unmolested. Zip, her tail like a flag, galloping ecstatically to Curte in the backyard, to roll over in the grass and rub her back in it, purring, while he talked to her, Zhiiiip, Zhipppp, you silly. Her bout with bone cancer, which took her left foreleg; I stayed and slept with her in the guest room until she recovered enough to manage the rest of the house. Through rounds of kitty dialysis and special food, from which she'd rebound with energy and purring largely intact.
She helped us through my bout with severe chronic illness, through graduate school, multiple moves, meeting my future husband and thinking he was a good guy worthy of napping in his lap, marriage, two house renovations and endless furniture rearragements, both of which she disliked as a unwanted change in a happy routine. Though our marriage, and move to my husband's hometown: the drive up I-75 left her meowing faintly and continuously in my arms while I tried to steer, while her mother foamed at the mouth, all of us panting because we had the heat on in the Saturn to help the overheating car survive a traffic jam. Through my pregnancy and the arrival of the two boys.
At left, Zip Zip on June 22nd.
She fell at age 15 years to the effects of chronic kidney disease and the stress of getting around without her left foreleg, lost to bone cancer two years ago. The arrival of the boys didn't help: she felt confused and we were all stressed trying to pay loving attention to all of each other, and none getting enough.