It is hard work keeping up with those strong and independent women! Or maybe I am just lazy. Actually today I do not feel much like a strong person at all. I had to take my beloved cat Zeus to the vet to be put down this afternoon. He was seventeen years young and I have had him since he was six weeks old. A horrible brat when he was a kitten, he grew to be a caring, fun loving and adventurous cat who liked nothing better than to ride on my shoulder whenever we moved.
He loved to watch television, in particular comics or nature shows. Zeus never failed to be upset by the sound of a baby crying – either on tv or in person, or by a distraught animal of any kind. He had a very strong maternal side as evidenced by his reaction several years ago to our bringing home a kitten rescued by my niece. A tiny little Maine Coon kitten he claimed tiny little Indie (short for independent), as her personal kitten within five minutes of his appearance in the house. Indie was young enough that he needed assistance in cleaning himself. One day my mother took it upon herself to take care of the poor little kitten with a dirty butt; this was not to Indie’s liking however and as his tail swiveled he loudly made clear his displeasure. To Zeus this was a battle cry for freedom as he charged the area. A gentle boy at heart, he struggled with a felt need to physically restrain his grandmother from “hurting” his kitten as his paw struggled to be still. Instead he let loose with a strong growl of warning to her. When she was finished he spent the next several minutes grooming and consoling little Indie. Indie is about ten now but there has never been a more comforting reassurance in life than to have his “Mama Zeus” groom his head for him.
Zeus has been going blind for several years now, but he seemed to compensate well except the past year he has cried out loudly at night, which has been somewhat alleviated by strategically placed nightlights. In addition he became very arthritic and had recurring bouts of cancer on his back. The past few days he has not been himself and stopped purring. That was the warning to me that he was in bad shape – he usually purred so loudly he could be heard acrost the room.