In 2006-2007 I was struggling just in general to deal with life and with stuff and during all that my sister decided I need a cat.

She found someone on Cregslist giving kittens away. They had one female kitten left and she told them we should take it. On a Saturday me, my sister and my sister’s then boyfriend piled into his car and headed out of town.

We drove into the middle of no where literally dirt roads and corn fields until we came to run down trailer park. We parked in front of one of the trailers and I rolled down the window. A woman came out smoking a cigarette and holding a kitten. She thrust the kitchen through the window into my hands and we drove off again.

Like some kind of illegal kitten exchange.

I named the kitten Perpetua after the saint who’s life story is the oldest Christian text we have.

She tended to get stuck underthings and hidden in the closest until I put a bell on her so I could keep track of where she was.

When I had to take various pet unfriendly apartments she stayed with different family members.

She grew up to be what my mother calls quirky.

She’d start rolling back and forth on the end of my bad so enthusiastically she’d roll off. She’d fail around on the floor for a few second before managing to stand back up and giving me a look that clearly said “I meant to do that.”

She left on her back with her paws in the air and snored.

If  I was wearing a wool or any other kind of animal fiber sweater or vest she’d groom it. Although some times she’d get her tongue stuck. Then I’d have to explain to my roommates why I had a cat stuck to the front of my sweater vest by the tongue.

For a while she decided she liked sticking her head in my coffee and tea mugs and I’d have to cover the top of my cup if I left the room.

She was a master con artist and could convince people she was starving to death despite how full her bowl obviously was. She did this melodramatic cat in the last throws of life routine sometimes next to her full bowl of food.

She never sat in my lap but she liked to sit curled up next to me on the couch while I wrote on the computer.

This morning on the way to work I got a frantic call from my mother.

When she’d woken up she’d found that Perpetua could no longer move the entire back half of her body.  She took Perpetua to an emergency visit to the vet and they told her that Perpetua had basically had a stroke. The vet said my parents could take Perpetua to the animal hospital at Cornell University, but their was very little they could do. The vet said the reality was she’d just have stroke after stroke, loosing more and more functions. On top of that while the stroke she’d had in the night had been painless the rest wouldn’t be. I made the choice to have her euthanized.

This comes in the middle of a period of struggle for me. Right now I’m tired and I’m sad.


2 thoughts on “Perpetua

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  1. Filling up this comment box with all the hugs and love. Thank you for sharing Perpetua with us. It made me smile to picture her grooming your clothes and getting velcro’ed on or sticking her head in your cup. I wish she could still be here for you. Please reach out if you need anything. People are not as good as animals for listening and just being there, but we’ve got it all over them on sending out care packages and typing out responses. *more hugs*


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