I’ve been putting off writing this post because it’s easier to write about happy things like grandchildren or things that aren’t emotional like Beauty Boxes, but it needs to be written.
Our sweet kitty Kipling died about a month ago.
At first we didn’t know Kippy was sick. I’d seen him Friday night in the fruit cellar, hunched down looking under the shelves. I thought he was stalking a mouse, “You get him, Kippy! It was a typically busy weekend so it wasn’t until Sunday that I realized I hadn’t seen him around. I finally found him in the basement, hovering over the water dish like Snoopy playing vulture. His front paws were wet and dirty, and looked tiny. At first I thought he’d been digging under the fruit cellar shelves trying to get at the mouse, but then he pawed in the water bowl, put his face down toward the water, then lifted it again without drinking.
I thought maybe he’d accidentally gotten shut in the fruit cellar without food or water all weekend so I put him by the food dish. He put his face into the food, then raised it again without eating. That’s when I started worrying – Kippy NEVER refused food.
Long story short, that was the beginning of the end – the vet told us that Kippy was experiencing kidney failure. We switched him to Hill’s Science Diet Kidney Care food and he started acting like himself again, but his recovery was short-lived and less than 3 months later he was gone.
Every pet owner thinks that their pet is special- which they are – but Kippy was among the most special of pets.
Teacher always told me that farm kittens were the best because they had tons of personality and you could get them younger than kittens from the Humane Society so they really became part of the family.
As usual, he was right.
We got Kippy from Auntie Elle’s uncle’s farm. I barely remember picking him out, but I do remember a huge box with all the boy kittens in it, and Angel Face lobbying for the tiny grey and white kitten. Since I have a thing for grey and white cats it wasn’t a tough sell.
He was incredibly gentle and tolerant with the kids. I always said that he had no self-preservation instinct because when the kids played rough with him he just laid there looking at me with “please save me” in his eyes; he never even tried to run away.
Kippy loved us so much, and showed it. He purred whenever we were near – often all it took to get his motor going was for us to start talking to him. Then if we didn’t pet him right away he gently pawed at an arm or butted his head against us, asking for cuddles with his eyes. He loved being held, carried around, and napping with his family.
He loved napping on the kitchen counter – especially on my laptop, which used to drive me crazy. I never figured out if he liked being in the middle of everything, or if he liked the warmth from the laptop and nearby dishwasher, or both.
Kippy was a fantastic mouser. We don’t have mice often, but whenever one appeared we could always count on Kippy to get him. Best of all, he killed it and ate the whole thing so we didn’t have to worry about finding mouse parts anywhere. Unlike Murphy who just followed them, Laelia who doesn’t know what to do with them when she catches them, or Snickers who just plays with them – dead or alive. And we could always tell when he’d been at a toy mouse because its tail had been chewed off.
Of course he wasn’t perfect. He loved people food and was often underfoot when we were cooking. He learned that the counter and sink were great places to scrounge, and could often be found in the sink snacking on food that hadn’t been put down the garbage disposal yet. One of Teacher’s nicknames for Kippy was “Scrounge.” During meals he went around the table begging for handouts, stretching up to reach for plates, or grabbing an arm with his paw and trying to pull it down so he could nab food off the fork. When he was a kitten he was so frantic for Cheetos and French Fries that eating either without sharing was taking your life in your hands.
Although he was the undisputed “Alpha” cat for many years, Kippy always accepted the other cats we brought into the house, no matter if they were just guests like College Boy’s Loki or permanent “siblings.”
He was the sweetest, most gentle cat I’ve ever known, and we’re never going to forget him.
Goodbye, sweet Kippy. We couldn’t have loved you more, or you loved us more. We’ll miss you forever.