Gwen came into my life back in 1999.
She was a young cat hanging around a coworker's house. He couldn't have another one, so he asked me if I wanted her. My previous cat, the imperious and very vocal half-Siamese Bast, had been gone about a half a year, and I agreed to take this little girl.
The vet figured her for almost a year old, and said she'd been spayed. Our best guess is that she either got kicked out of her house when someone got a new significant other, or else she got lost, maybe out of a car. She was as sweet and friendly as she could be, and she stayed that way her whole life.
I'm not going to say traveling was her favorite thing, but she didn't mind it. She'd go into her carrier willingly and she traveled calmly, even across country to Washington state. She enjoyed our visits to my father's house, especially looking out the big picture window into the woods, and she bullied my friend's big cat in Washington the one week she stayed with him. Poor Beowulf...
But while she wasn't crazy about strange cats, she did like people. She was friendly, and with me she was very affectionate. She loved to lie on top of me on the couch, and to sleep at the other end if I was reading on on the laptop.
She didn't care what flavor her food was, but she was picky about the texture: had to be the "grilled" variety. She wouldn't eat out of my hand, but she would lick bacon until it was limp if you put it down for her. And she loved ham.
She liked to sit out on the balcony in a chair in the sun. Or lie between the curtain and the glass in the winter sun, when it was too cold to let her out. She didn't like the oscillating fan I'd have to turn on in the week or so of summer-like heat that always comes in May before the building switches from heat to air conditioning, but she didn't mind the box fan that would be on in the living room, so those nights she'd spend out there. And she loved lying in the bathtub ...
Back in 2012 when the derecho came through and knocked my building's power out for ten days, she lived happily (and neatly) in a motel room, just like she did when I went on a business trip for two weeks to Ft Lewis. She was always happier when she traveled with me than when I left her. Me, too.
You've undoubtedly noticed that all of this is in the past tense. She had lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago, though overall she as still healthy and active, but just in the last couple of days had been getting kind of feeble. She walked slower, with a little wobble. She wasn't at the door when I came in; she was coming out of the bedroom. She wasn't eating as much, and she wasn't as particular about keeping her chin clean. I was thinking about taking her to see a vet this weekend.
But last night she came into the kitchen and asked for something to eat. I gave her a Tongol Tuna Appetizer, and she drank the tuna water happily. She ate a couple of chunks of meat, too - I thought she was eating it all, but I left the kitchen and only this morning did I see how much she'd left. She came back into the bedroom and got up onto the bed. She lay there for a few minutes and then kind of just collapsed onto the comforter. She spoke softly a couple to times and then, while I was stroking her and talking to her, she shuddered, kicked out a back leg, and just stopped breathing.
I am going to miss the hell out of my good girl.
Arianwen: ? 1999 - March 23, 2015
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