Catman at home.

Catman at home.

I couldn’t imagine mourning the death of a cat until I had one. This has been a difficult year, kittyilly speaking. I was prepared for the death of Sancho, our 16-year-old Maine Coon.   He was clearly winding down, ill with a lymphoma. We had prepared for his eventual demise by acquiring a 5-year-old rescue cat named Catman after one of my husband’s favorite jazz musicians, Scatman Cruthers.

Catman had apparently been a street thug in his previous life. He had birdshot in his flanks, his ears were notched and scarred from fights, and one eye was tilted at an odd angle. Despite his obvious physical flaws, Catman was very comfortable in his own battered skin. He took to his new, pampered city life with grace, charm and gratitude whenever he was awake, which wasn’t often. But when he was awake, he was always in the same room with us.

Last week he was diagnosed with an aggressive, untreatable cancer of the throat. There was no use letting him suffer and so Catman had a simple, dreamy death. We did right by him, but on the way home I realized that I was humming to myself, “The Man that Got Away.” You know how it goes: “The road gets rougher; it’s lonelier and tougher.”  Rest in peace, Catman. You are missed.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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