It’s been…a really long time since I’ve blogged and in past blogs, I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned Smee. Smee is our cat. We’ve had her lo these many years. 17 to be exact. Maybe that’s where I should start…
When Man and I first married we lived in these pretty run down apartments in Dallas, TX. They were built back in the 60’s and so, for a one bedroom, were pretty spacious. A mariachi band lived down stairs which made me kind of crazy then but I miss that now… Anywhoo, while living there a stray cat claimed us. No, that was not Smee. That was Sinclaire. She was a darling, sweet, sterling tabby. Just a dear! However, Man and I both worked and traveled and we felt kind of badly for Sinclaire being home alone so much. (I know. We were ridiculous. Cats don’t really need companionship.)
Down the street from where I worked was a Pet Hospital. They also kept cats/kittens for adoption and I had signed up as a snuggler. This just meant that I volunteered time to snuggle and pet kittens so they got out of their crates and had human interaction and affection. It’s a real thing.
One day, I went to snuggle cats after work, and there was a new litter of kittens. They were all given names from Peter Pan. One sweet, striped belly kitten was named, Smee. She was suuuuper tiny! She was not actually related to the kittens of the Peter Pan litter. I was told that she came in to the clinic the same weekend that they did. She had been found wet and alone in the gutter. She had a kink in her tail and a sort of deformed toe and was extremely small. It may have been that Mama Cat abandoned her due to all of her abnormalities. In fact, I think I adored her more for all of her quirks! She was super snuggly to boot!
Every day after work I went to snuggle Smee. Then I started going at lunch as well. By the end of the week I had fallen in love and brought her home. Somewhere, and I cant find the picture, was a picture of her sitting on our coffee table next to a can of Coke. She was only a smidgen taller than the can! Just a teeny tiny little thing!
Sinclaire took to Smee right away. She would bring grasshoppers and other bugs into the house and use them to teach Smee how to hunt. It was absolutely adorable! That was about as affectionate as they got.
Sinclaire and Smee moved with us into our first house and it was there that we brought home our first born, Buddy, to. Something changed after Buddy’s arrival. Smee became angry, bitter, and jealous. She stopped wanting to be petted. She slept with us less (probably because Buddy did) and she started scratching people. She nearly took my brother-in-laws eye out! To this day he has a scar through his eyebrow to prove it. After that incident we reluctantly had Smee declawed. She had that deformed toe anyway and the claw was growing under and twisted toward the pad of her paw, plus scratching people’s faces when you have a new born baby…nope. Well, that was it for Smee. She never forgave us for the declawing nor for having a baby. And then we had the gall to have ANOTHER baby!!!
Well, the babies are now 12 and 14 and Smee is still bitter. For those who follow my Instagram, you are all too familiar with my Bitter Smee pics. Smeevil, we call her. She used to sit on top of the fridge or china cabinet and look down on us with disdain. It started to get too hard for her to jump up there anymore and so she moved her lair to the laundry room in the basement. There she has claimed a whole laundry basket as her own. (Sinclaire is no longer with us and is a different story.)
When Man is at work, Buddy and Bug are at school, and the dogs are outside, Smee will venture out into the rest of the house and find me. If I’m sitting, she will climb into my lap, preventing me from doing anything else but pet her. If I’m blogging, she’ll sit in front of the computer screen and will angrily mew or groan if I try to move her to the side. When I pet her she likes one pet, two pets, and then she bites the frik out of my hand. She used to only come out into the house under these conditions.
One night, about a year ago, Smee somehow crept passed all of the sleeping hounds that are on the floor of my bedroom and climbed into bed with Man and I. It was such a surprise! It had been YEARS, 13 to be exact, since she slept with us. (Sinclaire always did but again, different cat. Different story.) Smee climbed onto my chest and started to “make biscuits.” She was kneading away at my bosom and it was none too pleasant. But how could I tell her no? She was back for the snuggles and loving! I would endure the painful poking and prodding so that she would stay. After several nights of Smee tickling our faces with her tail and 2 a.m. pillow parades, Man began to complain.
“She keeps me up all night! I get up at 4:30! I’m closing the door at night,” he ranted!
I talked him down though because it was so special that she was warming up again! It wasn’t every night but more nights than not, Smee returned to torment us in our sleep. Smee also seems to be in a phase of her life where she gives Zero $%&#s. She no longer cares if the dogs are in and around the house. She does not run from them. Instead she hisses until my big, strong dogs whine and back away. Every now and again they’ll run her back into her laundry basket but mostly everyone is just side stepping and do-si-doeing around one another.
In the mornings Smee cries and mews until Man feeds her. Then she naps on the floor heater, completely covering it with her body. I should mention that Smee has very short legs and for some reason still looks like a kitten. She’s still so tiny! Not as small as a soda can but still a tiny little thing. Also, as all annoying bitches do, she has the gift of being able to eat and eat and eat and never gain weight. Every a.m. Man feeds her soft food and then anytime I enter the laundry room (which is a bottomless pit of clothes and linens…) she cries for more. I feed her small amounts of kibble 2-3 times a day. When my sister visits she really gets spoiled. My sister feeds her bigger portions and more frequently. The evil ones stick together.
There are many examples of Smee’s meanness. There’s the time she peed in my brother-in-laws suitcase. The time she peed on top of the bookshelf.
The time she pooped on Bugs homework. There was the time when she practically lived on top of the shelf and she would beam her empty food cans at passers by.
“She’ll never die,” Man would grouse.
Sometimes, she sits on the stairs but presses herself up to it in way so that when you are coming down the stairs you can’t really see her and then she grabs you, scaring the crap out of you, and coming damn near close to causing you to fall the rest of the way down. One could break their neck!
“Smee tried to kill me,” I’d text my sister.
There is of course the 3 a.m. pillow parade and the biting after 3 pets. The hissing at the children as they pass and the constant demand to be fed.
When I turn out the lights at night in the laundry room I whisper, “if you see a light….go to it, Smee. Go to the light.” I mean, she’s REEEEEALY old and seems to be very unhappy with all of us. The kids, specifically.
One day I went down to the basement and Smee was laying in a sunny spot by the sliding glass doors. She was so still and peaceful, dare I say…happy looking? I had the thought that she must be dead. I carefully approached. She did not budge. I bent down to examine and see if she was breathing. She picked up her head and looked over her shoulder to me. Scared the bejeezus out of me!
Today though was different. I went down to the laundry room (to do laundry, of course!) and there was Smee in her basket. Nothing unusual about that but…her food dish was full of soft food. I checked and she was breathing so I text Man: Smee didn’t eat.
Man: I noticed. I just thought I’d leave it in case she changed her mind.
I pet her and she picked her head up and purred. I pet her once, twice, three times, four…
Me to Man: she’s letting me pet her and she’s purring.
Man: she’s like 1000 years old, babe. She’s probably at the end.
I raised Smee’s food dish to her.
Maybe she just wants breakfast in bed. That sounds like her.
She smelled the food but did not eat it. I offered her water….in bed. She smelled it and laid back down. I dipped my finger into the water and touched it to her lips. Smee licked her lips and laid back down. I pet her once, twice, three times, four, five…and she let me and she purred.
Me to Man: She’s being really sweet. I think she’s dying.
I had an appointment at the senior living center. I had to go and so I pet her some more and told her to hang in there until I got home.
When I got home she had not moved from her basket and I could barely see her breathing. I offered food and water again. She refused it. I pet her once, twice, three, four, and just kept petting her and she did not protest. I went to pick her up and put her in my lap and she cried and curled up so I left her in her basket and continued to pet her. At one point I stopped petting but my hand was near and she pressed her forehead into my hand. I put my face down to hers and cooed and asked if she was going to make it. She pressed her forehead to mine and we sat there for about a minute or two but then I had to leave to get the kids.
There was carpool and orthodontic appointments and grocery shopping and when we got home, Smee was still in her basket with her faint breathing and loss of appetite. I scheduled an appointment for her to see the vet in the morning. I offered her kibble by hand. She lapped one into her mouth but then spit it out. Just got the taste of it.
When Man got home we all talked as a family that this could be her end. Man and I kind of thought she would hang on until Buddy left for college (in 3 more years) just to spite him.
“I’ve never liked cats, that one in particular, but she will still be hard to say goodbye to,” Man said as we quietly ate our dinner.
After dinner I did the dishes and fed the dogs. I decided to go down and check on Smee again. She was curled up sleeping in her basket. I pet her bunches and she picked up her head and purred. I just sat there near her basket and food and water. She stretched while I pet her and then she stepped out of the basket and sat at her food bowl and ate a few kibbles.
What the heck…?
Then she walked over toward her litter box.
I ran up stairs and told Man, “She’s a faker! She’s eating and walking around!”
After I relayed what happened Man defended her, “a few pieces of kibble all day does not mean she’s faking. Something’s not right and you need to take her to the vet tomorrow.”
I was about to head down to the basement again but….
“She is faking it, I tell you! She just wanted to hear us all say how sad it would be if she died and how we’d miss her,” I told Man, “and she wanted to be fed in bed.”
Man went down to see for himself. Smee headed down the stairs as he did and lead him to the laundry room as she does in the mornings.
“What is it?” I hear Man say in a sweet voice to that little devil. “Oh…you want soft food again?”
Next thing I know, Man is running up the stairs to get Smee her soft food. Sure enough, she eats it. All of it.
As I finish this blog she is sitting in the kitchen. Upstairs. She will never die.