Thursday, December 31, 2009

An open letter to my cat, Erin

Dear Erin,

I’ve never had a pet die before, so I don’t really know how to handle this or start this… I don’t know why you got sick or what happened really, but I do know we did everything we could to save you.

You were very loved by people from 4 different states. You lived through college with me and the insanity that was the Vegas house. I wanted to do something to celebrate you, even in some small way. I figured telling my favorite stories about you (for better or worse) was the best way.

That’s a cute name.
I found Erin in 2003… well, more specifically, she found us. I don’t remember how many times Lindsey and I saw her wandering around the apartment complex, but one time she was with a guy our age. They were standing in what was (for all intensive purposes) our backyard. So, we talked to them. Well, him.
“She’s a cute cat,” I said, because all cats are girls… duh.
“Thanks,” he replied.
“What’s her name?” I asked
“Oh, that’s a cute name.”
The guy looked at me like I was NUTS and shortly made his way far from our backyard. Lindsey and I looked at each other with “oh-my-god-he-was-so-weird” looks on our faces. Then Linds goes, “Oh my god. Do you think HIS name was Aaron?” Well, that must have been it. No wonder he thought I was nuts. Who tells a guy his name is cute? We laughed so hard… The next few times Erin came around, Aaron was NOT with her… then one day she just wandered into the apartment. She was mine from that point on… My cat named after the boy who I weirdly complimented on accident. To this day, I still don’t know if we accidentally stole her from him or if he she was even his cat...

A Great Judge of Character
Erin was trekked all over the country: from Oklahoma to California to Ohio to Nevada and finally to Michigan. When we first moved to NV, we lived in this really cute house with three other people. At first, it was awesome. I loved my roommates and was having so much fun. The only problem was that Erin kept peeing in one of the girl’s rooms (we’ll call her M)- ON HER BED! She hadn’t EVER done this before. It was completely out of character and seemingly unexplainable. Well, M turned out to be the worst roommate I ever had (yup, even worse than the guy who committed check fraud and stole a Hummer!), so really… Erin was just warning me.

It’s her Vacation Home!
While I was living in Vegas, Abby’s parents would watch her for me whenever I went out of town. It was such a relief knowing she was in good hands and in a wonderful place. The only downside to it was that she NEVER wanted to come home. I worked a lot and lived in a small apartment, so the much larger home that had more people and cats in it was like a resort to her, I’d imagine. It never failed, EVERY TIME I went to pick her up, she’d dart off and hide under a bed, on the top shelf of a linen closet or in the darkest corner she could find. It broke my heart, but made me feel a little less guilty about leaving sometimes.

I’m right HERE.
As I mentioned, my place in Vegas was small. That didn’t stop Er from getting lost. Nope. The first month we lived in that apartment she’d be in the kitchen after I’d already go to bed and all of sudden start screaming like something horrible was happening to her. As soon as I would say, “I’m right here,” she was fine. She’d meow normally and come to me. I’ll never know if it was the dark or the new apartment, but she didn’t do it in the first house in Vegas, or any place prior to that. When we moved to St. Joe, she’d be behind the couch that I was sitting on and “get lost.” She’d scream, wait, I’d call to her, and then the cycle would start over immediately if she didn’t find me. So bizarre.

There are million other stories I could tell, funny nicknames I could explain, quirks I could share… but these are my favorite. They made me smile to type.

Like I said, I never had a pet die before and I never had pets growing up (aside from ten cent goldfish). I hate that I didn’t know how much this was going to suck, how sad it was going to be.

Erin, you were an awesome cat- crazy, loud, weird, cuddly, funny, skinny, neurotic and a tiny bit ditzy- but awesome. I’ll miss you.
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