On My Grandmother’s Cat

My grandmother’s cat is gone.

Yes, my grandmother had a cat. He had no name. She called him many things. He was usually just “Kitty” or “Buddy” or “Little Guy.”

My grandmother hated him and she loved him. She could scream at him for no reason at all, and then be deathly worried about him five minutes later. She wouldn’t touch him, the most she would ever do would be to rub him with her foot.

For a number of reasons, none to do with him and all to do with her, he didn’t have free run of the house when she was alive. In the times that he did escape the confines of the basement, he liked to sleep on my grandmother’s bed. There was never any sunlight there, my grandmother’s bedroom (which she actually didn’t use until her final year) was never anything but gloomy, so I never understood why he slept there. To be honest, if she were on the couch and I found the cat on the bed, I would let the cat stay. Someone needed to get some use out of the bedroom, after all.

He was mainly an outdoor cat, though, largely because he couldn’t have free run of the house.

I could write a long dissertation on my grandmother’s behavior towards cats. This isn’t really the place for that.

He’s been gone since Monday.

I tell myself it’s just a few days, and cats do things like this. He was gone for a week during and after Blizzardammerung, and that was his own stupid fault.

And yet, there’s a cloud of gloom dogging my heel. I looked at his food dish this evening, and I felt devastated.

Don’t misunderstand. He was a useless cat. He refused to be held. He was very friendly, he liked to be petted, my niece liked him. But he showed no affection, and he slept all day. Even when he wanted to come inside, he frequently wanted someone to come outside, pick him up, and carry him in. He was useless, and for a cat, that says a lot.

I keep hoping he’ll turn up. That I’ll be in the kitchen, fixing breakfast, and he’ll be sitting outside, in his spot atop the tarp under the magnolia tree, ready to come in.

Hope. It’s all I really have.

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