Writers4Higher Pays Tribute To Piggy
The Muse Cat
If you are an animal lover as I am, you understand two basic truths: all pets are special, and most are more noble than the majority of humans. Every now and then, one particular critter shares your life, one that can practically read your mind, one that digs deep into your heart and shares your spirit.
Such was my muse cat, Piggy.
He came to our home at eight weeks of age, a fuzz ball, gray tabby born in a lumber mill. The name we provided the vet was Sisko, but he rapidly outgrew that title. For the next seventeen years, he answered to Piggy, based on the fact he never met a food bowl he didn’t love. One of his kitten pictures shows him sprawled across a pie tin half-filled with kibble, face down, satiated, and fast asleep. I posted that picture on Facebook years ago, and it traveled around the globe. A while back, I found Piggy in that full-on face plant pose, nestled among other snapshots of equally funny animals. The title of the slideshow compilation: Have you ever been so tired that . . . ?
Piggy was no ordinary cat. Even folks who normally didn’t warm to felines liked him. He came when called, drank from the bathroom sink, ate nearly every human food allowed, carried on animated conversations, and was happiest when he was close to his people. I wrote thousands of words with him reclining next to the laptop, watching me with huge green eyes, commenting every so often.
In winter, he doubled as a toasty lap cover during TV time and a pillow hog in the night hours. Did I mention he was an alarm clock? Oh yes. When he was young, and could still hear the coffeemaker crank up, he initiated a daily, pacing meow-a-thon that nothing could thwart. In his senior years, when age diminished his abilities, he slept in the threshold to the kitchen so he wouldn’t miss the end triple-beep of the Cuisinart. He saved energy enough to hop onto the bed to awaken the lazy two-legged creatures. Humans do serve a function, you see. They possess opposable thumbs for opening cans: vital, since no edible vermin or birds share the interior of the house.
For the past two years, Piggy battled failing kidneys and pancreatitis. Aided by the kindest veterinarian anyone could wish for, Piggy pushed away from the Reaper time after time, with a fierce determination to live.
But a guy gets tired. And he did.
On his last day, Piggy managed to pad down the hall, meow the alarm, and meet us in the kitchen. But he ate only one bite. And, as he had for the past three days, he barely touched his food and did not drink.
This past Wednesday, on a morning as ordinary as any, we had our final chat. I am not sure what he said, as I am a mere human who can’t decipher his language as well as he could mine, but I believe it was last-minute instructions on how to carry forward without him. Along with the other felines and canines that shared this earthly passage, he will be waiting, and it will only be the swish of a furry tail before we meet again.
Godspeed, Piggy, sir. You were a good cat, a faithful muse, and one heck of a friend.