when i started dating my slut three years ago this smug little kitty came with her, jealous and protective of the first human being who ever showed him kindness. meowzbow was feral and the runt of his litter when she rescued him from the street; he also, even at this young age, had FIV, she would later discover. the meowzbow i knew was well adjusted to domestic life – he liked to drink water out of cups, like people. by daintily dipping his paw in and licking the water off his fingertips. what a little princess.
he acted like he was above most things – including my affection, most of the time – though often, especially in the past year it seemed, his younger, hyperactive brother strider could get him to play, tearing across the apartment. their relationship was always antagonistic, though sometimes we’d come back from the store or something and find them cuddled up on the couch. they’d jump up and run away, playing it cool, acting like nothing happened. the only toy i ever saw meowzbow get excited about was a plush squid on a string that amon gave us as a gift – for the first week he would drag it around with him, eventually hiding it somewhere that we didn’t discover for a while.
i understood, when slut finally moved in with me and i became meowzbow’s step-mommy, that i would forever be in his mom’s shadow in terms of his affection and attachment. but i fucking fought for every inch of this little snob’s love that he would allow me. when she was sleeping, and he was desperate, he would rub against me and ask for pets. i may have lifted him and smooched him more than i should have – it may have hurt my efforts. just weeks ago, it was still a victory to have him lay on the bed with me and let me pet him, and not to shrug me off and leave.
a few weeks ago, meowzbow developed an infection in his eye. slut noticed it first: one pupil was slightly, slightly bigger than the other. i told her it was nothing, not a big deal. later, when his eye started to cloud and darken, i was angry with myself for doubting his mommy. the bond that she and that little kitty had i was almost jealous of. many tearful nights were to follow. meowzbow was a sick cat with a compromised immune system and possibly leukemia – i always understood that one of my duties, once my slut moved in with me, would be to someday help her bury her precious kitty. it was a duty i had always dreaded. a week or so ago, watching the slow, labored in-and-out of meowzbow’s little chest, i finally understood that that time might be close at hand. our kitty was dying.
last night, his heart failing, he had his final death spasms in his mommy’s arms; she was in my arms. strider howled as his brother’s ghost wriggled out of him. we held his tiny, still body, we stroked his fur. he was still warm and still soft. we did not know what to do with this little body. i called our friend channing, waking him at two in the morning. he had driven us to the vet with little meowzbow a week or two before, a fellow crazy cat-lady; he assured me we were good parents. today, he gave us a ride to the albany bulb, a man-made island thick with art and trees and beach and gravel, and left his stiffening body, swaddled in a towel, in a cardboard box, under a bunch of branches and flowers.
r.i.p. meowzbow, the prettiest cat in the world. your mommies fucking love you.