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The Slice

Wed., Feb. 29, 2012, 8:05 a.m.

Good cats, bad cats and one great cat

Tuesday's Slice column looking at the differences between a "good kitty" and a "bad kitty" prompted a fair amount of feedback.

Here's a small sampling.

"I enjoyed your article," wrote Steve Judy of Spokane. "However, isn't the whole 'good kitty' vs. 'bad kitty' kind of subjective? I have a 16-year-old cat -- he throws up on everything. The vet has written 'CAUTION' across his file in big red letters. This cat is a terror. He actually has to be gassed down so the vet can examine him. He won't put up with it otherwise. However, in my book, he is still a 'good kitty.' I may be a fool, but I love that furry little demon."

A North Idaho feline named Spanky (who, I'm guessing, got some typing help from Karen Botker) echoed that point.

"To be a 'Good Kitty' one must embrace the entirety of one's character," said, uh, Spanky. "This includes many traits that you have listed under the BK category."

Others told stories about their pets, many of which made me smile.

And then there was a note from my friend Tara Leininger, a cat lover who said she enjoyed Tuesday's column.

"The sad news is that Monday afternoon I had to take Alma for her last trip to the vet. She was 18 yrs., 5 months, 6 days. Her health in the past few months had been declining. Physically, she was much more slow and stiff, not jumping around as much and having difficulty because of the arthritis. Last check-up, the blood work said that kidney problems were starting.

"The last week saw a radical decline. On Sunday she tried to jump onto her favorite nap spot on the chair and fell. She was now walking in great distress.

"The vet was due the next day -- we have a mobile vet in our remote area once a week. I was able to make her comfortable for the night."

Then it was time to see the vet.

"Her hip bone had been cracked/broken in several places. Surgery would not make things any better and there was nothing left to do. A quick sedative had made her comfortable on my lap, and after a little while and some goodbyes, the last injection freed her from pain."

Now Alma would live on as a memory.

"We miss her presence in the house and our routine and the spaces of the house where she reigned seem very empty. Only a few days and I miss her curling up with me as I read in bed at night and waking me up before 5 a.m. for breakfast. I now have to set the alarm clock."    

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