Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Friday, February 24, 2012

Asta

Somehow cats always know when the end has come. They will wander off and find a private place to lie down and wait for death to visit.

So it was with Asta yesterday. I had come back from the store with bread and pills. My right ankle has been ablaze with arthritis all this week, as if a welder was shooting his flame up my leg. I got some Aleve. It didn't help. I got the bread for lunch because we were out.

I sat down on the sofa and noticed Asta was lying on the edge of the carpet. I thought this odd. She doesn't usually lay on the floor. She likes the back of the furniture or the window sill.

I leaned in over her and she didn't jump up and dash away. Asta has always been the scariest of fraidy cats. She jumped if you moved too quickly and ran at the least provocation. Besides when I sat down she would usually be quick to come up behind my head and then walk down onto my upper chest.

I though, did she have a stroke? But then she got up and walked across the room and out into the dining area. But she moved slowly and she is a quick cat. Still, cats have their moods.

Later in the day I realized I hadn't seen her since. The same come evening and I asked Laurel and Lois if they had seen her. We began looking and after searching the house could not find her. I was concerned. Did she get outside somehow?

My wife thought not and I couldn't see how. Lois said she will probably turn up, she had hidden well before and then popped up.

She had gotten out before, too. A half dozen years ago our basement window broke somehow. Before I was able to put something over it, some of our cats escaped. Brad, of course, because he was always finding ways to get out. He would always stay outside a few days and come back. A couple others we were able to grab right away. Sephoroth and Asta also fled out the hole and into the night.

Brad did come back, but Sephoroth (pictured left) disappeared and we didn't know his fate. A few weeks ago a cat began appearing in our yard occasionally that looked like Sephy. Could it be that Sephoroth had been taken in by somebody back six years ago? If so, had he escaped again or been discarded or what? This cat came around about every day for a couple weeks, but would run if it saw anyone. Then one day coming back from a morning walk I saw this cat dead in the middle of Glenrock, hit by a car. It may have been Sephy and if so, then Sephoroth died this year as well.

We didn't see Asta for a month that year she got outside, and then one day she appeared in our utility room. There is a place where cats can get into the house beneath the flooring and exit into this room. I was able to grab her and bring her upstairs. She was very clinging from that time on. I think it was a trying experience for her.

She also had a problem with her mouth after that. It would hurt her sometimes and she would growl and rub at it. Still, most of the time she was fine.

Asta was a tiny cat and different from any of the others. She was a brownish color. Her ears were tufted and she would flatten her ears against her head if you stroked her. Maybe because she was small she didn't like other cats to come too close and would snarl and hiss at any who did. She was a feisty little girl.

She had been in one of the litters this feral cat kept dropping in our storage shed. She was with the group of Amber, John, Thorn and Ridge. (That is Amber, Thorn and Asta as kittens on the right.) Amber, John and Ridge all died last year, so now only Thorn remains.  Thorn and Asta are 11 years old.

After Lois and I had searched last night, Laurel looked again. She found Asta curled up inside a cat condo right by the dining room entrance. I hadn't even realized this particular cat condo had an inner chamber. Laurel, who is a VetTech, knew right away she was dying. She brought her out, wrapped her in an old shirt and held her on her lap the rest of the evening.

When Laurel went to bed she fixed a place for Asta in the bathroom and put a litter box and some food beside her. When I awoke and went into the bathroom this morning she had passed away.

We will miss her. Rest in piece -- Asta, 2001- February 24, 2012.

2 comments:

nance marie said...

sweet asta

Ron said...

Always sad Larry when one of our loved ones pass. It was good she didn't die alone.