Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ode to Lilith

My mom called last night to inform me that my Siamese cat, Lilith, had passed away. Lilith was 13 years old. Lilith had been living, along with my blue point Siamese, Lucy, at my parents' house because when we moved here we didn't have room for the cats inside and they are not outside cats. I regret that we had not brought them here yet; I might bring Lucy here soon.

Lilith was the first cat I had in my adult life. A couple months after Russ and I moved into our new house in 1991, and a few months before we were married, I saw an ad for Siamese kittens for $35 on the grocery store bulletin board. Not purebred, classic skinny pointy Siamese of course, but chubby seal point kittens that reminded me of Mittens, the Siamese I had while growing up. I named her Lilith after the character on Cheers, not even knowing there was a mythological Lilith who shared more than a few qualities with the cat.

Lilith was a one-person cat. I was that person with whom she shared her affection. One of my favorite photographs is of me taking a nap, very pregnant at the time, and Lilith curled up next to me. Lilith could hide and disappear from everyone else, but when I came home she was right there. Of course, I was the one who fed her, so that may have made a difference.

I regret the two major insults that I wrought upon Lilith. The first was getting Lucy. Lilith was always a shy, solitary cat, and I should have known she would prefer to be the only feline of the house. But that long haired blue pointed kitten was so darn cute, and I thought they would get used to each other. Lucy was used to being the smallest of a house full of cats, and she learned to be more aggressive and demanding.

The second was moving, several times, and ending up with no room for Lilith or Lucy. So they lived with my parents, and were well cared for, but poor Lilith hid in the basement for the greater part of her last three years. I was hoping we would get our new house done, with room and sunny windows for cats, so I could bring her here. Now I will bring her here to rest in a beautiful place with Leo and Hope, the dogs, and Topper the horse.

Dang, I miss Siamese cats. They are so much more intelligent than the mix of barn cats we have around here.

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