Jenny from the Block

June 12, 2008 at 12:25 am (That's not funny...)

I was met at the door tonight by a tearful niece. “I’ve got bad news,” she said. “Really bad news. Jennifer died tonight.”

Jennifer was my cat.

Actually, she was the family’s cat, but Jennifer had adopted me. She wandered into the yard, then into the house about seven years ago. She was fully grown, but young, so after a few weeks we had her fixed and claimed her as our own. The kids named her Jennifer, which I modified to Jenny from the block.

She had a ditzy manner, and some medical issues. I don’t know if cats can be epileptic, but she seemed to be. She had a fit one night that scared the hell out of me. A few minutes later she had a second one, and I’d thought she’d died then. I woke my brother-in-law, to confer about how to get rid of her, when she rolled over, shook it off and went about her business.

At first, she bugged me. Everywhere I went, she would run in front of me and stop. The endless stepping over would make me cranky, and then my sister pointed out that she was the only one of the cats that didn’t look at me with contempt. (And vice versa.) She eventually stopped being a pain in the ass, and spent a lot of time sitting outside my door, respecting the boundary.

Her personality reminded me of Anna Nicole Smith or Zsa Zsa Gabor. Her long white coat with silvery tips had a trashy glamour about it, and her googly-eyes had a kindness behind them. She didn’t have much to do to earn her keep; with four cats there is no rodent problem at our house. Squirrels won’t even hang out in the yard.

My niece is still crying, off and on. She wanted to make sure I was okay, and she wanted to be the one to tell me. “I wish I could see her soul,” she said. I told her that Jenny is taking the longest sweetest nap possible, and that she’s in a happy place now. It helped, but not much. Hell of a way to start summer vacation.

RIP Jenny from the block. You were a cool cat, and I will miss you.

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