Saturday, December 12, 2009

About Skeeter

The Big Thing: 

First, I want to thank the many people and cats who offerred words of comfort to us about Skeeter.  Thank you all.  You kind words and thoughts helped me through this difficult day I had been seeing coming for a couple of months, and dreading. 

I know so many of us have lost "once in a lifetime" cats and feel the same pain and loss.  I know I am not unique in that way.  But Skeeter was MY "once in a lifetime cat", and I am sufferring his loss all over again right now.

I'll be honest.  Most days I am happy to live alone with my several cats.  LC, Ayla, and Iza are wonderful in their own ways and I am grateful for their company.  But for the past year, hardly a day goes by when I don't think of Skeeter and cry for his absence.  I never thought that a cat could leave such a hole in my heart.  His absence is, if I may quote Mecutio "' not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but tis enough, 'twill serve;".  I am every day reminded of his absence.  I was not so before.

There were some questions about Skeeter (some in blog comments and some in emails)...

Skeeter lived to 16.5 years.  He was not 5 when he died.  But he is 5 over the Bridge.  That was his own choice of a perfect age to be forever.  LC says she wants to be 2 years.  Ayla and Iza do not have to think about that yet.

Skeeter got his name because, after he got over his fear of me his first days, he wouldn't stay away from me.  He stayed around me like a mosquito and we called mosquitos "skeeters" when I was young.

When I brought Skeeter's body back from the vet, it took 15 minutes to drive the 2 miles.  I had to pull over several times to wipe the tears from my eyes.  I cry easily when emotionally upset and I am not ashamed about it.  You can't drive safely while crying.  It was a difficult drive home.

I set Skeeter's body on the floor so that LC and Ayla could sniff him carefully to understand that he was dead.  I didn't want them to think that he had wandered off and gotten lost.  Or been given away.  I think they understood.  LC did wander around a few days calling out.  But not 2 weeks like when Tinkerbelle simply disappeared 10 years ago.  Ayla seemed to simply accept he was dead.  So, yes, I think that helped them. Iza arrived after Skeeter was gone.

He is buried in the last place he spent outside.  He never had any special place in the yard, but he did spend his day outside near the small pond.   I dug a hole about 3 feet deep when I hit rocks I couldn't remove.  I put some soft soil back in and set him down on it.  Backfilling the hole was the hardest thing I have ever done.

About once a month, I simply stand in front of the little memorial I made for him and remember him.  I recall how he would just pass out while being scritched on my lap.  And how he always smelled like talcum powder.  And how he would purr forever when being stroked.

I will miss him all the rest of my days...


Cheysuli and gemini said...

Skeeter was a very lucky cat to have you. Do not feel you need to minimize your loss to any of us--or that those of us who offer our thoughts of our beloved cats are in anyway trying to minimize your loss of Skeeter. Just know that we know where you are--and want to offer some comfort in this difficult time.

Cory said...

Big purrs to you.

xoxo Cory

Alasandra said...


Skeeter was luck to have had such a long and happy life with you. And you were lucky to have had him for the all too brief time you did. For such little things they live huge holes in our hearts.

Millie said...

TBT, We are sending purrs and hugs. We knew how much Skeeter meant to you.

Derby said...

{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} and purrs to you. Mum is all leaky eyed. She knows about trying to drive with tears.

Max said...

The Woman, too, knows about trying to drive with tears. All I know is having to purr hard enough to try to dry them up. I hope that I am the once in a lifetime cat for my people; at least for the first time, when I am gone they'll be able to bring my body home and find a spot in the back yard...they could never do that with the Cat Who Came Before Me and Hank the Dog, on account of the USAF not allowing that sort of thing in base housing.

But yeah...Skeeter is having a good time up there and is waiting for you. You *are* gonna see him again, so that's something to hold onto.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Mark, your post has me teary. Skeeter was obviously a very special cat to you and you were very lucky to have each other.

Tyler said...

Wow, now you've got me bawling again. I hate that we have to lose our feline babies at all, but when I think about it, I think it makes us special people who can care so deeply about another being. My family doesn't understand my love for my cats. None of them love their pets as deeply as I love mine.

I understand the depth of your loss, ironically it actually reminds me more of the loss of my best friend, human variety that time. What a beautiful relationship you two had. I hope that more and more the good memories replace the painful ones.

Hang in there and be good to yourself.
Lynn, Tyler's mom

Parker said...


Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

Mark, Skeeter was a very special cat and you are one special human.