Thursday, January 19, 2017
Goodnight to My Sweet Zee Zee Girl
When we had to let go of our dear boy Monty last May, I never would have thought that we'd be doing the same with Zoe eight months later. Throughout the bulk of her life, Zoe was the epitome of health and energy. People often mistook her for a youngster even in her golden years. Being thirteen - fourteen - fifteen didn't stop her from pouncing all over the couch or taking running leaps from the step between our dining and living room during her hyperactive races through the house.
I first met the spazzy little ring-tailed lemur when I was 24. She came from the family of some friends who happened to have 3 pregnant cats at once. I can remember visiting after the litters arrived and it was like a kitten amusement park. There were stumbly fluffballs everywhere. Zoe stood out from the pack because every time I picked her up, she instantly started to purr. When she was 6 months old, I asked to bring her home to my little studio apartment and lonely cat, Monty.
From day one, she was a sweetheart. And a saint for putting up with Monty, who was about twice her size (probably three-times at his height) and hell-bent on asserting his dominance over her (read: beating her up). The bully at her bedside didn't ever stop her from being upbeat and ready to snuggle at any time.
Her signature move was to get so over-sensitized when she was rubbing her head all over your pantlegs, that she'd blow up like a bottle brush. It was like her joy overwhelmed her hair follicles and made them all stand on end.
She also had this knack for sneaking into chairs where you were sitting. "I'm so tiny, you'll barely notice I'm here."
She was always consistent. Highly predictable. Filled with nothing but love and affection.
Because I adopted her a little later in her kitten life, she also had a sense for adventure that Monty never seemed to share. On more than one occasion, Zoe snuck out the kitchen door here and went on safari through the yard. Once she got out when we were in Santa Barbara for several hours—we came home to find her obediently sitting on the porch. Apparently she'd covered all the ground she needed to cover and was ready to get back to her cozy couch. I think she slept for five hours straight when we let her back inside.
In spite of the fact that her big brother was a bully, she really seemed to take a turn after his death. She was more anxious without him and small health issues seemed to quickly balloon once he was gone. In September, we found out Zoe had a mass on her bladder and because of her relatively advanced age we decided not to put her through any sort of surgery or treatment for it.
Giving her a kitten during her final time here may not have been a fulfillment of her long-held dreams, but she seemed to at least somewhat enjoy the company of another feline during the last couple months. She and Ollie spent many afternoons curled up on the couch near each other.
Even though she'd been in less than great shape for awhile, it feels strange in our house without her. It feels like, at any moment, she could race out of the hallway door at top speed and launch herself off the dining room step to greet us with head rubs and her bottle brush tail.
I hope she's on safari in cat heaven right now. She deserves and eternity of adventure and joy after all the joy she brought to us. We'll miss our little Zee Zee so very much.