My Dogged Cat's Will To LiveMonday, December 22, 2014
|Rebecca, Lauren and Plata, 11 years ago.|
Plata was five or six when I saw her at the SPCA 11 years ago. She looked like a snow leopard and pranced like a ballerina. I brought her home. Our black male cat had died of a heart attack while watching Vertigo with her mistress Rosemary (my wife). We had a female cat, too, a white one called Polilla. I did not understand then the problem of having two female cats as theirs were irreconcilable differences.
Polilla was eviscerated by a raccoon soon after so Niño came to live with us but he developed cancer and suffered so much I brought him back from the vet’s in a cardboard box and I buried him in the garden. It would seem that Plata has co-inhabited with a few cats.
Plata is the most independent cat we have ever had. She never liked to have her ears touched but did accompany us around the block in our summer walks, to the amazement of our Chinese neighbours. I would point at Plata and say, “She not cat. She dog that looks like cat.” I am not sure I was believed.
Now at 17-plus Plata still scampers on the kitchen table, up to the refrigerator and from there to cabinets by the ceiling. She still cleans herself very well but has a kidney problem. She drinks a lot of water. She is smart about that.
But Plata is now less independent. When I watch the afternoon news or a film she is next to me on the sofa. In the morning she is on top of me on the bed and in the evening she lies next to me when I read in bed. She is like glue. She nags to be fed and as long as she has an appetite I keep feeding her.
Rebecca, our 17-year-old granddaughter, says the cat should be put down. She says we are being cruel.
I have been thinking a lot about this. Plata does not seem to be in pain and she is alert. Unlike humans she cannot tell us to pull the plug. But then humans in a coma cannot tell us either.
For me Plata represents a living thing’s tenacity for life. At some point the negatives will outweigh the positives. I do not think we are there yet, the both of us.
I suspect that Casi-Casi, Rosemary's male cat would miss her. They seldom fight and coexist just fine.