Sunday, December 2, 2007


I got Sylvia when she was five weeks old, a little white puff of fur with gray ears and blue eyes, beautiful, named after the poet Sylvia Plath, got her from my drag queen asst. manager, i was working the counter in a bagel store and skimming dollars from a coupon special, the drag queens rich boyfriend needed to get rid of her cause her older sister wanted to tear her apart, i figured she'd be a good present for the girl except that i was kinda smitten with her and never gave her up, i picked her up the first week in March and rode home on my bike from South Oakland to North Oakland the whole time her meowing her little ass off.

She was my first real pet in a sense and i lived in some North Oakland shithole and she was my cat, just a kitten who liked to wake me up on weekends by jumping on my head which was easy due to the fact i slept on the floor, i'd get pissed and toss her out of the room and she would squeeze her little ass underneath the door and come bounding onto my head again, i'd toss her out and put shoes where the door was uneven and sure as shit she'd claw and nudge and squeeze back in and in the end i just gave up, she was to fucking cute.

She got bigger and liked to walk on the ledge of my third floor balcony, i finally let the girl have her and she got shipped to Clarion where she was the bell of the ball, then she got a brother Pablo who was six months younger and they'd hang out and go outside, lay in the sun, basically be cats, she was always in heat and i was always saying i needed to get her fixed and about that time she started making a little nest under the bed and sure as shit before i knew it there were a couple of little kittens under there, two females, one a black and grey tabby, the other the spitting image of her, needless to say it wasn't long before the kittens were claimed and mom got fixed, she had to be the worst cat mother i'd ever seen, i'd just laugh cuz instead of picking her babies up by the scruff of the neck she would just put their whole head in her mouth and whisk them off to safety, she loved to eat and i always wondered when she was gonna devour one of the little dears but she never did, she also couldn't hunt and i don't think she ever actually killed anything that she didn't knock off the kitchen table, i did once see her spring from a dead stop to about six feet in the air and make a 180 degree turn and swipe at a bird all in one graceful motion but as usual she missed.

She was more of a lover than a fighter though the Siamese in her gave her a bit of a mean streak, the bark always worse than the bite, she mostly preferred to lounge around on a warm body and purr, just don't try to move her cuz than you'd get her famous growl, the queen did not like to be disturbed, she was perfect for me cuz i like to lay around and ponder the ceiling quite a bit and she like to lay there and let me scratch between her ears and purr, her other favorite past time was eating... and to this day i don't think i ever found something she didn't like, she'd eat Cherrios, broccoli, pork-n-beans, was particularly fond of crabmeat and once stole a steak off a plate, a trick i saw her daughter duplicate one time.

She spent time in Pittsburgh, Ocean City, Md, Clarion, Pa. and Hollidaysburg, Pa (home of the Slinky) she was so pissed off at me in Ocean City she spent most of her time out of the apt. and i figured she was gone and was quite bummed until the Irish guys who lived below asked if i had a white cat and i said yes and they said she like to hang out in there place and eat their food, we had a good laugh and they watched her for me and would bring her up and before i moved out i trapped for three days in my bedroom and bribed her to be cool with lunch meat and the like.

The last few years have been pretty uneventful, she got a couple more siblings and the imaginary boy came along but all in all she basically still liked to lounge around and eat, sleep on my right hand side by my head in bed, sometimes she'd lay on my chest and we'd just stare at each other, had an innate understanding of me when i was on hallucinogenics and always kept me company, a great fucking cat.

This week she became very lethargic and stopped eating and i'm sure you know where this is going but in a way this is like therapy and i need to write about one of my best friends. They vets thought it might be kidney failure but in the end it ended up being cancer, yeah fucking cancer, which made for one long saturday.

Those who know me, know that i'm a pretty big guy, a shade over 6'4 and 200 lbs or so, the kinda guy who everyone thinks should have a German shepard or some gigantic dog, but all my heroes had cats and for some reason i'm a cat guy too, i like dogs but they remind me to much of people and god knows i'm a bit of a misanthrope, i like the independence of cats, i like their ability to hunt and fend for themselves, i like the fact that they let you know they'd be alright without you, anyway she didn't look good and i finally ended up at the animal ER and Sylvia ended up in critical care and alot of ladies got to watch as this big guy sat in a waiting room welling up, they stabilized her and told me to go home and would call in anything changed... this was before they knew about the big C.

I knew it when the phone rang, knew from the time i got up yesterday morning, knew that this day was gonna suck and when they laid it all out i told them i'd be down to see her, the cancer they thought had spread through most of her body and they told me i'd a had know way of knowing, they could of kept her going for a few days or so but that would be it and the pain would get worse and so i went down to see her for the last time, sat in a room and cried like a fucking baby, cried so hard my shoulders shook and she just sat there purring with those blue eyes and i know they don't always purr cuz there happy but i knew she was, one last head scratch, one last good rub down her long coat, i held her and kissed her head a dozen times and told her that it was gonna be okay and that i hear Kitty Valhalla is great, the girl took the imaginary boy out and i sat there with her one last time just me and her, my tears dripping onto her fur, told her to go easy, told her i'm gonna miss her, told her i loved her from the first day i laid eyes on her and then called the doc back in and kissed her one last time.

Her nickname was Baby, emphasis on the first syllable, BAY-bee, and she was a sweet fucking girl. She left last night around 7:30p.m. and it fucking hurts, my eyes are still wet, in fact so are my cheeks, my shirt and my heart just sorta aches.

She was born in early February 1994 and passed away on Dec. 1, 2007. She survived by her cat brothers, Pablo and Louie, her sister Claudia, her mom and the imaginary boy and one heartbroken dad.

she sing a song and this is a what it said

if you want friend feed any animal.

Summertime Rolls-- Jane's Addiction


Anonymous said...

I feel ya dude, being a cat guy myself..
LBC, Magpie and Bug send their collective kitty love too.
I read once that Cats know we worshiped them 10,000 years ago and they haven't forgotten...
Have a good day, T

Unknown said...

My condolences. Losing a cat is harder than most people know. Shit sucks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kono ,
Some of my best friends are cats.
I 100% know what you are going thru.
I am toasting the loss of one of your family tonight to "Vein of Stars" by The Lips. RIP Silvia.
As bad as it hurts, somehow it's worth all the pain.
I petted a cat on/near the gave grave of Jim Morrison today. Considence?

m ross

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. Take comfort in her memory, it's clear both your lives were better for having crossed paths.

Surfsister said...

I don't even like cats, yet I still sat here crying as I read your post. Gotta love a man who's not afraid to cry and not afraid to admit that something made him cry. You're one of the good guys, Kono!

twin said...

I have always brought cats home...adopted neighborhood strays...petting all the adoptees at the pet store when I go buy food.

I have two at home...Miss Harley (14) & Tug (13).

Anyone....that has ever had a cat stare into them....knows exactly how you feel.

My deepest condolences to you. Now I must go dry my eyes...

Gulfboot Johnson said...

Well I don't know abut y'all, but I've been listening to Sylvia by Pulp.

ItWasInevitable said...

I'm so sorry. I wish there were something I could do besides cry along with you.

Armando and Ebi (my two) send condolences as well. Armando offers his head for scratches if it would make you feel better. (He's like that.)