Most people in my life know by now that my cat Chloe died about a month ago. I debated on whether I needed to say anything about it here, but considering how often she popped up in pictures throughout the entire life of this blog, it makes sense to say goodbye to her on A Stylized Hysteria. About a month ago, she was outside after dark and was hit by a car. She was found by a very sympathetic good Samaritan and returned to me. The next morning she was buried in my parents backyard, a place where she spent hours exploring and chasing birds and bugs. I remember the moment I left the house that day. I paused and looked at the open window and told myself “she always comes in when it’s dark; let her enjoy the afternoon in the sun.” I regret that decision every day.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know how much I adore animals (especially cats) and what a big part of my life they are. I can’t imagine a life without these loving, crazy, demanding, furry family members.
A few of my favorite things about Chloe cat:
- When I brought her home as a six month old kitten, she immediately ran under my bed and stayed there for three days and nights. I was starting to feel like a failure until the fourth day. I came home from work and found her bravely hiding under my clothes hamper. I knew then everything would be okay.
- Chloe was my first cat and I didn’t know that hissing meant “back off.” So she’d hiss at me and instead of leaving her alone I’d pick her up and shower her with kisses. After that, her normal greeting to people she was warming up to was a vicious hiss.
- As a kitten, she adored running around on my bed when I was trying to make it up. There were so many times I’d find a Chloe-shaped lump under the sheets if I turned my back for a minute.
- She was deeply shy and afraid of humans when I brought her home. When she felt comfortable enough to sleep on my bed with me, I was happy. When our first winter together rolled around and she spent evenings curled up behind my knees on the couch, I was thrilled. When, after three years together, she fell asleep on my chest, I felt so loved and proud to be chosen by her. It was wonderful.
- Once we moved into my parents house, Chloe discovered the joys of suburban living; mainly, the basement. She would arrive in my bedroom at night with spiderwebs and dust covering her whiskers from her expeditions to the darkest corners of the house.
- Once Chloe decided she liked me, I never got a good nights sleep again. She was convinced prime snuggling time was between 1-3am. Almost every night I was awoken by a cold, wet nose on my hand or a plaintive meow and kneading of my kidneys. I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night – she trained me well.
- She turned up her nose at sushi, steak, poached fish, cheese, bread, and sardines. Cat treats held no appeal. Her one indulgence? My mothers various palm trees. They all suffered at Chloe’s hand (mouth).
- She loved baiting her sister, Calliope, into wrestling matches. She never won a single fight and often ran away in defeat. But she always came back for more. Maybe with a little more time she could’ve developed her right hook and become a lightweight champion.
I still sometimes expect her to greet me at the door when I get home from work, but I’m working on it. My friends and family have helped by accepting my overly emotional reaction and letting me talk about her often. A friend painted the most beautiful picture of her, based on one of my favorite photos of Chloe. It truly captures her constant look of disapproval and concern for her silly, overly affectionate guardian who often preferred a night in with her cats than hitting the town.
I’m grateful for what she taught me about patience and responsibility. And I think she knew that she was deeply loved during her life. I’ll miss you, Chloe.