The Time My Cat Melted

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Choo-Choo Bear

When I was two years old, my parents got a cat named Rosie.

Now, my brother is deathly allergic to cats, and the story goes that my mom got this cat out of spite. My brother had left town to go live with his dad in Florida for a while. My mom, angry that her son had left, decided to get a cat to indicate that he wasn’t necessarily welcome back into the house. I should mention that this story has been disputed by the involved parties.

Regardless of the reason for the cat, the point is we had him. He lived to be the ripe old age of 18, and was a pain in the ass for every one of those years. He was the most ill-natured, evil cat I’ve ever seen. He wouldn’t allow anyone to touch him, and if you risked it anyway, you’d get a scratch or a bite for your troubles. He actually had to be put on kitty Valium since he was so aggressive. My brother used to throw him into the pool on a yearly basis (called the “Annual Cat Toss”) in a horrible type of protest. I was petrified of Rosie, and avoided him at all costs. I used to bribe him with tuna and milk, whispering promises that if he left me alone, more treats would follow. It was a form of feline protection money.

One day I woke up to find Rosie asleep on my chest. Terrified, I didn’t move for over an hour, afraid that if I woke him up, he’d claw off my face. He also had an uncanny ability to seemingly understand English. He always knew if you were talking about him, and would meow his displeasure. I was once in charge of putting him onto the screened-in porch for the night when my parents were away. He always hated being put onto the porch, and would run, yowl, scratch, and bite to avoid it. Fearful for my life, I begged him in English to please just obey me this once. I’d give him cream the next day, if only he would do me this favor. He glared at me, swished his tail, then walked calmly onto the porch and sat down. I gave him the promised cream the next morning.

All in all, we as a family merely tolerated this cat for 18 years. He got into fights with other cats regularly, and my parents would dutifully shuttle him to the vet, where he’d get a tiny IV in his little paw. When he developed a thyroid problem, my dad shelled out for surgery so that he could continue to live and terrorize us. This cat acquired out of spite soon seemed to be staying alive simply out of spite. No matter how extensive his health issues, he just kept right on truckin’.

He eventually grew thin and gaunt, and stopped eating. My parents sensed the end was near, and considered taking him to the vet to be put down, but were put off by the cost of getting an emergency euthanization over a holiday weekend. Perhaps hopeful that he might pull through, they decided to wait it out.

Over the course of the next 48 hours, Rosie grew increasingly worse. His non-stop yowling was ear-splitting, and he was eventually carried out onto the porch to rest on a bed there. He didn’t improve, and eventually began to, well, leak.

My parents explained that he was going into multi-organ failure, and all these vital juices were beginning to flow out his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. These fluids drip-dripped into a steadily growing puddle on the floor, and I was urged “not to look.” But look I did, and I realized that Rosie had escaped the bed and was lying on the brick floor of the porch, looking for all the world like a cat-skin rug. He had lost so much water that his flesh and fur had essentially melted off his body and spread across the floor, but he was still alive and mewing occasionally. Horrified, I fled to my room. Though I certainly had no love for this cat, no person or animal deserved this.

My mom was getting more and more depressed about the situation, and decided to give Rosie one last hug of comfort. Despite all his past transgressions, she couldn’t deny any animal experiencing such suffering. She gently scooped him up and rocked him slowly back and forth. With the last of his strength, Rosie tottered to his feet, lept out of my mom’s arms, attempted to bite her one last time, then finally collapsed.

The horror was over.

  1. September 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I’m kind of surprised there wasn’t some kill-the-cat pill somewhere in your house.
    And this is a terrifying story but I applaud your mother for her last attempt at comfort. It sounds like she succeeded and Rosie was able to be curmudgeonly until the end.
    I had a Rosie. We called her Rosie Crabass because she was similar to your Rosie, only she liked one person in the household.

    • September 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Oh, I’m pretty sure there were meds that COULD have killed a cat, but I doubt they would’ve been merciful. Or maybe my parents simply didn’t think of doing that. What is with cats named Rosie? Obviously, the name should just be banned.

      • September 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

        Maybe the “Rosie” thing just has to be learned. Like, no one can help you with that lesson, you just have to learn it yourself and that’s why the name hasn’t been banned.
        I also had a pet tarantula named Rosie and she was a sweetheart. Well, as sweet as a tarantula can be, at least. It’s not like she let me brush her and put ribbons on her legs. Of course, I didn’t actually try so…maybe she would have. She was pretty nice.

    • September 13, 2012 at 10:04 am

      I’m imagining a tarantula with ribbons on all her 8 legs now. Fantastic!

      • September 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        Isn’t that just adorable? Now I wish I would have tried. I’d have done black ribbons with orange stripes. They’d have been precious!

  1. November 7, 2011 at 9:28 am
  2. January 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

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