Thursday, August 26, 2010
We adopted Dettie in 1995, after the gruesome death of the beautiful black cat we called "Birdie." After Birdie died, following a failed leg amputation, the vet assistant cheerfully told us about a cat she had rescued from the wild. She had been trying to capture her all winter but only succeeded come spring. When it came time to have her spayed, she sadly realized why the wild one was eager to find a warm home.
Well, since 1995, Odetta, named for that awesome folk singer, has remained wild.
When she came home with us, she was full of knotted long hair. I wrangled her to comb it out. Her anger calmed a bit after she realized I was the stronger.
But she has always continued to be a defiant, sometimes angry, sometimes loving, soul. She was my hero several years ago when she deliberately killed an entire litter of rats. Every night for a week she deposited one on the back door. I praised her effusively. She was the proudest cat ever.
She loved to sit on my lap, but if I looked at her wrong, or moved my leg in a way that seemed inconvenient to her, she would strike out in hissing anger.
You just learned to love Odetta.
In her later years, she developed a raging hunger. She would howl in the most astonishing way until she got the food she wanted. Freshly cooked salmon or chicken were sure to satisfy. Canned tuna would do in a pinch. Fancy Feast (God love them) has sustained us through many a crisis.
Now we bid goodbye to this dear, fierce soul. But she isn't going without a fight. We took her in to the vet on Saturday. She got three injections, but none of them could revive her failing organs.
I continue to clean her up after her accidents. But I love that she seems to be peacefully enjoying her last days on the sun porch. The sun streams in all day. The birds sing. The cicadas and crickets join in a chorus together. I believe she is enjoying them.