In the summer of 1999, someone left a litter of kittens in the parking lot at the radio station where I worked. We thought they were all gone by the end of the day, but at midnight, I found one that had hidden in my car’s wheel well. I took her home. She was lame, so my husband perversely named her Gogo. The lameness was temporary, and she grew to be a sweet cat who never took a decent picture because of Black Dog Syndrome. Last year we realized how old she is and took a “then-and-now” picture with Princess, who was two years old when Gogo came to us.
She’s had some physical problems this year, matted hair and an infection, which the vet took care of and said her kidneys were in good shape for her age. She’s always been skinny, but lately has been losing more weight. We have been giving her senior cat food and all the treats she wants (cheese being her favorite), but although she ate constantly, she got skinnier. I started preparing myself for her passing.
Thursday, it looked as if she’d been crying. I wiped her eyes and snuggled her for a long time. She did not seem to be in pain, though, and even purred. At seven that night, I let the cats out. Gogo doesn’t go out much, only when its warm, and she never leaves the deck unless I’m out in the vegetable garden. But she strode outside without hesitation, proudly, even, so I smiled. At eight, the cats all know its time for Fancy Feast. Three of them were waiting to come in, but not Gogo. She wasn’t on the deck. She didn’t answer when I called. I took a flashlight and searched around the house, in the garden, under the cars and the porch, through the junk in the carport. The other cats went along, but were no help. No Gogo.
I checked the back door -and front door- every hour or so all night. Looked again Friday in the light. Walked the neighborhood. Check the river bank. Asked the neighbors. This is just so unlike her. She wasn’t even healthy enough to wander off, and it was a cold night. Of all the scenarios I imagined of how I would say goodbye to Gogo, this was one I never considered, that she would just… disappear. Maybe something inside told her it was time to go on an adventure.
Man, I loved that scrawny little cat. It's just too weird to go into the kitchen and not see her monitoring the food dish, in case it gets just a tad low. Or looking at me expectantly if I get sandwich meat or cheese out of the refrigerator. Or wanting to be lifted into my lap while I'm at the computer.
Rest in peace, Gogo.