Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Gitsi Goo | A Tribute

On Monday morning at 5:44am Eastern Time, I lost one of my dearest companions, my cat Goo. She was only five years and three months old which seems so very young to die. I had always imagined that I would have a decade plus or more with her so to be robbed of this so suddenly  has left me heartbroken and sadder than I ever could have imagined. I knew just how lucky I was and just how very special she was but I never imagined that this would be put to the test quite so soon. Until Goo, I never understood why or how people could become so attached to a pet. I had never before experienced it for myself so I was completely unable to relate. After the last three days of crying near non-stop, I can relate all to well. The hole she has left with her death seems so vast that it will never be able to be filled again.

This entry can never begin to really do her justice properly but I am hoping that it at least attempts to honour her the way she deserved to be honoured. Her death would be a tragedy regardless of when it occurred, but I think that because it happened so very unexpectedly and suddenly as well as while she was still so very young, that it has hit that much harder. If I hadn't had gotten up so uncharacteristically early Monday morning, I may also have missed it, but as my brother and his family were arriving from Nova Scotia I wanted to make sure everything was ready. 

Goo had just used her litter box when she followed me out into the living room. I had my back to her as I reached for a pile of clean laundry that I had planned on ironing and it was while I was doing this that I heard an unusually sounding thud from behind. When I turned around, I saw Goo lying on her side where I knew she had fallen. Something about the whole image just seemed so very wrong so I reached down quickly to touch and shake her, calling her name the entire time. No response so I rushed down the hall calling Jim to come quickly as there was something wrong with Goo. Even as I said these words and then answered his question of what I meant, deep down I knew that she was already gone. When I had touched her, even though her eyes were wide open, there had been nothing behind them.

I still let Jim try to rouse her as he kept calling her name and shaking her gently but I knew that nothing was going to happen. She was so completely gone and gone so bloody suddenly. In hindsight I suspect she was gone even before she touched the floor when I heard that thumping noise. I guess I can find some solace in the fact that she couldn't have really been aware of what was happening so hopefully her pain was minimal if any. Outwardly there were no signs of duress - no frothing at the mouth nor nothing leaking or bleeding from her eyes, ears, mouth etc. Nothing unusual on her little paddies or paws or anywhere on her body. Until I heard her fall over, she had been acting completely normal betraying nothing of what was about to come. Her death is an utter and complete mystery to both Jim and I and will remain so as we choose not to take her to the vet for a kitty autopsy or its equivalent.

I've now spent the past three days, crying near nonstop. I miss her every second that she's not here and have yet to really accept that I will no longer get to see her ever again. She'll never again snuggle on my chest, throwing her head back to rest on my chin while I watch television. She'll never again sit in front of me patiently waiting for me to break a bit of a Tim Horton's muffin off for her for her treat. She'll never again flounce unceremoniously into my lap stretching herself out on her back, waiting for her tummy to be rubbed. I'll never again hear her meow upon wakening for me after she has wandered into an open closet whose door suddenly  gets closed before anyone hast noticed how comfortable Goo has gotten and then gone and  fallen asleep somewhere in there. So many memories...


About six and a half years ago, my daughter's boyfriend at the time approached Jim and I to ask us permission about something. He wanted to give Sara a female cat about a year old that did not have the most ideal living situation. I don't think that this cat was overtly abused but she definitely needed a more loving and attentive home than her current one. Aside from the fact that we were impressed with  his overt politeness and obvious forethought, we also thought that this would be a good idea as Sara had recently lost her cat of eleven years and was really missing her company. This rather scrawny and somewhat skittish tabby was promptly named Christina Superstar after a character from one of Sara's favourite movies at the time, Party Monster.

From the start, this cat was a little peculiar but always friendly, and right from the start her and Sara bonded nicely. She didn't like loud noises of any kind and didn't particularly care for male voices nor did she react well to any sudden, unexpected movements - none of this has changed much other than tolerating familiar male voices now rather than none at all. About three months after Christina arriving, this same boyfriend shows up on our doorstep - literally - with this tiny, tiny black cat tucked under his coat. 

At the time, this kitten could just about fit into the palm of Jim's hand. It was the tiniest thing I'd ever seen. It certainly looked far too young to have been weened from its Mother, and in fact, Mike was pretty sure his Mother was gone as he had stumbled upon this little thing while he was cutting through the woods near his house on his way from school one wet and miserable day. This little ball of black fur was all by its lonesome in the box Mike found, obviously abandoned and left to die. He earned the name Boo Boo because his head seemed to big for his body and seemed to bauble all around whenever he moved.

I'm pretty sure we knew it was a male right from the start, and still we agreed to let the girls keep it as they promised that they would look after getting the cats fixed.  Our first mistake.

About a year later, Sara comes to us with her suspicions that Christina just might be pregnant, and, boy was she right! Somehow this scrawny, little thing that barely weighed 8 lbs soaking wet   managed to give birth to a litter of seven remarkably healthy offspring. Even more surprising was the sire who less than a year earlier barely looked as if he would even live. Ironically, he is now a majestic six year old tipping the scales at just over 16 lbs, so who knew...

From this litter, we were somehow conned into allowing the girls to keep two of the kittens. They choose the runt of the litter who just happened to be an all black male fairly resembling his Father. Their second choice was a tabby though a much lighter version of the Mother. The male was christened  Pootie Tang  after the 2001 movie of the same name though thankfully this was quickly shortened to Pootie. The female tabby was named after another character from Party Monster, Gitsi.

Gitsi became Gitsi Goo and finally just Goo. Goo was the most amazing cat in the world, at least to me. For whatever reason, pretty much right from the start she showed an affinity towards me. It wasn't long before everyone accepted that Goo was my cat, she had chosen me and I couldn't have felt any luckier or happier. She had quite the personality. When she was a kitten we used to call her Killer cause she was fearsome, afraid of nothing nor fearful of trying anything. She could jump the highest, the furthest, the fastest...Some of the places I'd find her would make me shake my head in wonder. How she'd ever even figure out the logistics was a mystery in itself.

She loved pastries of any kind, but most especially the muffins or cookies from Tim Horton's. I'd always break off a tiny piece for her to munch on whenever I had one. Heaven forbid if I ever forgot. She always knew whenever one of us walked in the door with Tim Horton's. One time, I had forgotten that I had put a paper-bag of their cookies into my purse where it had fallen to the bottom. When I walked in the door this time, I dropped my handbag in the middle of the living room floor and probably wandered off to use the bathroom. I was barely gone five minutes, but by the time I had returned she had managed to rummage through my purse in search of this long forgotten pastry delight and had dragged the paper bag out. She then proceeded to open said paper bag and grab one of the cookies inside. Before I had a chance to do anything, she had the whole thing in her mouth and was making a dash for it! Too late.  Caught and foiled. Drat! Even though she didn't get the entire cookie, I still made sure to share it with her. This was just one of the many things I loved about her.

Another thing that I am going to desperately miss will be how every morning if she wasn't on the bed with me already, the moment she heard my voice, she would race onto the bed to greet me for the day. Once I was up and about for the day, she would be my shadow every second that she wasn't sleeping. Wherever I went, she went. At night, if I lingered a little longer than normal in going to bed then she would patiently sit and wait for me all the while warming my side of the bed. Once I was in bed, she would settle down and snuggle beside me - always lying against my left side putting herself between me and the edge of the bed.

There are so many things that I could go on about this adorable little thing but the more I do, the more upset I am becoming. It is really hard right now. Jim used to say how her little face would come to life every time she heard my voice or how she would seem to listen to everything I said with rapt attention never seeming to notice anyone else in the room. I didn't think it possible to become so attached to a four legged furry little animal but I'm discovering that it is more than possible - it is devastatingly heartbreakingly possible. I am going to miss her so much. I still don't really believe that she is gone or at least I don't want to believe. 

MARCH 28, 2007 TO JULY 2, 2012

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm *so* sorry to hear of your loss. It has happened to me, and I know the pain it causes.

At least you will always have the happy memories, and the knowledge that you provided her with much love and a wonderful home. :)