Friday, February 19, 2010

R.I.P Logan Zwirek (Our Cat)

I woke up today and found our younger cat, Logan lying on our couch, having apparently died in her sleep. Coming out of the bedroom, I did my daily, once-over glance of the apartment to make sure neither of the cats had snuck out during the evening and gotten trapped on the porch. It was a bit odd to see Logan sleeping on the couch at this hour. She generally would be asleep on a dining room chair, or perched on top of the dinning room table, returning my stare. I approached her to check that she was okay, but she wasn't breathing. There was a urine stain on the couch surrounding her tail, and her eyes were slightly open. She was only five years old, and our much older cat, Clarence, hadn't seemed to notice.
We got Logan from some Lady in a house by a mosquito ridden lake in Wisconsin. Neither Emily, nor I, had any desire to jump through the hoops they require of you to adopt a cat, so somebody suggested this woman who got her cats off of a farm somewhere in the Upper Penninsula. We already had one cat, the aforementioned Clarence, who has been labeled a "pestilence" by any who have lived with him under the same roof. Clarence was adopted by Emily when she was living back home in Michigan with her parents, and he was kicked out of that house as soon and Emily could find proper housing in Chicago. Named after a cow, due to his black-and-white coloring, Clarence, in his youth was and generally still is, a pain in the ass. The loudest meower I ever heard, he'd wail to be fed, throw himself against doors, and would choke on his food attempting to get it past his teeth and into his gullet to satiate his unquenchable hunger. His other past time was harassing the other two cats in the house. One was Clarence's mother, whom he showed little respect, and the other, another adoptee, whom Clarence would so terrorize that her hair began to fall out. Needless to say, neither Emily's parents, nor Clarence's fellow species were sad to seem him go. Emily, however was delighted that her boyfriend (me), who was allergic to cats, was willing to give him a test run. Despite his obvious flaws, and a venereal- disease-infected eye, Emily adores Clarence and probably more so for these very reasons.
After a couple of years of living together, and sleeping with a swiffer broom next to the bed to ward Clarence away when he'd begin to beg for food at 5:00 am; we decided it might help if Clarence had a new playmate to terrify and generally distract and wear him out. This was also a ploy on my part to put off the quickly escalating baby fever that Emily was sweating from every pore. So, we went to a find a farm kitten.
I was leaning towards a docile Calico who seemed the perfect snuggler, but Emily had her eyes on the younger tortoise shell colored kitties, and besides, Clarence would eat the calico alive. There were three or four torties, all about the same size. I recall one being very loud, and I dismissed it immediately (this decision surely bit me in the ass, as Logan soon learned from the master and became as loud an annoyance as Clarence, if not more persistent). Emily picked up another and looked set on her, until I asked, "Don't you want the one with the pink spot on her nose?"
At a Wendy's on the way home, we named Logan after the female Volleyball player Logan Tom, whom we'd been following during the Olympics. We were both smitten with the name and her funky hairstyle, and were agreed that Logan for a boy was trendy and dumb, but Logan for a girl was the proverbial bee's knee's.
Keeping a low profile at first, Logan soon displayed the kind of annoying traits that Emily and I find endearing in pets. She enjoyed being chased about the house, and would sit at your feet waiting for you to pounce. A career of several annoying habits began in her years at our house. As Clarence got older, he began to mellow, and just as we hoped, he became the terrorized, as Logan would poke and prod him into fights. She became a world class princess and demanded to be pet when she ate. She'd jump up to her dish (we had to have it up on the counter and in a cabinet, to keep Clarence from thieving it all) and she'd look down at her food and then back up at you; waiting. If you began petting her she'd deem it proper to start eating. Although she didn't beg for food, like Clarence, Logan's primeval cravings were for love and attention. She'd meow and purr at you repeatedly until you grabbed her and snuggled her in sheer annoyance. She liked her belly rubbed and her ears scratched, but due to her annoying demeanor, wouldn't take any of this affection on your terms. She didn't really want to sit on your lap and snuggle, she wanted to stand on your lap, and when you went to pet her, she'd jump away. Perhaps to be chased, but when you did grab her and curl her up on her back, she's close her eyes and sometimes the tip of her tongue would peek out.
She enjoyed darting through legs, which evoked threats of being thrown out a window on a daily basis. She liked to perch up and rub her mouth on my feet repeatedly, in case I was sitting and relaxing too long. Indeed, her appetite for affection was endless. This might be an endearing quality for some, but eventually it's charm wore off on me and Logan's negative qualities soon outmatched her positives in my eyes. My allergies with the cats never got so bad that I couldn't live with them, but I never have a clear nose, and would flare up with terrible sinus congestion from time to time. This coupled with family members who are also allergic, and Logan's overall peskiness, made me wish Em and I would have just squirted Van out a year earlier and dealt with one lone annoyance in Clarence.
Clarence is old now, and I fantasized that after he died, we'd find some friend or family member to adopt Logan, and be done with cats all together. Although I joked about it often, and was, in fact, genuinely annoyed with her, I truly believed I would most likely be living with Logan for another ten years.
A friend of Emily's has a friend who is a Vet and postured the guess that it was a heart defect. I suppose based on the suddenness of it, and the lack of any symptoms of being sick. She looked like she was sleeping peacefully and just the night before was perched on Emily's pregnant belly, refusing to be moved. She was batting at Clarence and shooting all around the house with her signature chirp, a little sound she'd make to announce herself as she blew past you, like Zorro swiping a Z into a piece of fabric.
We made arrangements with the vet, and cried with our son, when we said goodbye. I was not only shocked to find that our young cat had died so suddenly, but also to find how saddened I was to realize that she was gone. I like animals, and cats and dogs, and I like Clarence despite all of his annoying flaws, but I really grew to dislike Logan in her royal neediness, as my adult responsibilities grew. My affection for her dwindled as my love for my son surged, as my attentions and time where regulated chiefly for him. Those superficial thoughts were apparently betrayed by my actual loving feelings for her, as I wrapped her body in a towel and stroked her those few final times on the vet's table. I suppose she was a member of our family like any other, and even if I didn't like her, I loved her and will miss her kind, mischievous presence.

1 comment:

Jenny Seay said...

I'm just reading this entry for the first time, and I'm so sorry to hear about Logan. Your tribute to your kitty was very touching.