An open letter to my beloved Miro.
This has been a very sad day. We will never forget you our dear beloved Miro. Watching the light leave your eyes this morning was so painful. We had a wonderful friendship and you were the most amazing animal I — we — have ever known. Everyone who knew you has said so. I'm convinced you were a genius and had you been a man — well, there were days when I believed you would have made a perfect prince. I showered you with kisses in hope and called you "casanova" kitty.
When we first met, we three girly roommates decided you were the cutest girly kitty we'd ever seen so we named you "madeline". A few days later when we saw your photo posted on a paper stapled to a telephone pole in front of our house we learned your name was "smokey" — a boy. What were they thinking?? You were six months old and newly arrived in San Francisco by way of Chico. You'd been rescued by a college girl who had moved into a no pet apartment and had left you with her parents. They weren't sure what to do with you and had you living in their garage. You escaped and showed up on my door step only a house away. I of course, took you in, fed you tuna and milk and you never left. I 'll never forget your kitten face with an incredibly long nose, snaggle tooth and bright round yellow eyes.
You made friends with our other neighbors and I found out a few years later while moving out, that you'd spent many days a week laying on their warm dryer and they'd fed you lots (and lots!) of wet food. It's no wonder that you were always over weight — often about 18lbs. Amazingly it never stopped you from jumping fences or through windows. You caught and gifted me many darling little brown birds, teeny mice, disgustingly huge rats and even beautiful hummingbirds. I remember being both angry and impressed each time. The first night my future husband came to visit he rang the doorbell while you simultaneously jumped through the kitchen window with a giant rat in your mouth — I was standing there washing dishes and the surprise vision caused me to scream a freakishly frightening screech and scare my date to death. Thanks dear.
While living in the Marina, we somehow managed to talk our drunken scroogish landlord into letting us screw wooden steps onto the outside of his building to allow you jump down three stories so you could continue to be a happy outside kitty. We still aren't sure how we got him to agree — especially since looking back those steps begged for a burglar to visit our flat!? But you were a happy kitty having access to all those fancy backyards — good times.
Later we moved into a top corner loft in SOMA and you were an unhappy indoor only cat. You went bezerk and became so despondent that you cried all night long in the most horrible cat kinda way. You managed to get all sorts of stray alley cats to come to Lucerne Alley and cry back at you. Our neighbors loved us and we slept like babies. After a few months of this torture we called the SPCA and begged to speak to a kitty shrink. They told us to get a baby girl kitten for you to dominate and that her presence would keep the energy and attention inside the apartment, It worked, though we'll never really know if you loved her or just loved to torture her.
You and Madeline had an unusual relationship. You loved to snuggle and clean each other but you also fought until fur was flying and hissed and scratched until we had to separate you. Right now she's crying out wondering where you are. I think she's trying to tell us that you aren't there. Like we don't know?!
Once we moved to our house in the Mission you were much happier. You had a lovely backyard and sunny deck to lounge in, a warm living room with a wood burning fireplace and super fancy kitty door that gave you 24/7 access inside and out. Sure our lives became more complicated with the arrival of our first child, Max. But you graciously handled every grab, push and fur fisting pull that he delivered. In fact, you only once slightly scratched him, when he scared you out of a deep sleep while whacking you something fierce. Even the sweetest and tamest animal — which you were — would have done the same.
Our lives became even more stressed after Vivienne's arrival. I'll never know if if it was too much for you to have a second baby in your life or if it was just old age. After all it's been almost 16 years — a long life by any kitty standard. You were never the same once she took over our bedroom and drained us of any free moments. This last year has been so hard on us both and I'm so sad that you had to live downstairs away from your creature comforts — but dozens of urinations on our bed later (and while I was sleeping with the kids too!) and we had no choice but to have you sleep elsewhere. It makes sense now that we know you had a serious kidney disease. Still, I'm so sad. These last days have been even harder. Seeing you unable to eat, drink, jump, walk or even give a little kitty kiss has been so painful.
Coming home tonight was so hard and so terribly sad. I —we all miss you. We love you. We'll never forget you. We send you all our love — always. I hope there is a kitty heaven and that you are chasing birds and wooing the furry ladies for eternity. You'll always be my casanova kitty.
love always, mommy.