my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Friday, February 24, 2006

Remembering Maggie, and Sylvester.

My dad and stepmom's dog just died 2 nights ago, very suddenly and unexpectedly. My dad had dropped her off at my sister's house, and by the time my sister came home, she had apparently already had at least one strong seizure. By late evening, she couldn't stop seizing, so, with my dad's tearful agreement by cell phone, the vet put her down. She was 14 but in terrific shape and a great dog.

Except for her bark. When they got her, the house they were in was fairly remote, so they trained her to bark every time she heard a noise (and esp. an approaching car). As they moved farther and farther into city limits, and as she stayed with me and my sister, this got incredibly annoying. She wasn't just a loud barker, but an ear-piercing and impulsive one. Other than this, she was an awesome dog and was well loved. My dad and stepmom are bereft.

What made me blog about this today was seeing a note on another blog of two cats, for sale, cheap, so that their owner could get a decent nights' sleep. It made me realize how easily one forgets the irritating habits of one's pets when they are gone.

I was never a cat person, but Sly was a pretty special cat. From the neighborhood tom x my friend's black cat Serena, Sly was always a fearful little black-and-white fluffball. For several years, folks didn't know I had a cat, because he tended to hide when people came around. But he always, from early on till the day he died, had the most irritating meow--scratchy and insistent. I can laugh about it now, but there were years when he interrupted my sleep at night. I initially closed my door. Then he'd scratch at it and meow. Then I'd open the door and squirt him with water. So he got smarter (as smart as the little lunkhead could be): he hid behind things and meowed. I believe he thought that if he did manage to wake me up, I'd go ahead and feed him. I can't remember how long it took to get him out of the habit of midnight meowing, but it does make me laugh in retrospect. He would also insist on lying on me as I slept. If I was on my side, he'd drape himself on my hip, asleep atop the Himalayas. If I were to move in my sleep, I'd most often be rewarded by sharp nails digging into me, especially if it were summertime and the covers were thin. Not so very pleasant way to wake up.

Other than this, he really was a great cat. If you petted and scritchled him for along time, you could get him to drool. Some folks found this unpleasant. I always thought it was a great compliment. Ah, Sly, you are missed.

Rest in Peace, Maggie. I do hope the pain in my dad's heart (I haven't heard him cry like this since his mother died) eases with time.


At 1:40 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Andrea said...

sorry to hear that, even worse was that he was out of town. =(

that's how i feel about zeus. sweet, cute...until he drives me nuts.

At 1:40 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger heather said...

aw that's so sad. sorry to hear bout their dog.

At 12:39 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Dharma said...

I am so sorry to hear about Maggie. How hard it must be for your dad to not even be there.


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