Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Charming to the last"

Nigel. Nigel Jones. Mo. Piehole. PIE-HOLE! (Said like Hi-Ho in Seven Dwarfs). Shut your Ni-ju. Nigel Pup Pup
This is a rambling blog.

Nigel was a cat. My first, and should be my last cat. I still am not sure of the general cat temperment. He wasn't like a dog, that is for sure. He didn't like people for the most part. His favorite people were me, Todd for a spell, Lianna in a very reserved way, and anyone that was allergic to him. "Cat people" could not truly win him over. Pet him too long and he would bite you. Feed him and he would be grateful.

He was so adorable when we first got him. His ears were so large on his tiny head and his paws looked like baseball gloves. He was polydactyl- he had an extra digit on each of his front paws. He was so scared when he first came to live with us that August day in Spring Valley. He hid under the bed. Then a few hours later, as I was laying on the ground playing video games, he came and laid across the back of my legs. It was so cute. So began our tumultuous relationship.

My favorite timespan with Nigel was when we lived at Oakdale and I worked at Vista. He would sleep on the bed with me and I would make him get up in the morning when I did. He would sit in the bathroom until I was done with my shower, then hop into the shower to watch the water trickle down the drain while I finished getting ready.

His sweetness was occasional, and much appreciated. He was there for some bad crying spells, a friendly presence.

But his onery nature was more noted. He ruined 3 couches by peeing on them again and again. He did not like visitors to stay, and he peed on Lulu's suitcase, Paul's jacket, and the blankets Lucas was using. He had a mean pee streak. Our condo suffered from Pee War 2005 when Briana's cat Kitty and Nigel decided to claim their territory by the door. Luckily they kept it to one spot, since they apparently were going back and forth spraying the carpet. We had to buy a screen to keep them out of the area. When the dust cleared and Kitty moved, we were lucky enough to get a carpet cleaner who specialized in cat urine cleaning. He had to bleach the foundation. But the peeing actually got under some control when Todd started being extra nice to Nigel. According to Todd, he was only faking caring about him so that Nigel wouldn't be vindictive. Nigel was troublesome but don't we all deserve better than fake caring. Vindictive "presents" in the future give more argument to the discussion. Todd put up with Nigel for a long time.

A long time Nigel slept on the bed with us. He would always try to lay between us, try to be as near as possible. It was sweet, but really bad for a good night's sleep. Especially when your pregnant. When Todd gave him the final boot out of the bed about 2 years ago, I was relieved. He had plenty of nice places to sleep out in the living room. I had to make more of an effort to show him love and affection. But I was lazy about it.

His ear was constantly infected over the last 6 months. He smelled and he shook blood on things. He became an even bigger pain than ever before. With an infant and a 4 year old, I was hard pressed to give him the attention I should have. Sometimes I would be so annoyed by the smell and the mess, that I felt little sympathy for him. As long as he ate, I felt he wasn't suffering and he didn't act like his ear really bothered him. But the last week, he stopped eating. He went a whole day without food. The next day I sat with him and petted him and after that the sweet boy went right over and ate. I noticed that when I gave him love, he would eat. Not a lot, but he would try. I always thought the thing in life that he loved most was food. It might have been me.

Todd has made me feel like I was foolishly loyal to Nigel, because of my loyal nature. Nigel has scratched Olivea without provication and also with plenty of provication. He never did any damage to her, and I had to ponder what to do with him. I knew that finding a home for him would be very difficult. Aunt Kathi voluntereed to take him, but I didn't think it would be right to insert his unpredictable nature into her household of animals. So who would take this volatile cat who I raised. I was loyal to him, because even though its not always easy to own a pet, I believe when you take on that responsibility you need to follow through unless you can find something better for them. I could never figure that something better out.

I loved you kitty and I miss you, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night and walk into the living room and you aren't there. I still tell you goodnight and blame noises on the Nigel ghost.