I know I’m writing a lot today. Its Sunday, so there’s football football and more football. I’m a baseball girl. Anyway, I want to talk about Combat. My favorite blog so far is Life with the Dogs and I’ve pretty much read it all. The story about Maggie made my heart hurt, because it reminded me so much of Combat.
I had Combat from the age of 12 until I was 29, just after I went blind. Combat was my baby from the start. Pure black with yellow eyes. I named him Combat on the way home from the Humane Society all those years ago, because in his cage, he had been stalking his food dish, and pouncing on it. The name suited him because of that, but he was the gentl cat. I used to sing, “Combat…the army cat…I’m so glad…you’re not a rat…or a bat or too fat”. Its from the movie ‘Beaches’. I still remember a picture of him when he was still an adolescent cat, wearing a red collar and climbing the cat tree. Another favorite picture was him in front of the tv, reaching up to try and catch Mario as my mom played Super Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo.
After my first cat Kitty ran away, we started keeping cats indoors. Combat only tried to get out twice, and both times he froze when he realized he had no idea where he was. He became my constant.
After mom got sick, after pomeranians died and their puppies sold, Combat was still around. We had acquired another cat, Little Kitty, but thats another blog.
At 21 I moved out and into a house with 3 other girls. My cats came with me, and soon I became worried about how other people treated them. They started pretty much living in my room. After that house, I started bouncing around alot, and at one point, they had to stay in this tiny little room with my friend’s parents. I was hardly ever home, because I had discovered partying. Those poor babies were stuck in that room alone for days at a time. I am not proud of this. Eventually I moved into another friend’s house, with the latest boyfriend, and we lived in a carport converted into a room. We ended up moving into the house, and they had a dog, so again, the cats were kept in a room, but I was home with them alot.
One day, I couldn’t find Combat. For days he was missing and I was devestated. My boyfriend at the time wasn’t watching and Combat slipped out of the room. We found him days later; he had crawled through the window leading into the carport/room. I was so relieved.
When I left that house and the guy, I got a place of my own and it was just me and the cats. Combat had made it through so much, mom dying, all the houses, all the men, all the people, my drunken self. He was always there. When I sobered up it was just me and Combat at that point. Little Kitty had passed. Combat and I moved in to a great apartment where he had a great view out the windows of bunnies and squirrels and quail and doves. He was pretty up there in years at that point, so sometimes I took him out on the patio where I could keep an eye on him, where he could sniff. I knew he wouldn’t run.
When I moved in with my boyfriend, into the place I’m in now, there were Timmy and Fi as well, and Combat hated it. It had been him and me for so long. He was dropping weight, refused to use the litter box because it smelled like the other cats. He wouldn’t eat out of their food bowls. He found the bathroom and felt secure in there, so I put a towel down for him to lay on. He used the bathtub as a litter box, but he was my baby, so I would clean it up.
One amazing thing about Combat in that bathroom though. One day I heart a dribble, so I looked, and there was Combat, perched on the toilet, peeing!! He peed in the toilet from then on, but used the tub for the other stuff.
Sometimes he would sneak out of he bathroom and lay on the bed. He couldn’t control his bowels though, so I found a mess in the bed a few times, and we started closing the door.
After I went blind, it started getting harder. My boyfriend had to check the tub before he left for work so I culd bathe. At that point, I was afraid to stand in teh shower, so I sat in the tub. Eventually I just took a paper towel to feel around first. Combat soiled all the towels we put down for him, so my boyfriend started using his old shirts.
He would bring Combat into bed with me at night so I could cuddle with im with the door closed, so it was just the two of us. He would knead for about a minute or two, and then curl up. Then he would moan and I’d know he needed to relieve himself, so my boyfriend would take him back in the bathroom.
about a month and a half after I went blind, on June 6, 2008, I got out of the shower and Combat wasn’t in the bathroom. He had gone into the bedroom, and had an accident all over the bed. I lost it. I couldn’t clean it up, I couldn’t take the stuff to the laundry, and I knew this was no way for the poor guy to live. I also got very angry and called a friend and went crazy over the phone. I wish he hadn’t heard that. We knew it was time to put him to rest.
My friend came over and sat with me, and my other friend was going to come and take him to the humane society. My boyfriend was upst and told me to wait until he got home from work, but thought better of it, because he knew he’d tell me not to do it. I sat with Combat and held him and cried and told him I loved him and it wasn’t his fault and it would be better this way and he wouldn’t be in pain and he could see mom and Little Kitty.
I was holding him on the couch when my friend came and I didn’t want to let him go. Finally she took him from my arms and put him in a carrier and was gone. I cried and cried and cried and I’m crying now as I write this.
For days it just wasn’t right. I knew he wasn’t in the bathroom, but it was easy to pretend he was there because I couldn’t see that he wasn’t. At night it was awful because I didn’t have my Combat time. I washed his food dishes and put them up. They will never be used for anything else.
Eventually thepain lessoned. I still miss him so very much. He was my boy, my baby, my constant. I used to call him Baby Boy. The other day I slepped and called Timmy Baby Boy and then said out loud that I couldn’t call him that, thats Combat’s name.
I’m glad my boyfriend waited awhile to get Spinelli. She was such a surprise, that I felt guilty. I told combat she wasn’t replacing him, and I felt in my heart, I felt it, that Combat was saying, “Its ok mom, I want you to be happy. I’m not in pain here. I get to chase the lizards.” Oh yeah, a lizard had gotten into my old apartment, and Combat had so much fun playing with it it, which swas a joy, because he hadn’t played in years.
So he’s up there now, chasing lizards, hanging with mom, ignoring Little Kitty. My friend’s cat Hunny Bunny departed recently, the friend that took Combat to the Humane Society, so I told her Combat would welcome him. As I read Maggie’s story, I thought of the two of them meeting up there somewhere, since they both left us at similar times.
I love you, Combat. I hope there are plenty of lizards. =)