|Mitty as a kitten in 1987|
|Mitty and Gladys in 1999|
|Mitty in 1997|
by Rich Pasco
As I write this, I am grieving the loss of my companion of 14 years, Mittens Cat Pasco, also known as Mitty Kitty.
Mitty was born in the summer of 1987, the daughter of my friend Judy's cat. She got her name "Mittens" from her white mittens which matched her white dickey on an otherwise black body. When she came to live with us as a kitten, Mitty had to defer to Squeaky, three months her senior and prior resident of our home.
From that beginning, Mitty's purring engine was in perfect order. Whenever we'd pick her up, she would purr and purr and purr.
My friend Stan Dale says, "Everything is either love or a cry for love." Mitty did a lot of crying for love, in sometimes misguided ways. Some would say that Mitty had an "attitude." When Cheryl came into my life in 1989, Mitty would run into the bedroom when nobody was looking and pee on Cheryl's side of my bed. The first night Cheryl's suede sofa was in the house, it got baptized too. After that, Mitty's bed was moved to the garage. Thereafter, when I put Mitty outside she would look over her shoulder and hiss abruptly, as if to say, "F$@K YOU!"
Somehow through it all Mitty mellowed out over the years. She obviously grieved when Squeaky died in 1993, but eventually got used to being top cat. She knew she was loved, and loved me back. She enjoyed being held and stroked, and would purr for hours laying at my feet as I worked on my computer.
A fluffy long-hair cat, Mitty enjoyed being outside even in the winter time. She would lay under the shrubbery and come in with her hair tangled and matted from sap that she laid in. We developed a ritual. Every morning I would awaken to see Mitty's little face peering in through the sliding glass patio door of my bedroom. She would wait patiently for me to awaken and invite her in for her morning brushing. Then she would purr and purr as the hair brush removed matted fur more effectively than her tongue did. When she had enough, she would stand up and beckon me to follow her to the kitchen to feed her breakfast.
While my mother was living, Mitty enjoyed going to visit her for a weekend or longer, when she knew she would be doted on. Mitty hated riding in the car, though, and demanded in her feline voice, "Now you stop this car this instant!" But when we got to Mom's apartment building, Mitty excitedly ran down the hall, inspected the row of identical doors until she found the right one, and patiently waited for me to catch up and knock.
Mitty was self-sufficient and independent. I could go away for days, leaving a food dispenser in the garage which she could access by an electronic cat door. She always came running to see me on my return, ready to be swept up in my arms for a hug and to purr and purr and purr.
I suspected something was wrong Sunday evening, January 20, 2002, when I returned from a HAI workshop and Mitty didn't come to greet me. I knew something was wrong when she wasn't at my door Monday morning, and didn't come when I called her. I found her body broken and torn open on the public sidewalk in front of my house She had died a violent death. I felt her pain surge through me. It's hard, not knowing what happened, how and why. I am frustrated that I probably never will.
I miss her.