End of an Era
Earlier this evening we bid a tearful farewell to our remaining cat, Laila. My brain is in limbo at the moment, because it was not an easy decision (it never really is, though) – and there was greater emotional weight with the added presence of the rest of the family at the end of her time. If you’re looking for some history, I would recommend that you read about the origin of our felines here.
The smart one.
It was obvious from the get-go that Laila was the smarter of the two cats. Relatively, she was a genius compared to Logan (but really, this sentence is probably smarter than Logan was) – but she was a smart cat in the absolute sense as well. An explorer and problem solver, Laila pretty much figured everything out and taught as much of it to Logan as she could – repeatedly. She even managed to climb up onto the peak of the roof, much to the chagrin of Mrs. J, who balanced precariously on a chair placed on a glass patio table just to pull her down from the sky (on the third-floor balcony, no less). As a kitten she was a skilled Jedi, constantly pushing limits while convincing you that she was the cutest creature ever.
I’m not sure if it was because she was so intelligent, but Laila was also very emotionally intuitive. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at that phrase, but I swear it’s true. When someone was happy she would pay attention to them (if she wanted to); however, should someone be in a negative mood (especially sad), she would go to them and just…be with them. She was also fiercely loyal, and would defend her family. One evening a delivery person let a stray cat into the house, thinking that it was ours. This outside cat attempted to attack Logan, who cowered on the stairs. Just before any damage was done, Laila barreled into the interloper and caught it’s paw in her mouth when it tried to claw her face (she had no front claws). She crunched down (I heard some not-so-nice noises from that act) and the other cat bolted out of the house when Laila opened up her mouth to let the paw go.
Mover and a Shaker
When we moved locations, Laila had everything figured out within a week: she knew where to hide to get away from Logan (when he was being a bully – she ran out of patience since he was too stupid to stop bugging her); she always knew where to sit so that she could suck up as much heat as possible; she also discovered her own form of television in the form of other cats walking by the basement windows (our old rental place was on the 2nd and 3rd floor of a house – so not much up-close-and-personal action).
Of course, the cats hadn’t really experienced their biggest life-changing event yet: the arrival of our kiddo. We let them wander around the nursery (with all of the new smells and furniture) and I also may have tried to give them some perspective by swaddling them…
Not the Loneliest Number?
Laila avoided Baby J for the most part. As smart as she was, entropy was not her bag, and the tornado-like nature of our child could be overwhelming for her (I’m overstating this a bit – Little J’s first word was “cat”). A few years into this new adventure, Laila lost her counterpart. We worried a bit how she would react to this loss – but our concern was short-lived as Laila essentially started demonstrating kitten-like energy again. Turns out that since she wasn’t being constantly attacked, she was much more into hanging out with Little J. As our kiddo grew up, it wouldn’t be an uncommon sight to see them playing together, or to see little J sitting on the sofa reading a book while Laila was curled up beside her.
I feel like I want to write a lot more than this, but I really don’t know where to start and I wouldn’t know where to end. Laila was a wonderful cat. She was smart, had a great personality, and I loved it when I took naps and she would sleep on my shoulder. I loved how she would always purr, or try and hop up to see what I was doing. I loved how she spent time with my wife and my child. It was not an easy decision to let her go – but I’m glad we got to know her because she was an important part of this family.