Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Tribute to Gloria Estefan (the cat)

Many of you know our cat, Gloria Estefan Ainsworth. (Yes, her namesake is a latin pop singer.)

Well, this past week it became very clear to us that Gloria is sick (which we had suspected for some time). It had become a frequent occurence for her to lose all control of her bodily functions on various pieces of our furniture (I won't say which for fear some of you may never sit down in our house again). We always knew that Gloria was old, but she seemed to double in age just over the past week. After much emotional discussion and deliberation, we decided we could not keep her any longer. And so, Gloria is no longer with us.

Gloria came to our doorstep almost 3 years ago and won our hearts. We fed her tuna because she was hungry and alone. We never intended to keep her, but then we didn't really have a choice in the matter once she weaved in and out of our legs, purring sweetly.

Gloria was a great cat. These are some of the things I liked most about her:

1. Gloria was a pretty cat. If a cat can be feminine, Gloria was.

2. Gloria was de-clawed, which is nice for the obvious reason, but also because it meant that she had what we called "oven mitts" for paws. When she wanted you to pet her, she would "pet" you with her oven mitt paws until you decided to pet her. Sometimes we would purposely not pet her so that she would be required to sweetly tap us with her paw. It was very cute.

3. Gloria was the most unathletic cat I ever knew. She rarely played, and when she did you got the sense that it was out of obligation. We would dangle a string or poke her with a feather for a good 2 minutes before she would reluctantly and half-heartedly bat at it with her oven mitt paws. It was as though she was "too cool" to play.

4. On the other hand, in her younger days, we would often wake up to the sound of her wrestling with a plastic bag or tissue paper (her favorite sleeping surface). Upon one of us entering the room where this was happening she would do her best to look nonchalant, as if she was not really playing but merely looking at the plastic bag (which was difficult to believe since her body was half inside the plastic bag). We decided that she was a self-conscious player, probably embarrassed by her unathleticism.

5. Gloria only drank water out of a glass on my bedside table. If the glass was not at least 2/3 full she would meow at you until you filled it up. Although it sounds annoying, it was actually rather cute (but maybe that's just hindsight bias...)

6. Gloria would lay on anyone's lap, although her favorite lap was Dave's.

7. Gloria did not like to walk on uneven surfaces. Every time she had to cross our bed, which is covered by a fluffy down comforter, she would have to psyche herself up and then would cautiously feel around with her paw before every step. By the look of it, you would have thought she was crossing a perilous rope bridge over a ravine.

8. Gloria liked for her belly to be pet. And she had the softest and furriest belly.

9. Most of all, Gloria was a sweet companion. Whenever I was home alone at night, Gloria was a comforting presence to me.

Gloria, you will be missed. You were a great cat.


Shelly said...

I'm sorry I never got the pleasure of meeting sweet Gloria...and am sure you guys will miss her a lot.

Brandon said...

So sad!!!
Also, just to be clear, did she die or was she put down by a vet? I know this question seems unnecessary, but it is a more traumatic experience to actually have an animal die at home with you!

Nonetheless, I am very sorry for you, Maggie, I did always like calling Gloria by her full name and then laughing. At least she won't be dragging her bottom across your floor anymore!!


Maggie Ainsworth said...

Thanks for your kind (I think) words, Bethan. She was actually put down, which I guess is less traumatic, but then you have the guilt of knowing that you ultimately chose for the animal to die...

But yes, there are perks to not having an animal anymore, such as not having her use our floor as toilet paper, as you so tactfully pointed out!

Lukey G. said...

Thanks for being in my life Gloria. You loved us all well.