Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sheba: A Eulogy

Sheba was sunshine who spread love and happiness wherever she went. She was a gentle soul who was adored by every human she encountered. This post is a celebration of her wonderful existence.

Sheba was a tiny weirdo. She got her name by stalking like a queen of the jungle when she was first adopted. Then she returned to her default mode of clumsy kitty. She once hit her head trying to jump out from under the coffee table. Many's a time when she failed in her leap to the couch, scoring the leather in her frantic attempts to hold on to it and to her dignity.

Despite that, she was a surprisingly excellent hunter. She killed two mice living behind a fridge. One she left in her human's shoe, and the other she played with for a little while. Only fish were safe from her claws, although she did try to improve access to the ichthyoid by drinking out of its fishbowl.

She also preferred drinking out of human glasses. If a glass of water were left out, chances were she'd already slurped out of it.

Sheba charmed our pants off when she head-butted her cage door at the shelter, purring like a lawnmower. All it took to get her laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles going was a look from one of her humans, or the merest touch. Nothing could compare to the joy she brought by settling on laps and purring. The purring only stopped when she slept, which was often.

She kept a tight schedule and expected everyone to follow. If her bedtime came around and the bed was lacking humans, she would come downstairs and lodge a complaint with the authorities. If it was breakfast time and the feeder was unconscious, a paw on the face would solve the problem.

She loved string. She eschewed expensive cat toys for old shoelaces or some kitchen twine. She would chase a piece of string around on the bed or even through the house.

Sheba had three teeth and was deaf as a post. She had a host of health problems but valiantly fought all attempts at medication. Still, she always lived up to her original shelter name -- Sweet Pea -- by never using her claws or, let's face it, her gums, against human hands.

She was Gandhi-like in her passive resistance to Oscar's hostility. Mostly because she couldn't hear him hissing at her. Her dominance was unquestioned. She would insert her face into his food bowl while he was eating, driving him away. She would occupy the human lap he currently sat on, forcing him to jump down. And she did it all ever so sweetly and endearingly.

She was an adoring kitty who liked to be as close to her human as possible, especially at night. A human pillow was her pillow, too, and if unavailable, a human shoulder or cheek would do. The sight of her tiny head poking out from under the covers first thing in the morning was the best way to start the day.

Sheba loved the sun. She went to sleep forever in the middle of a howling blizzard, but this is how she will always be remembered: as the softest, sweetest, most chocolate-y baby girl.

We love you, Sheba. You'll always be with us.

Sheba "Sweet Pea" Foreman del Castillo Boyd Santa Maria Mitton
2000 - 2014
Our baby girl