Tuesday, June 28, 2011

EEEEEEEEEK! - The Story of Socks

(I haven't blogged here in months because I have been putting off this post. I will probably cry. You have been warned. Arm yourselves with kleenex.)

For my 12th birthday, my dad took me to the leetle bitty local animal shelter, in search of a kitten. Preferably a female red tabby. In the "Pet of the Week" section of the newspaper, I had spotted an adorable female red tabby named Darla up for adoption (I have no idea why I remember her name), and I hoped that she was still there.
Of course, she wasn't.
Rarely did we get to see the angry face of Socks.
But Christmas trains....Ooooh, he hated those. XD
In fact, the shelter didn't even have any female kittens. Only five little boys. Two were long-haired lover boys, reaching through the bars and screaming their fluffy little heads off. One was striped and sleeping soundly. One was trying to beat up on his brother. His brother was an interesting mixture of white, and what appeared to be olive green (I have no idea what to call that color. He looked green). He was pressed up against the bars, staring at me, ignoring his brother bopping him on the head. He was certainly adorable, but after the whole Thomas thing (EEEVIIIL) I didn't think I wanted another boy.
Fortunately, dad convinced me otherwise, and a few days later, we brought the little guy home.

I gave him the terribly stereotypical name Socks, because of his white feet, and because I was obsessed with the book at the time.

Socks became my bestest kitty friend ever. He was sweet and gentle, and never ever purposefully scratched me. He wouldn't cry if you stepped on his tail, he would only look sadly up at you, all like, "Whyyy are you doing this to meeee?"
Socks was the sort of cat who seems kind of stupid, but was actually quite intelligent. We had all sorts of games, like Hide and Seek, and Fetch (Yes, he fetched), and his favorite...Kickit.
You know those rubber spiky balls that could also be worn as hats? Socks adored those. I'd turn it spiky side in, and kick it all over the house, and he'd chase it and bring it back to me. I'd start by asking Socks if he wanted to play a game. His eyes would widen, "A game!"   He would stare at me until I'd ask him, "Do you want to play....Kickit?" His eyes would then widen even more, until they were roughly 15% larger than his face, he'd "Meeeyahyahyah!" his approval, and would follow me obsessively until I produced the ball and played with him. And he would not stop until I stopped. Sometimes I'd stop too soon for him, and he'd keep bringing me the ball.
Catnip Par-tay. All teh kittiez are high.
Socks is the pretty boy on the far right.
He had a thing for rubber. I had to hide the ball when I couldn't supervise him, because he totally would've eaten it. He did eat half of a rubber bracelet once (He managed to keep it inside himself for four days before it came out the way it went in).

Socks, like me, was rather phobic. His main problem was intense claustrophobia. He feared small spaces. Even sticking his head into the food dish made him uncomfortable, so he came up with an alternative. He'd stick his paw into the food dish, scoop up a pawful of food, and it like a little raccoon. Occasionally he'd just dump the food on the floor and eat it, but he usually ate from his paw.
Fortunately, he was a healthy boy and rarely needed to go to the vet (Getting a claustrophobic kitty into a little bitty kitty carrier? HELL).

Socks was also convinced that horrible monsters were hiding everywhere. If the blankets on the bed moved, he'd jump, then alternate sloooowly extending a paw towards the scary object, and jumping again, until he had himself convinced the danger had passed.
Come abruptly around a corner? He'd jump. Water in the water dish moving? He'd jump. Make a kissy noise at him? He'd jump.
We liked to mess with him. It was just so EASY.

Ooh, and he also liked to skip with me. I'd tell him I wanted to skip, and I'd start skipping around the house. Socks would be right alongside me, moving with an interesting bounce in his step that can only be defined as a kitty skip.

After I started working at the studio, Socks became even more clingy. He started sleeping all snuggled up with me in bed, something he hadn't done since his first couple of nights at home. He'd cry for me more often.
Socks was a ventriloquist. He'd get lonely, and cry for me. I thought his cries were coming from the pantry or the hallway, and would have to look everywhere before I'd finally find him, in a corner of the living room, facing the wall, and crying mournfully, "Mroww.....MROAH....Mreeoww.....mrow..." I'd tell him to stop it, I was right here. He'd whip his head around, eyes full of joy and squeak, "Meeyahh!"

I'd tell him everything, and he'd listen attentively. I'd tell him I loved him, and to make sure he lived a good long time, because I didn't want to be without him.

Never tell your cats this.

January 15th, 2009, Socks died of either a stroke, or a blood clot that went to his brain. The vets offered to find out the exact cause, but it didn't matter, as there was nothing they could do either way. Either one was extremely rare in a cat so young (He was 4 1/2 years old). He was shaking and throwing up and he couldn't see. Mom said he probably didn't even know us anymore, but looking at him as dad carried him out the door to the vet, I think he still knew me. Most of the time his eyes looked clouded and confused, but he would have a few seconds here and there were eyes were clear.
Dad called home to tell us, and asked if I wanted to come down and see him. I didn't. I couldn't. I didn't want to remember him that way, and by that point he was pretty far gone. I didn't want them to keep him here any longer than they had to.
Easily, that night is the worst night of my life. I've never lost a person in my life, but I'm sure that losing my baby Socks was just as awful as losing a human friend. It's horrible, it's physically painful. I was really depressed for I don't know how long. I usually say about two weeks, but I think it was longer than that. I just didn't like to admit it. The whole time I was crying, Bambi Sue stayed next to me, always touching me. If I moved, she'd follow me, and if I screamed she didn't flinch. She slept curled up next to me, exactly like Socks had, for at least a month.

Yep. I'm crying. I did warn you.

Even though our time together was so short, I wouldn't have missed it for anything. He was such a sweet, loving, adorable little boy, and I'm very thankful he was a part of my life.

If it weren't for him, I never would have become acquainted with Bunny, my big, fat, creeping sausage cat. "Bunny" was one of Sock's many nicknames, because he was an excellent jumper, and had big bunny feet.

God works in strange ways sometimes, but I believe it always turns out for the best.

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