Friday Five – Liz the Cat Edition

This has been a difficult week. Monday night, my thirteen-year-old cat Elizabeth had to be rushed to an emergency vet hospital, where she passed away Tuesday afternoon from heart failure. It was the worst eighteen hours of my life, no exaggeration, but I was grateful to at least get to say goodbye. She and I had been through a lot together, and her loss has hit me pretty hard.

So, I thought that for this week’s Friday Five, I would try to come up with five facts about my late cat.

1. The day Liz adopted me, my housemate (who knew much more about cats than I did) identified her as a boy. So, I named her Jenai after the character in Digimon, one of my favorite cartoons in grad school. A few days later, the vet confirmed that she was in fact a girl, and I switched her name to Elizabeth. But the first time I yelled at her, I called her Elizabeth Jenna, so my cat in fact had a first and middle name.

2. Liz came into my life just before I started living online, so when I started posting about her I often confused people. I would just talk about her, and people would comment, “Is this a person?” or “Please tell me this is an animal of some sort.” So, to help clarify, I started using the tag “liz the cat” so people would be less likely to get confused…which is how I learned people don’t actually read tags.

3. As a kitten and young cat, Liz loved Tomb Raider. In fact, she would watch me play and then shimmy along my antique chaise or climb up the screen door and crawl over to the top of the door. I started calling her Lizzie Croft, and made sure to shut down my laptop every time I left the house. (I was struggling with Tomb Raider 2, and just knew that one day I would come home and find that she was not only playing, but was past where I was struggling.)

She didn’t just love watching the game. She also loved the first movie. I had a rack for my DVDs, and regardless of where it was in the rack, she could always find it when I asked her what she wanted to watch. As she got older, she became less interested in the movie, but we did watch it together last Saturday and I found myself grateful that was one of her last experiences. (We always watched Tomb Raider on Lara Croft’s birthday.)

4. Liz took to Seattle far more quickly than I did. I had been giving her beef and chicken treats, trying to figure out which one she liked better. But when we got to Seattle when she was three, I started picked up more fish-flavored treats and she thought that was awesome. Her favorites were different varieties of salmon, and she ate them right up until the end. (In fact, we’re passing on a full bag of salmon-flavored treats to a nearby shelter.)

5. Liz was notoriously anti-social. People would think I was kidding when I warned them, and then would find themselves hissed at, scratched, or peed on. Part of it may have been the life she’d had the first month of her life. Part of it may have been that her mother was Siamese. We’ll never know. We just know Liz wasn’t the friendliest cat, and she didn’t have a problem with it. It was really her brand. Everyone knew the big black cat of doom, and many feared her, even when they had only heard of others’ run-ins with her.

There really is so much more I could say, but these are really her highlights. I’m still heartbroken, and probably will be for some time. She was my world.

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