and pinpoint where i am

SQL's ass
1995 - 2007

So today I had SQL put down, due to his being allergic to life. I don't really talk much about me here on the inter-net web-log much, but I should wrap all this up somehow.

It was actually 5 years ago this weekend that I got him. In July of 2002 I was drinking every day, all day. This wasn't intentional, I assure you. It kind of crept up on me. One Friday night, after a hard day at work [drinking Jim Beam behind the office building from a bottle stashed in a dumpster], I was walking home past the crazy yard sale lady in Jamaica Plain.

This was a woman who had a yard sale every weekend in the summer. Winter months, the yard was decorated to the nines depending upon the holiday. This night however, was apparently a moving sale, and she had a sign that there was a free cat. I was drunk with a fresh bottle in my backpack, unopened pack of Camel Lights and I said YES! I WOULD LIKE A CAT VERY MUCH! IT WILL SAVE ME AND MAKE ME A BETTER PERSON! MAYBE I WILL EVEN DRINK LESS BECAUSE OF THE CAT [burp]!

The cat ["Tiger"] was nowhere to be found that night [smart cat], however she took my phone number and said she would call me tomorrow when he was all set to go. I gave her my number and went home and got even more drunk, until I passed out. By now I was waking up in the middle of the night to drink, my body would start DT'ing after 4 hours. So I woke up and drank and passed out, as per usual. Then, I woke up and drank until I passed out.

I think the phone woke me up around 11AM. I distinctly remember wondering why the woman on the other end wanted me to come get her cat. I really had no intentions of having a cat. It was a good idea on a Friday night - Saturday morning? Not so much.

If you are drinking around the clock like I was, money starts getting pretty tight. Going through the couch for change was not unusual. Frantically checking out of season clothes pockets for just a fiver so I could get a half-pint happened monthly, especially before payday. Anyway, she said the magic word - that along with supplies and food, she would throw in $20. Which to me equaled a fifth of bourbon and a pack of cigarettes, so I said YES! I THINK I WOULD LIKE A CAT NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT!

I picked up Tiger [who was pretty quickly renamed SQL] and brought him home, before going out to get more Jim Beam. As per usual, I just spent the rest of the weekend drinking and passing out, only now wondering what the hell was wrong with my cat that he wouldn't sit on my lap or sleep in my bed.

I can fast-forward a few months here - I drank, I passed out. SQL wasn't too fond of me, or his litter box, preferring to urinate on my vinyl [NO KITTY THATS A BAD KITTY KITTY]. The truth is, I wasn't really into cleaning his litter box - that took away from drinking time. Additionally, things like dishes, taking out trash, bathing - all were cutting into drinking time.

When I went into detox in October of 2002, I was very worried and needed to make sure that SQL would be taken care of. I asked my old - whatevs Don, and he wasn't really feeling it, what with now living 45 minutes away and all. He got there once and asked a neighbor to do it - I couldn't do that, what with my dramatic exit and all. Plus, I really didn't want any of my neighbors knowing how much I drank - evident by the hundreds of empty Jim Beam bottles littering my entire apartment. Recycling? Yeah - that cuts into drinking time.

It sounds spooky, but I remember SQL coming right onto my lap my first night home. We'll leave that out of the treatment, because if that was a scene in a movie, well, no one would believe it.

A little over a year later SQL got sick for the first time. See - the thing is, you don't really get the healthiest of cats from crazy ladies on the street. He wasn't breathing right, and a trip to the hospital revealed that he had a cyst on his neck that was constricting his breathing. They lanced it [sparing me no graphic, pus-filled detail in the retelling], placed him in a kitty oxygen chamber for a bit [just like Michael Jackson sleeps in. Allegedly.], and all was well for a few months. Then, the itchy and scratchy disease began to set in, starting with an open sore on his neck. I have pictures, and I'm making a pretty conscious decision not to post them here - let's all remember him with nice skin, shall we?

For almost 4 years he lived with being allergic to life. We tried everything - the steroids, the special food - it all stabilized the disease pretty well, but nothing ever got him over the hump, back into health. His attitude was always great - eating, sleeping and pooping without complaint. Especially now that I was in recovery and could do adult things again, like cleaning a litter box, feeding a cat and bathing myself on a regular basis. SQL actually kind of liked it when I rubbed his sore, and slept with me at night, oozing blood and pus onto my bedding. Most people meeting him actually recoiled in horror then immediately turned into veterinarians with advice on how to fix him.

Earlier this year we tried the cortisone shots and food for 3 months. And that was that. Anymore shots and I'd have a diabetic cat scratching himself. The next step, cyclosporine, would have required a financial commitment that I couldn't meet [I'M LYING], and the separation of him from the other cats in my household [that we had already tried doing with the food and it didn't work out] and after 5 years, I was just so tired. His fur was falling out, and a new sore had appeared on his side.

Fuck. All I have to say is that little fucker got an extra five years of life out of me. I had forgotten that today, in the vet's office, as he curled up on my lap and I scratched him. I tried to give him one more "WHO DAT CAT" [in the voice of me imitating Kathy Griffin imitating Little Richard]. I tried to give him one more "WHO IS MY BABY DADDY" [in the voice of me]. I was able to choke out "YOU ARE THE BOY KITTY WHORE OF CHARM SCHOOL", but that's a relatively new one. Mostly I just cried and kicked myself for not taking up friends' offers to come along with me.

You would think after being sober for almost 5 years I'd have learned I'm human, that I can't do everything by myself, that I can't fix Feline eosinophilic granuloma. Fuck this shit. Luckily, I had some anonymous program of recovery plans tonight. I'm off to Wilco again tomorrow. Indian casino gambling with my parents this weekend. Polyphonic Spree Monday. Life's already moved on and SQL's been in heaven now about 2 hours.

SQL on the porch

The boy kitty whore of charm school. Sympathy goes in that link up top labeled "Comments".


  1. Greg said...
    Ah, man. That sucks.
    I've had Spike goin on 11 years (2 escapes, one fall that definitely reduced her down to 8 lives)'s hard to think about her not being around & waking up to kitty butt in the face every morning
    rsl said...
    My heart goes out to you.
    Mary Hartman said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Dumbek said...
    Aw - I'm really sorry to hear that. :(
    eicats said...
    keith, i'm so sorry!

Post a Comment