Monday, September 22, 2014

Oh, Lido...

Lido missed the boat that day
He left the shack
But that was all he missed
And he ain't comin' back

Dear Lido,

A little over five years ago, there was a great buzz going around the hospital where I worked that the feral cat who lived in the courtyard had given birth to the cutest kittens.  Slowly, many of the kittens disappeared and even the mama cat was nowhere to be found - but, you remained.  My friend and co-worker at the time would sneak out and find your tiny little self hiding in the bushes or laying out in the sun and would send me pictures.

"You need to adopt this cat."

I was convinced that I was not a cat person and in truth, that I wasn't a pet person in general.  Shortly before we were married, we adopted a puppy.  The dog was needy and didn't sleep and was not a good fit for a home with two working owners.  We were able to find her a new home with family members, but I still look at our decision to adopt the dog as one of my biggest failures in life.  The entire situation made me terrified that I would never be able to be a good mother if I couldn't even care for a silly animal.

So, with that history I told my friend I would never adopt you because I didn't want another shot to fail at pet ownership.

And yet a few days later (and against all good judgment), I somehow had you sitting in my front seat in an old copy paper box with holes cut out so you could breathe, waiting to come home with us.  You hissed and spit and refused to eat for the first few days we had you.  We thought you were just nervous, but we soon learned that this fiery personality was pretty much uniquely you. 

We named you by putting my playlist on shuffle until we heard a name we liked.
And that song was "Lido Shuffle."

There were times that people didn't even know we owned a cat because we had to put you away when guests came over. Unlike normal cats, instead of running and hiding under beds when you were nervous, you would stalk our guests and slap them with your paws.  You'd hiss and growl and even bit a few people.  You were kind of a jerk, Lido.  But, you were our jerk.

When we brought The Incredible Hulk home, you didn't go near me for 8 months.  You seemed to hold me personally responsible for this new family member cramping your style.

But, you eventually figured out that he was here to stay and for the most part, you accepted that.
You also accepted that we liked him a little bit more than you.

You got a lot of second chances with us, Lido.  This must be why people say cats have nine lives.
I hope you know that we tried to keep you.

You hissed at my pregnant belly when I used cocoa butter because you didn't like the smell. You meowed anytime anyone closed a bathroom door to you, only to have us open it up so you could walk away. Affection was mostly on your terms, but when you did cuddle, you were actually kind of great at it.  (Even though you insisted on licking us constantly because you clearly you thought we didn't bathe enough.)  You loved pepperoni, a fact we discovered when we had to put you on Prozac to improve your mood and hiding it in the pepperoni was the only way to get you to take it.  (You totally knew we were drugging you, thanks for only spitting on the meds sometimes.)  You loved to sit in front of open windows and meow incessantly.  I told you to be quiet a lot, but I want you to know that I really loved that sound because it told me how happy you were.  You made us into the cat people we never really thought we'd be.

I hope you know we wish it could be any other way.
I hope you know we wanted to ignore the two doctors who told us this week that we shouldn't keep you as a pet anymore.
I hope you know this was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
I hope you know that I'll never know for sure if I did the right thing or not.
I hope you know that every day since, I've walked into the house expecting to hear your obnoxious meowing and feeling desperately sad when I all I hear is silence.

I texted the friend who helped me take you home to tell her you were gone, to tell her about the terrible decision we had to make, to tell her "Thank you" for convincing me to adopt you five years ago.  Because, was a really great five years.  
You were a crazy cat. But, you were our crazy cat.

She told me "Don't forget, Amanda.  You saved him."

She's halfway right.  Yes, we saved you from the courtyard where no one was around to feed you and you were likely going to meet the fate of your mom and all of your brothers/sisters.
But, Lido?  You saved me too.  Saved me from the feeling that I was a failure and could never take care of another living being.  Saved me from the crippling self-doubt I'd experienced.  Saved me from the selfish person I once was.
Lido, you made me a mama and I love you for it.
You weren't perfect.  But, you were ours.

I hope that when you get to where you're going that there's a pepperoni buffet and open windows for you to sit by for all eternity.  When we meet again, I know you'll probably purr and sit right on top of me, but bite me if I try to pet you.

And that's okay, because that's how I'll know it's you.

Lido will be runnin'
Havin' great big fun
Until he got the note
Saying tow the line or blow it
And that was all he wrote

I love you, Kitten Man.

One more for the road...


  1. Oh man, you have my crying at my desk right now. That was a beautiful tribute to Lido. Sending love your way.

    1. Sorry for the at-work tears, but thank you for your kindness. This totally sucks.

  2. The pictures set in this content, is joking. And the lyrics also nice. Thanks to author for creative post.


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