Kitsch was the name of my tiny tortie kitty.
I named her Kitsch – an ugly or worthless piece of art.
Obviously, I did not name her correctly because she was neither ugly or worthless and she was, if not exactly a piece of art, she was absolutely a piece of work.
My roommate found her.
We were living in Silver Lake, and he went to a party the next hill over.
(We were renting a house that was the backside of where the baseball stadium is.)
Kitsch was the only kitten of a litter that was still alive and she followed my roommate up to the party.
He picked her up and fed her as much as she would eat (which was lots), and then brought her home to me.
My cat Clementine had died (congenital heart problem) shortly before this, and we had just adopted a little tuxedo kitten (Sidney), so I wasn’t in the market for another cat – much less another kitten – but who could resist?
Certainly not me.
She never weighed more than 7 pounds.
She was always a little lovey cat.
For a while, she refused to poop in the same litter box as Sidney. She didn’t mind their pee mingling, but she had standards – and those standards meant she need her own poop box.
(My roommate used to sing to her: “Oh, she’s daddy’s little cat when she’s a good little cat, but she’s mommy’s little cat when she poops on the floor.”)
Kitsch loved water.
You had to lock her out of the bathroom or she would jump in the tub with you!
She also had thumbs.
She figured out how to turn the water on at the utility sink where the washer drained; and sometimes when the washer was draining, she’d jump in that sink.
I’d hear a splash, and yell, “What’s going on?”
In she’d walk, soaking wet and covered with soap bubbles, and she’d assure me that she was being my good little cat.
She also liked to steal pens and carry them around.
Such a weird little cat.
Oh, and she adored my husband Bill. She would lie on him and just gaze into his eyes, making it clear that she thought he was “dreamy”.
When she got old (she lived to 21, I think), she became a real character.
Her hearing went – so she turned up her volume to 11.
She only had one tooth left in her punkin’ head.
And she suddenly became unconvincingly fierce.
When you picked her up, she often would hiss and growl – while purring like crazy.
She’d threaten to bite you (with her one tooth) and leave a red mark.
Because that was the worst she was capable of.
She had the vets terrified of her.
I couldn’t make them understand it was just for show.
When her last days were upon her, she would lay on me and stop breathing!
I would rub her ears (her favorite kind of pets) and she’d start breathing again.
She finally passed one day while I was at rehearsal or performing – I forget which.
I felt it was the day, and sure enough she laid down on the sofa at some point and was gone.
I still feel sad that I wasn’t there to rub her ears one more time.
But she had the greatest gift you can give to a pet – she had a long and safe life, and was thoroughly and unconditionally loved (except maybe when she pooped on the floor).