Visiting Muncie from Dallas in the summer of 2002, I had to deal with Dad and his wife’s assortment of cats, one of which was a tiny kitten named “Dieter”. Dieter was a feisty little critter that would wreak havoc on the other sophisticated cats (sophicsticats), and drive everybody and every other cat nuts – except Dad. On the morning of my departure, I rose early and proceeded to the bathroom to get ready. Closing the door behind me was difficult until I realized the tiny Dieter was scrunched in the door trying to follow me in. Dieter almost met his fate that morning in 2002, little more than several weeks old.
Returning to Muncie in December of 2006, Dieter had become fully grown and had his way in the household since Dad’s wife and her consortium of cats had departed. Since that time, I had become attached to the animal, which was new for me in that I had always been a “dog” kind of guy. Dieter was the exception.
In the spring of this year, 2014, Dieter suddenly began showing signs of a physical shock, apparently it was lymphoma – common in cats. In researching the signs that Dieter was giving off, the indications were that he had 2 to 3 months to survive. With Dad and I providing constant food, attention, coddling, nurturing and prednisone, we were able to sustain him until the day before my birthday on September 6th when Dieter was barely able to walk and had lost all interest in eating, grooming or any other aspect of life.
Dad took him for his last visit to the veterinarian on the afternoon of September 5th and returned him in his “pet taxi” to the house. Dieter now rests behind the fountain in the back yard, one of his favorite hangouts, where he will remain near to us with memories of the feisty critter alive as long as our memories endure.
Though I’m still a dog lover, no pet will ever replace Dieter – even though he was, “just a cat.”