For Old Grey
199? - October 1st, 2015
In Kitty Heaven, butter sits unwrapped on the counter all day long, getting smellier and smellier. And when you climb up to lick it- the only natural thing to do- nobody yells at you to get down. Later, fresh glasses of water stand on every night table, unattended.
Surfaces are arranged at a gradient in Kitty Heaven so that everything is mountable. A footstool leads to a sofa leads to a bookshelf leads to the top of the fridge. There is no vantage point denied you.
There is always a fresh supply of cardboard boxes in Kitty Heaven, of varying sizes and strengths. Sometimes, they fit just right. Other times, they are too big, or too small, or collapse if you climb on them. This is all part of the fun.
There is always a lap available in Kitty Heaven when you want one, because people who live in Kitty Heaven are not allowed to leave. There are no office jobs, day trips, vacations or weekends away. People in Kitty Heaven remain in Kitty Heaven, to serve.
Clearly spelled instructions are posted in all rooms for humans, delineating preferences. Scratch under the chin, counter-clockwise, but only in the evenings. Leave the bedroom closet door open, just a crack. Mornings, move around that fake mouse on the string, at dawn. I said dawn.
Even though people in Kitty Heaven are not permitted to leave, there are plenty of strange bags, and suitcases in Kitty Heaven. They arrive unexpectedly, sometimes full of smelly laundry. Then, they are left open, available for exploring. The laundry taken out of them is not washed. Oh no. It is left in a pile on the floor, for siesta.
All furniture in Kitty Heaven has rounded, upholstered edges. Even the stove, and those ugly chairs in the dining room.
When you want to go outside, you go outside.
What you do outside, where you go, who you see, is nobody’s business but your own.
The menu in Kitty Heaven varies. At least once a week there is something really smelly, like tripe, or something alive, like a mouse. Occasionally the sound of dry food being poured into a bowl is piped in through a sound system, so you can ignore it.
Similarly, there are lots of soft, expensive cat beds around, but you only use them when the people aren’t looking. Then, like when you died, the people go to throw them out and notice they’re covered with cat hair. The people are astonished, and you laugh at them, from Kitty Heaven.
There’s a lot of paperwork to do in Kitty Heaven, but it never gets done because you sit on top of the papers. For as long as you want.
In Kitty Heaven, Bella, (the calico bombshell from next door who thinks she’s all that), is not allowed over the fence. Likewise, the scrawny orange tabby is not free to wander down the middle of the friggin’ street like he owns the place. They have their own Kitty Heaven, somewhere else.
Dogs are allowed in Kitty Heaven. Surpised? Yeah, they are. Their stupidity is entertaining, plus they make the house smellier, and raise the median temperature a noticeable half a degree. These are basic quality of life issues for you. Plus sometimes, when they’re asleep, you can lie down on them and take a nap and they don’t even care. Truth is, dogs are nice to have around.
And if anybody quotes you on that, you’ll bite them in the calf until they bleed.
There are lots of kids in Kitty Heaven, way more than grown-ups. Kids in heaven want to be around cats, that's part of the reason. But it's also because kids have their priorities straight. Think about it. What’s the first thing a grown-up says when they visit the house? “Uh, I brought you this bottle of wine,” or “Hey, I like your haircut.” What’s the first thing a kid says? “Where’s the cat?” And, “Can I pet him?”
It’s sunny in Kitty Heaven.
Kitty Heaven is not such a dramatic a transition from life on earth, not like for humans. Because even on your worst day, you were already half made of light.