Dead Caterpillar


The universe is a vast cosmic conspiracy ...

The life and times of Penny McGenny

Sunday, Oct 23rd, 2011

You don’t know what you got till it’s smushed. My cat Penny met a gruesome end Monday trying to cross the street. Poor, poor Penny, run down just inches away from reaching the curb. I loved that cat like I would have loved a dog. Now he’s in the backyard buried beneath the willow tree, which, I know, sounds very picturesque. I didn’t have time to think and process it all when it happened, Monday morning. Pretty much poker-faced my way through the rest of the day. It was my first day at a new job and you always want to make a good impression on the first day. You want to smile and shake hands, not moan about your dead cat. But I think the timing of his death couldn’t have been better. If Penny absolutely HAD to die, the timing was right. I’m too distracted with everything to be entirely caught up in it.

So it was exactly two Octobers ago when my then-roomate, Prasanna, and I were kidding about getting kittens, in lieu of girlfriends. It started as a joke but we toyed with the idea for a while and eventually figured “ah what the heck.” We found a free kittens listing on Craigslist and made the trip the next day. I think there were four kittens in the litter and each had some sort of growth on the face, except one. Naturally I chose the one without a growth that being Penny. Destiny, of course, but also common sense.

I took a surprising number of pictures and videos of Penny with my cellphone. I’ve decided to upload some for posterity. Sorry the video quality is poor and there is no sound. Here Penny is playing with my feet on his first day in a new home. My two feet were Penny’s mortal enemies during kittenhood. 1:44 will eat your heart out.

Penny chilling on the carpet, like a boss.

Hungry little bastard.

Penny’s first meal.

One of those pictures that hurts your neck.

A video of Penny playing with a pen.

Penny, a little older, playing hide and seek. I usually initiated our hide and seek games by throwing something (a pill container in this case) at him. Then running away. I’m glad there’s no sound because I was giggling like a little girl.

Penny as an adolescent.

Classic Penny look.

I came home from work one day to this scene. One of my housemates had left his window open to the roof.

This picture was taken in the middle of the night with flash on. Penny would sometimes sit on one of the couch arms next to my bed and stare at me while I slept. I would wake up and see his silhouette hovering over me. It freaked me out. Creeper.

After weeks of futility, Penny finally did catch that mouse.

Unfortunately he had no idea what to do with it. We ended up letting it go outside.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you a photo compilation of Penny’s (often hilarious) sleeping positions.

This one’s called “Roadkill.” It was funny at the time..

I like the lighting in these pictures.

Penny staring out the window and contemplating the mysteries of the universe through his feeble, kitten mind. Never cracked open the textbook by the way.

Penny guarding the door to my room.

Penny falling asleep, guarding the door to my room.

Penny’s first encounter with the opposite sex.

Penny’s first rejection from the opposite sex (it happens to the best of us).

This little lady has been camped out on my back porch since the time of Penny’s death, six days ago. I had seen her before together with Penny. She doesn’t want to come inside, she doesn’t want to be held, she shows no interest in food. She just stares and walks around in circles on the back porch. I take her inside and she looks around aimlessly, then returns to standing by the porch door. My guess is that Penny had a girlfriend.

This is oddly my favorite picture of Penny. I remember my exact thoughts before taking this picture. “I know I will probably have a lot of stupid bushes, a lot of grills, and a lot of cats in my lifetime. But I won’t always have this stupid bush and this grill and this cat.” So I took this picture.

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