Miss ya, Al'. Miss ya every day.

 It’s been almost a month since we had to do it.

Alley’s been with us for all but the first year of our marriage.  She’s held rank over every animal we’ve had mainly because she was here first.  She’d roam the house on what seemed to be somewhat of a routine.  Mornings were for window sills, afternoons were for the yellow chair in the second living room (in Florence).  And evenings were for sleeping either on Karen’s or my feet.

In her penultimate year with us she started showing signs of discontent by pissing outside the litter box.  We thought it was a UTI so we took her to the vet where she was treated.

It looked like things were fine.  Then we moved – twice.

Some feedback/research shows that cats will exhibit such uncouth, bladderly behavior when they’re getting used to new surroundings, but in none of our moves did Alley display such.  In fact, she adjusted better than we.  But about six months after both moves she started up again. 

To make a long story short–and less repulsive–we finally grew too weary of replacing clothing, suitcases, rugs, briefcases, and the like.  Karen sent me a text while I was at a meeting in Lewisburg, Tennessee, about a month ago saying that she’d done it again.  With the thought that we would probably have to send her away if a baby ever came, I decided it was time to take her to the shelter for adoption.  The longer I waited to do that the more I would have hated it.  Band-Aid off.  Bone set.

Unfortunately, Karen had already called the shelter and told them about Alley’s little problem.  Their reply was that they would have to put Alley down because their policies wouldn’t allow them to adopt out an animal with a problem.  What they didn’t know was that Karen wouldn’t be taking her to the shelter–I would be.

I came home, we said our goodbyes, and off Alley and I went to the Rutherford County shelter.

“What’s her name?”


“Will she make someone else a good pet?”


I ran down the best advertisement for a cat that anyone had ever assembled.  I proceeded to tell them my wife was six months pregnant and we simply had to give her up.

“You’re right, Mr. Mustain.  She’ll find a home very quickly.”

As I drove away from the shelter I smiled sheepishly feeling absolutely fine about the web I’d woven.  I would do it again, too.  No, Karen is not pregnant, but I wasn’t going toll the bell for a cat I loved.

I don’t know how it all ended.  She could be dead now for all I know.  I just know that I hope that one day my kids won’t pull the plug on me for a little incontinence.

Miss ya, Alley.  Miss ya every day.