Living Like Spiro: Swoon 50 (woot woot)
Growing up we had a cat named Spiro (after Spiro Agnew, he meowed a lot). Spiro liked being outside, and my sister…and that was it. Crossing paths you might try and pet him or say hi, he would respond with an eye roll, because he was a cat.
Spiro started his stay with us by getting stuck on the roof of our house. MacGyvering before MacGyver, we connected a long rod and a huge box creating a kitten catcher. Extending it out a window hoping to coax the cat into the box. When that didn’t work (shocking), we reached out and were refused by the fire department (I guess they only rescue cats on tv). Finally mom called the tv antenna man (ha, there was a tv antenna man) and in a classic bait-and-switch convinced him to go up and get the kitten. The poor guy had no luck so he finally resorted to scaring the kitten into JUMPING off our house, our three story house.
Spiro survived and went on to live a very cat-like cat life.
15 or so years later, Greg was at our home for our first Thanksgiving together. He was a bit shocked after meeting Spiro. Forget the fact that there would be a sit down dinner for 30. Or that my mom ordered a last minute extra turkey (in addition to the turkey, ham, and roast) “to be safe”. Forget that traditional Thanksgiving foods in my house were stuffed grape leaves, pilaf, and bourma…and there would be no moulded salads made from Jello. Forget all that, the thing that shocked him was Spiro. “Does anyone even notice what this cat looks like?”
We did but we didn’t care, by then Spiro was an old old cat. He was totally disgusting…matted molting fur, toothless and drooling, a perpetually dripping snotty nose, he was gross. You could hear him approaching from a mile away and if you were smart you ran, because this is when Spiro decided that he wanted constant loving. Kind of like Scrooge, he had distanced everyone with his aloof attitude, but decided to turn that all around at the end of his life. I admit, it was most unpleasant, but one must give love to those looking for love, so we would strategically pet him hoping he would not slime us in the process.
Spiro lived a good life, the life he wanted, on his terms. The icing on the cake was his final act, taken straight from the Aloof and Wiseass Cat Manual. Spiro walked over to the country club and died…on an outdoor dining table…while the ladies played tennis on the court overlooking the patio. Class.
May we live our days the way we want, may we get the love we want no matter how disgusting we may look, may we die on our own terms…with class.
Cheers to you Spiro. Swoon.