Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Vagabond Cat

adopted us in early June last year. Maybe a year old at the time, he was less than 7 pounds and more hungry than any cat I'd ever known. In the time he was with us, that never changed.

He helped fill out the house cats; the 18 year wise old lady and the 7 year old slow-witted, 15 lb, tuxedo cat. Button was in her last days, and Kitten kept Bruiser fully occupied so that Button could slowly fade away. When I tried to help her eat or drink, she said, in her own way, "Don't worry Dad. It's time." She didn't particularly like Kitten, but he gave her that respite from having to outfox Bruiser all day, so his presence worked out well for her. She passed in her sleep on July 31 of last year, less than two months after Kitten had turned up at our door.

Well, this morning I found out that he is gone too. A neighbor from another block who regularly walks by with his two dogs let me down easy. He first asked me if I'd seen my cat. Then told me one that looked like him was several blocks away.

It was not unexpected in that this cat was always too laid back. He would stroll up to most dogs being walked on leash, some over 10 times his size, and get nose to nose with them. But his most unsettling trait was that he would lounge in the street and not duck from cars until they were very close. Keep him in the house? There simply was no keeping this domesticated free agent in the house. He came to us on his own volition, and he insisted on keeping his freedom.

I gotta say I liked him most for his disposition.  Pretty darn honest in cat terms. He just wasn't sneaky. People who don't like cats would like this one. It may have helped that he was more amiable, especially to strangers, than most are.

He was the most quiet of all my cats, and that was very nice. And his looks -- I have had both a red and honey colored tabbies before, but this orange guy was a remarkably pretty tabby. 
"Kitten" -- 2-3 years old

Except for his eyes, which were too yellow for my tastes. (Ah, Button -- she had great bright eyes! Right up to the end.)  I was always amazed that he didn't get stolen. I doubt that he'd have protested if someone picked him up and walked away with him, at least not for a while. He preferred not to be held for long.

Well we always knew this day was coming. It wasn't much of a shock at all. But he will be missed.  Especially by the dogs who look for him each day.


  1. Nice Story, Pascal.

    It deserves a song:

    (Careful, its a 'John Denver' song). :)

  2. Sorry to hear it, Pascal.
    It sounds like Kitten will be missed...


  3. Sorry for your loss.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like Kitten was quite the character.

  5. Sorry to hear about the passing of a friend and confidant (What, you don't share your thoughts with your cats? Why, in heavens name, not?). May the all too short amount of time you shared together, be a constant source of pleasant memories.

  6. Poor kitty. But it's always worse for those left behind. *sniff* I like to think that nothing good truly passes away; therefore, one thing we will hear in heaven is "Meow!"

  7. God Bless Og for sending so many of you over here to "give him some love."

    The reality is I wrote this to remark on the passing of a unique individual who lived too short a time and still left his mark on a larger neighborhood in that time.

    I didn't write so much when my wife (the one who converted this dog person into a cat person too) passed away 8 years ago. Nor when my Dad passed away 5 years ago. Nor when my favorite cat of all passed away last year.

    It was just that Kitten lived too short a span and seemed to hold great promise for dog/cat diplomacy. Had he lived longer, I am sure he'd found a way to shame so many of our human race hustlers.

    And now, with all these well-wishers Og has sent here, I feel like a heel for not have spoken of Kitten and his exploits while he was still alive.

  8. I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

    The Missus and I have been in the employ of 4 cats since we married nearly 20 years ago, and thankfully three of them are still with us. However, when we lost our siamese/himalayan mix a few years ago (beautiful blue eyes, crossed so badly she couldn't see much beyond her nose!) it really hurt.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Kitten sounded like a good friend.

  9. Here's one from many years ago.

    Very nice.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear of Kitten's demise. Here at Thugge Manor we have three cats and a pitbull that allow the missus and me to share the bed with 'em. We've lost cats and dogs and it always hurts. Thing is, there are more kittens and pups that need forever homes. Just put out a feeler or two and soon you'll have a warm fuzzy to fill the void. I hope I'm not coming across as hard or unfeeling, like I said, losing a furry one is hard. I still miss my favorite friend, Ozzy the gentle 100 lb. Pitbull. His favorite pastimes were licking the cats and playing with the neighbor kids. He got really sick last year with pneumonia and didn't make it. So we got Bella, a rescue pit. Sweet as a sugar bun and not a mean bone in her body. She's 30 lbs smaller than Ozzy but just as sweet. Her favorite pastimes are taking naps and washing my arms and face. She loves little kids too and pulls the nieghbor girls in their wagon. They tie a rope to her collar and hold on, steering with the wagon tongue. How Bella knows not to run is beyond me, she's a smart one.

  11. Thank you all for your kind comments. As the days roll on, I appreciate them even more. Even Bruiser, being slow in just about everything except fear, began noticing Kitten wasn't there for him to toy with.


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