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Gone, But NOT Forgotten


Gone, but not forgotten…that’s my Bob, a classic over-achiever.
How he became afflicted with liver disease–he wasn’t much of a drinker—is still a mystery to me, but he did use up what were left of his nine lives trying to fight it off.  Not that he wasn’t apt to milk any situation for all it was worth to get what he wanted.  For instance, Bob decided that, a good deal of the time, what he wanted to eat was not the regular cat food that everybody else —cats, that is, not me—was eating.  So we tried the high-end canned stuff.  Eh.  We tried several different versions of high-end cat food—chicken with garden greens, tuna with garden greens, wild salmon Florentine with garden greens (who knew cats gave two hoots in a hot place about garden greens, except to eat before upchucking?).  Meh.  Then we tried  Delectables, Bisque Lickable treats(all of the previous gourmet items were acceptable only as far as they had gravy that he would lick off).  Never mind.  He’s still losing weight.  Then, for goodness’ sake, Bob made it quite evident that what he really wanted was lunch meat, the kind that comes in little plastic packs ( or “pacs” as the merchandisers say), at about 2 oz. per.  That, he would eat, preferably being fed by hand, a strip at a time.  Might as well be reclining on a couch, like that movie where Mae West, in all her blond bombshellness, would say, “Beulah, peel me a grape.”   We did turkey, beef—corned beef, not so good–honey ham.  If there had been any chicken, we would have done that too.  When he was feeling really good, he would hightail it (Pretty tough for a cat who was missing half of his tail) down to the buffet with all of the other cats—Fuego, Champ and Ms. Q-T Pie, Butterscotch—for breakfast in the morning.  All of this crowd may now lose some weight, since they were in the habit of finishing off anything that Bob left in a dish.  They would hang around waiting for these treats, or, in the case of Ms. QT, trying to snatch it away before he got done.

Then everybody needed a drink, right?  They have a water fountain down by the food bowls, filtered and all that(which they regularly knock the top off of and play in the water) but they all prefer drinking from the bathroom faucet, balancing on the edge of the basin and licking so that the backsplash gets, well, splashed.  Bob, bless his little kitty heart, would drink there, of course, but he also liked to hop down and go into the shower stall where all of my shampoo and conditioner bottles are lined up, upside down.  There, since most of the hair care products come with flat tops and concave bottoms, Bob would lap up the waters  that he found in the little-bitty reservoirs at just his height.  Funny to watch him; who knew that after-dinner drinks came in Alberto VO5 Pomegranate Bliss flavor?  No ice.

The rest of the crew here is missing him, I guess, besides missing the treats that Bob left after not eating all of his special stuff.  I came into my room the other day and all three of them were just on the bed together, not doing anything, sitting up or lying down, all turned to look at me, just there together.  Not something that they would ordinarily do, but they were doing it, maybe waiting around to see if Bob would show up too.  He did not.

So, Life # 9 came to an end with one last adventure.  Bob most emphatically wanted to go out just as I was leaving, so I let him go.  When I returned, Bob did not.  Worrying, but he had done that before.  In the morning,  good neighbor John, next door, called to ask whether I had a black cat with a short tail; one seemed to have expired beneath his truck.  So I went over to retrieve Bob’s mortal remains; I knew it was he, couldn’t be anyone else.  Brought him home in a purple SummerFest T-shirt–matched his collar, perfect for him.

He’s buried under the big tree in the backyard (which is becoming a memorial park, of sorts, since numerous other “companion animals” have been “planted” there at one time or another—a kitten found in a blizzard, a wanderer savaged by bad dogs, two guinea pigs, a demented rescue Siamese-y cat, etc.) .  Dauntless, my first cat, is under a flower plot in the front yard.  He was the Welcome Wagon cat who loved to greet visitors, had to be out front.  Several of them in the back  have also been incorporated into the landscaping when the bulldozers came to do the addition—disappeared altogether.).

There’s a stone over Bob but it doesn’t look right, he needs something  smaller and flatter.  It is in the shade, where he liked to hang out.  I think that I’ll try my hand at using my Dremel tool to put his name on whatever stone is the final one.

If that works out, I might try a memorial stone for all past pets, including the ones that just walked off looking for that Big Lap in the Sky and never came back.  May have to be a big stone; I’ll bet there will still be more to come (and the feckless Mamma Cat on the front porch looks ready to pop out about a half dozen new kittens; if you’re looking for one, don’t go away); I like having the creatures acknowledge the fact that I have come home from wherever, even just to be indicating that they are not about to be forgiving the fact that their dinner is late.
We shall not soon see the likes of Bob, but I’ll be looking.