So, today marks fourteen years since my cat Parker died. He was twelve -- a good age, but I'd hoped he could be with me for much longer. He was the smartest cat I've ever had the pleasure to know, and the only one so famous for his bad behavior (one of his nicknames was The Cat Who Bit People) as to have a book written about him.* I still miss him.
The next day we went to get a new kitten to help fill the cat-shaped hole in my heart. We did have Rigby, who was a sprightly young cat of about four, but she'd very definitely become Janice's cat within a month of joining our household; she and I got along really well but it was Janice she always sought out for laps &c. Besides, we thought Rigby would welcome a companion cat to share the place with during the day.**
While caring for Parker during those last weeks when he was dying I'd noticed a friendly little black puffball of a kitten in the cage at the local PetSmart and had decided to adopt him if he was still there after Parker was gone.*** In the event, we found him gone and another cat, a little torbie kitten, in his place. I picked her up and she purred: it took about half a minute to know she was coming home with us. By the time we got home from the store she and I had bonded. Again, she likes Janice a lot but is clearly 'my' cat. She spends most of her day with me: sleeps on my desk when I work, supervises anything involving papers spread about, and makes sure cat-treats get dispensed upon demand. Recently she's retired and now spends most of her time in four or five favorite spots (one of her major tasks is to check to see that the sunbeams are where they shd be when they shd be).
So rest in peace, Parker. I'm glad to have shared twelve years and seven different apartments and houses with you. The scars have mostly faded but the memories remain.
And Hastur: Happy to have you with us these past fourteen years and hope you'll stay for years to come.
*PARKER'S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE by Janice K. Coulter (story) and Stan Brown (pictures)
**we were wrong about that.
**his name would have been Babaganoosh