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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Best Cat Ever




He was the best cat in the whole world. At least, the best cat that I've ever known. This picture was taken a few weeks ago after he'd lost a good bit of weight. For some reason, right now, I can't find any really good pics of him -- they're on the hard drive somewhere.

This weekend he really went downhill, and I had to take him into the vet this morning. Turned out to be his final trip. And that's okay -- it really really is.

He came to us as a stray when he was still young -- maybe a year old. He had a terribly crooked tail, and I had just taken a long series of tissue mobilization courses -- of course I had to practice on him. I would mobilize his tail until all of his vertebrae went pop-pop-pop and everything straightened out. After a few treatments he decided he would keep me.

Over the past 16 years or so he gave me the chance to practice first aid and wound care many many times. He was a good sized tom -- healthy and slim with a large frame, and for years he reigned as King of the Cats in our neighborhood. He was always a good patient, and would sit very calmly while I worked on his frequent wounds. No matter what was going on, even after he got sick, he was the terror of the Cardinal crowd, and baby bunnies were told nighttime horror stories about him, I'm sure.

He had the most wonderful soft side, though. Kids could play with him without a worry, even though he was fully clawed. He never scratched or bit, and would wait until the second or third time that someone picked him up by the tail before he would finally just walk away. He was always by my side when I worked in the yard (I hate to think of the times that I called it "being underfoot"...). He would come running when we raked leaves, because he loved to get in the pile until he was covered, and then he would EXPLODE out and attack the rake. Funny cat.

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And here's my last story ... A couple of years ago, when the dog was getting old and blind and stumbled around a lot, RuPaw was her seeing eye cat. Winnie would get confused going over the threshold from the garage to the backyard...

...and RuPaw would go back to get her. He would walk just at her shoulder with her chin hovering over his head. They would walk together out into the back yard until there was a good place for them both to sit down together. Once she was settled, he would then go on his way.

Now really. He was the best cat ever.
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17 comments:

Sandy said...

awww - always sad to lose a furry member of the family, sounds like he had a stellar life.

Diahn said...

Now I really am crying. I didn't know he was Winnie's seeing-eye cat. I'm so sorry.

Robin Neudorfer said...

Very sweet stories. Sorry to hear of your loss, I know it well. However, my current cat is the best cat ever. They keep getting better and better. Ours found an orphan kitty and brought him home. He is now named Figgy, scared of humans, but loves his big brother.

Aren't they just the sweetest things?

BonnyRacca said...

It's always a bit sad when our furry family members leave us. ere always seems to be a big hole where they were before.

What wonderful stories and memeories you have of RuPaw! Thanks for sharing them.

Hugs!

janey said...

How lucky you were to have such true friends. I think I'm going to give Gertie some big hugs tonight. I'll tell her they're from RuPaw.

annie said...

What good memories to share! It's hard, losing a furry friend. I know you'll have some lonesome days, and I am sorry for that.

Lin said...

Linnie -- I am so so sorry ... I too had a cat, a stray, who make a place in our hearts and home ... who went with us on walks, came when she was called, sat, spoke and scared off the BIG GUYS even THINKING they'd come onto the property ... losing such a dear love is difficult ... and I know just the depth of feeling ... my heart aches for you, dear heart ... I am so sorry ..

Teri C said...

Okay, I'm crying here. This is such a wonderful and tender story of 'the best cat ever'

Hugs

Ann said...

I'm so sorry. It's never easy when we lose a furry member of our families. Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories of the best cat ever.

laureline said...

Oh, sweetie, I'm very sorry. It's so clear how much you loved him---what a glorious cat he was. Sending you many warm hugs.
Xoxo,
Laura

Kathleen Marie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet cat... some good memories--you will never forget.

Lisalou said...

Oh gosh..even if it is really really alright, my heart goes out to you. Your cat looks exactly like our "Little One". Glad I stopped by your blog today. Lisa

Tami said...

I am so sorry to hear about you losing RuPaw. What a touching story about him being the seeing eye cat for your dog. Sounds like it's going to be a kind of lonely gardening season with out him. My heart is with you...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is such a touching story. Your life has been mightly blessed by your precious pets. I know they will be sorely missed.

Lisa Purcell said...

That is a truly moving story and a great cat. I think we could look to animals to find out how we should treat each other when we need someone to help us out. They possess loyalty and fairness and really just need the basic stuff in life to be happy. They give so much and their loss is hard, real hard. I have had a recent loss myself and it really does tear out your heart. Your tribute is wonderful.

Marilyn said...

This is such a beatiful picture. It touches my soul. Sometimes, I think animals are more sensitive than people. You captured it all in this picture.

Κοκό said...

I'm so sorry! I've a similar black cat and a three-coloured one, Coco & Fufu, I brought them to Athens from a a small greek island, sad I haven't a garden for them!