Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bye Minnie, Rest Well

Minnie, March 1998 - May 2008


I'm a cat person, always have been. My mother was a big cat person as well, so I come by it honestly. I could recount for you the number of cats that have been in my family, but that would take longer than the Democratic Primary process. Suffice to say I have had several really good cats over the course of my lifetime.

Most recently, I had Minnie. Minnie was a survivor. She came to live with me and my first wife ten years ago. When we went to the shelter, we picked her and a black kitten. We lost that first kitten shortly after we got her in a manner I'd rather not recall. But Minnie remained. Not long after we got her, she got out of our house (she was an indoor cat) and was gone for nearly three days. We searched high and low for her and finally found her in the neighborhood. Minnie was not yet "fixed" so we were sure to be having kittens soon enough, but she had managed to fend off potential "suitors."

Minnie always liked men better. She had the habit of coming up and sitting on my chest and nuzzling under my chin (it was even better for her if I had not shaved). Minnie was one of three cats in my home in Poughkeepsie. When my first wife and I split up, we didn't have children, but I took Minnie in the divorce. We decided that she would be happier with me so off she went with me to live with my parents and their two cats. (That's another story all together - moving back in with my parents in my 30s, but I'm not going there today.)

Minnie adapted to her new environs very quickly and, as the only "girl" she quickly put her two larger "brothers" in their places. She was the queen and made sure that everybody knew it. My parents were both retired and Minnie enjoyed having the everyday company and the backyard that she could go out to, which was fenced in and they had all decided there was no point in jumping the fence because the food was inside the yard.

When I moved to Washington, I left Minnie in "foster care" with my parents. She was very happy there and she would have constant companionship with her new "brothers" and my parents. I was sad about leaving her behind but it was the best solution.

My mother died in 2006 and last summer my father moved to a new place. Minnie and her remaining brother went to my father's new digs. Another fenced in yard and Minnie enjoyed her new spaces.

Last Friday, my father called to tell me that Minnie had gone missing on the previous Wednesday. My father had let her out and she did not come back. Somehow she had gotten out of the yard and gone exploring. My father was very upset as was I. He looked all around for her and put up some flyers trying to find her. On Sunday, someone did.

We don't know what happened to her, there are a number of scenarios that run through my mind, none of them are very pleasant. My father took her up to the vet on Monday morning but we opted to not go through with an autopsy. Whatever happened to her, she's at peace now, I'm sure sitting on my mother's lap purring away.

I saw her last in March, when I was up to visit with my father. I'll miss her a great deal as I do all of the cats that have crossed my path. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet that, once it's gone, will leave a void that does not quickly fill.

Sleep well Minnie.

5 comments:

C in DC said...

I'm sorry to hear about the demise of Minnie. Cats are special. You're welcome to come over and throw catnipped fuzzy balls for my boys anytime.

Lana Gramlich said...

My deepest, sincere sympathies. Pets of all kinds can be such wonderful friends. I still miss my cat-friend (wasn't my cat,) "Hooker" (long story behind the name, which I didn't choose,) who had to be put down years ago. He was one of the best people I ever knew. <:( *hugs*

J in PA said...

Very sorry to hear about Minnie. I think it's even harder to lose our furry friends at a distance. My rabbit of nine years passed away while I was studying abroad. Always felt sad that I missed those last seven months of his life. My condolences, BA.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this and I feel so sad for you. Losing a beloved pet is a really difficult thing. But what a lovely tribute. She sounds like a great cat.

Ellen said...

Oops, didn't mean to make the previous post anonymous. Sorry.