Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ode to the Hater, Two Years Later

In the two years since I wrote this, nothing has occurred to cause me to rethink my preference for quadrupeds over bipeds.  In fact, most of what has occurred in the interim has simply ratified the correctness of my position...

...although I am pleased to report that in the two years since his other half died, Dempsey has continued to thrive.  Rosie has also.  Occasionally, when the weather permits it, Dempsey will spend his day lounging in the back yard.  Invariably, he spends a bit of time napping in or near the spot where Boo is buried - as if he is checking in with her to ensure her that he is OK but also letting her know that he has not forgotten her.  


Little Creature. Big Hole.

A bit of sad business crept inside the four walls of our little home yesterday.  One of our two cats, Boo, died.  As far as Margaret and I were able to tell, the little monster we affectionately referred to as "Six Pounds of Hate" because her beautifully-expressive face always made her appear as if she was mad as hell, simply had a heart attack or some such event.  

She was alive and well when Margaret and I went to bed Thursday night at a bit after 10:00 PM - and was in fact in her customary place flopping all over Rosie in Rosie's bed on the floor immediately adjacent to my side of the bed. However, when I walked through the hallway on my way to take a shower at 3:30 AM yesterday morning, I saw her motionless on the floor.  She was gone. 

Boo is/was one half of a great story.  She and her brother, Dempsey, were introduced into our home as newborn kittens, having been found in a box on the side of a road by Margaret's former husband, Bob, as he was on his way to perform electrical work at a customer's home.  Boo and Dempsey were so tiny that their eyes were barely open.  They knew not how to do anything for themselves and they had been taken from their mother at such an early age that she had not yet had the opportunity to teach them what they needed to know.  It fell therefore to Margaret and to Rob to take care of them.  And take care of them they did.  For the first several weeks of their lives, Margaret and Rob fed them them and, essentially, mothered them.  That was October, 2001. 

Over the course of the past thirteen and one-half years, Boo became what pets become, which was an integral part of the fabric of our life.  Her brother, Dempsey, is the single-most, un-catlike cat I have ever encountered in that he is incredibly people-friendly and at times almost desperate in his need for affection.  Boo?  She spent her life interacting with us humans who shared space with her on her terms.  Her physical frame was small - Dempsey is close to twice her size - but her spirit was big. 

I far prefer the company of animals to the company of human beings.  Nary a day goes by during which - on at least one occasion - I do not have to suppress my "I Want to Punch That M*ther F*cker in the Larynx" reflex while interacting with other humans.  I have never had to do so  - not once - with any of the animals with whom I have been fortunate enough to share space.  

I know not what will happen to Dempsey now - although I am worried about him.  He and his sister spent the past thirteen and one-half years essentially intertwined.  Now, she is gone.  I know not whether his little feline brain can actually process "loss" and whether he understands to any degree whatsoever what has happened.  

I worry about Rosie too.  She has lived in the company of cats her entire life.  This photograph from May 2008, when Rosie was less than one year old, features Boo, Dempsey and Rosie as they often are/were:  together.  It is among my favorites - admittedly in large part due to the fact that each one's eyes are drawn to something completely different.

Boo kept those of us of the bi-ped persuasion at arm's length.  Yet, she had a soft spot in her little heart for Rosie.  They slept together at night and Boo made sure to spend a portion of her day, every day, nuzzling with her hairy, canine half-sister.  On one particular occasion, she allowed Rosie to return the favor of using her as a pillow.


The great, sagacious Dr. Seuss instructed us, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."  It certainly did.

Every day for the past thirteen and one-half years.    


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