We're just back from setting my kitty free from the body that had started to fail him, and I'm utterly heartbroken.
But I want to make sure that I make note of some of the things that made me love him so very, VERY much.
I had him since he was an itty-bitty kitty -- which didn't last long. We realized fairly early on that he was going to be a big cat. Like, 15 or 16 pounds big. I forget that most cats aren't that big. There are so many little things about him that I'm going to miss, so allow me to just ramble on about them, as they pop into my head.
That cat is quite the conversationalist. You say "mrah", and he's likely to say it back. Not "mew" or "meow". "Mrah." Lately (like, within the past year or so), as I'm cooking dinner, he'll come into the kitchen and just start talking. And it doesn't seem like a request for food (his dinnertime is a bit later than ours). No, this is just "let me tell you about everything I've thought about today." It's not one-sided, either.
Me: Why do you say that?
Me: Really. Tell me more.
Me: If I scratch your sides, would that make it better?
And so on. He had quite a range of words that I can't quite decide how to write, but we could have a good 5 minute conversation.
The kitty likes him some ice cream. You'd walk in with an ice cream cone, and he'd just *know*. You'd sit on the couch to eat it, and he's suddenly on the coffee table in front of you, waiting somewhat impatiently for his bite. After giving you at least 3 or 4 seconds to come forth with his portion, he'd just reach out a paw and pull your hand over to him. After all, if you can't be bothered, then he'll just have to take matters into his own paws.
When he was still a pretty small kitty, he would sometimes hop up on the coffee table and drink water from one of the highball glasses we had for ourselves. When his head got too big to fit into the glass, he started dipping his paw in, which is where we had to draw the line. We got him his own cup. I don't remember where it came from, but we had a little "Marvin the Martian" cup that became his to dip his paw in, all he wanted. The funny thing was, apparently a paw needs to be primed. He'd dip it in, then shake it off, then from the 2nd dip onward, it was just paw to mouth.
We'd come in from the garage, and most of the time, he'd stumble out from wherever he'd been napping, to greet you. Usually with a "mrah." Sometimes, he didn't come to you, which is a teeny bit worrying, so you'd go seek him out. On his bed (the guest bed)? No. On his chair (a rocker I got from my Nana, which I gave over to him)? No. Most likely in our closet, then, lying behind the laundry hamper (and once we saw that he liked that spot, we made sure to always leave room there). Or maybe lying on our bed, looking at us, as if to say, "Oh. Hey. 'sup?"
In his healthier days, before he started to lose his balance, he'd sometimes come up once I was in bed, and lie on my chest. Which is fine, as long as his weight is spread out across a broad surface. But when he's just standing there, deciding whether to stay or go? Oof. I did mention that was 15 pounds, yes?
How many times did I leave a box or random piece of cardboard lying around my house for weeks, simply because the kitty liked it? Plenty. Whatever my Oreo Mister wants, he gets.
On the other hand, trying to offer him something he might like, which was purchased *for* him? He'll have none of it. At the Ren Faire once, I talked the somewhat confused merchant into selling me the little leather pricetag for $20, and throwing in the goatskin for free. See, that way, I wasn't buying Oreo a goatskin to scratch on, it was a freebie.
Every so often, I'd step out from my shower, and he'd be waiting there. I'd dry my ears with a Q-tip, then clean his ears with a Q-tip (a clean one one). For some reason, his left ear always seemed diriter than his right. Dunno why. But he'd lean into it, and when we were done, he'd head back to wherever he had been napping before.
At night, very often, he'd hop up on our bed (done with a stepstool, since it's a very tall bed), and lie down with us briefly while we went to sleep. Before I met Dejo, Oreo would often lay right next to my head, sortof leaning against the edge of my pillow, sometimes resting his head on my cheek. Oh, how I loved those moments. It occurred to me that he hadn't really done that since we moved in with Dejo. When I went to buy a new pillow, I tried a little something. My old bed had been a queen, and our current one is a king. I bought a standard-sized pillow instead of King, and sure enough, within a couple of nights, I had a kitty face on my cheek again. The King pillow just took up too much of his space.
The way he'd curl up, and sometimes end up kindof wrapping his front paws around his back leg, so his back foot stuck out.
Cutest. Kitty. Ever.
In his younger days, he loved it when I changed the sheets on the bed. I don't know why, but having a clean new fitted sheet on the bed was the greatest thing ever. He'd dart from one side of the bed to the other, crouched down as if he were a great jungle hunter. Which of course, he was.
At Casa Dejo, we'd sometimes hear this cry (not a "mrah" -- something longer and slightly whinier), and would find him at the bottom of the stairs. We soon discovered that he just wanted to go "exploring" in the basement sometimes. I think he was putting in a perfunctory mouse watch.
Oh, those green eyes. A green similar to Pantone 366 C or 367 C. Just gorgeous. Against the black fur of his face and the white on his nose, it was just beautiful.
I'm really going to miss him. Painfully.