We lost our cat Weasley a couple days ago. On my wife’s birthday of all days. Now, I am a card carrying dog person. I tend to be put off by most cats I’ve encountered. Their finicky, my-way-or-the-highway views on life don’t jibe with my expectation of a pet. But Weasley was a great cat, by far the best I’ve ever known. And I do mean “known”, because he taught me you have to get to know a cat. Dogs just kind of adapt themselves to you. I learned its a more complicated deal with a cat. Over time, we learned how to get along with each other and we had definitely become friends. When it was time to wake up, at least in his opinion, he’d jump up on one of our bedside tables and start knocking things off. At night, he’d lay right next to Libby’s head and purr so loudly it would wake us up. And not just a regular purr. He purred like an old man who’d smoked way too many cigarettes. He was the only cat I’ve ever known who was OK with getting his paws touched. He’d lay on his back on our slick hardwood floor and you could slide him across the floor like a shuffleboard puck. We’d always have to leave our front door dead-bolted because he learned how to jump up and open it from the outside, thereby letting the dogs out. We’d be sitting in the living room watching TV when the door would open and he’d casually stroll in like he’d just had a long day at the office. He could catch birds and shrews like nobody’s business, but he never once brought one inside. They’d just be on our front porch like some kind of gruesome newspaper delivery.
That cat could jump 4 feet up onto a snow covered railing 30′ above the ground and be fine. He could jump straight up from our washing machine to the top of a cabinet 5′ overhead. He could outrun our golden retriever, and catch a shrew whenever he felt like it. How he couldn’t avoid that car is beyond me. I was inspired by the grace of our neighbor whose car he ran under. She and her son went door to door looking for the owner, not wanting him to just lay there. Thank you for that. He went quickly and looked like he was just sleeping there by the road.
I hope it’s a long time before I have to tell Libby something like that again. She got Weasley when he was a tiny, sick kitten. She nursed him back to health and the two of them always had a special bond. Maybe the news didn’t actually break her heart, but it cracked it pretty hard, and that makes my heart ache. We wrapped him in one of his favorite towels and buried him in our backyard.
Garrison Keillor said it better than I can. Click on the “Listen (MP3)” link at the top of this:
We were friends and I’ll miss him.
Weasley trying hard to maintain his dignity….
As a kitten…