Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Will be missed for a long while

Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

We said goodbye to Stimpy a week ago today. We miss him. I keep noticing the moments when I expect something* and then realize that the something won't be there.

The Ex and I got him from the MSPCA in the fall of 1992. I think they said they found him in Downtown Crossing, back when I didn't know where Downtown Crossing was. We couldn't imagine why anybody would have abandoned such an awesome kitty cat, but he was so friendly and socialable that it seemed improbable for him to have been a feral stray. They didn't know how old he was, but he seemed about the same as our other cat, Pix, who was adopted from neighbors, whose birthday was supposedly March 17th, so we just pretended they had the same birthday. The Ex was a big fan of the Ren and Stimpy show by John Kricfalusi and thus bequeathed him with the name of the lead kitty character.

[Baloo arrived the following year, adopted from an intern at work. When the Ex and I split up, I kept "the kids." Pix passed away in 2003. We had to say goodbye to Baloo in January 2007.]

Stimpy was the first and only cat I've ever had who would get under the covers in bed with you. He would also suck on your shirt when he did the kneading paws thing, which was cute, but kind of gross what with the waking up in the morning with a bunch of wet cat-spit spots all over your shirt. He outgrew the kneading and sucking, but not the under-cover snuggling. And over-cover snuggling.

He also liked to climb up onto your shoulder, and in recent years, to lick your head. He came down to meet you when you got home from work or from a trip. ("Mreow!" = "Where WERE you guys?! I missed you, and hey, FEED ME!") The SOOTTAD would tell me that she knew when I was almost home because he'd perk up just before she'd hear the car pull up. He'd cry if you didn't let him into the bathroom when you were in the shower. He was kind of an affection slut, which we found endearing.

Early on, Stimpy was diagnosed with a heart condition which required daily medication which came in pill form: 1/4 pill, 3 times a day and a low dosage aspirin every other day. Annual echocardiograms. Several years later, the vet told me that the condition had stablized and I could stop pilling him, which was much appreciated by both the piller and pillee. He had told us he'd probably have a shortened lifespan, but he ended up out-living the other two kitties.

He didn't take the loss of his buddy well. It seemed like he'd wander around the house crying, trying to figure out where he was. Moving didn't help. He learned the new space alright, but sometimes he'd cry and it seemed like he couldn't remember where people were. And in the last year or so, he'd actually started to show his age. A big belly turned out to be a cystic liver (but still getting the job done), kidney function starting to deteriorate, lost agility, strength. But always affectionate, happy to see you, happy for attention. And for treats -- we kind of spoiled him after we moved.

The SOOTTAD and I said goodbye to our little buddy last Tuesday morning, December 23, 2008, two days before Christmas. He was almost 17, and he was a good kitty.

* the something isn't him, but something ... about him, associated with him. It's the parts that the subconscious mind hasn't adjusted to.

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