My wife and I had twin boys once. Fur babies. They were kittens.
Twelve years ago my stepdaughter was in Missouri and called. “I’ve found a kitten. Can I keep him?”
Leanna, my daughter, named the kitten Foley after the town in which he was found. Straight away we changed his name to Midnight after his pure black coat. He and his brother Hook (who rescued himself just as we were leaving) rode with us all the way from Foley to Amarillo.
They were two peas in a pod those cats. The Boyd cats.
At first Midnight took to Leanna, who had rescued him, but when Leanna grew up and moved out, Midnight latched onto me. He became my cat by his choice. I didn’t have a say in the matter.
Once, while I was working, Midnight found a rubber-band. That kitten played with it until it became tightly wrapped around his tiny little paw. His foot badly swelled. Leanna discovered the problem. We thought he might lose his foot. He didn’t. For some reason two tiny patches of white hair grew on his paw after that. Lately he had a gray hair here and there.
Lively, persistent, loving. Always bugging me. Always purring. Always meowing in his own strange voice. Always getting in trouble. He was what you’d expect from a great cat. Just last night, sitting here at my computer desk he climbed up on the keyboard and settled into my arms. I’m half expecting him to show up now and do it again.
He couldn’t be ignored. He’d not allow it.
He communicated with me like no other animal. He would look me straight in the eye – deeply. I’d stare back and wink. Sometimes he’d wink back. He realized when I winked he was communicating directly with me. A human-cat language we had developed between us – something we shared together.
Midnight and Hook grew up as house cats, but when we installed a pet door we noticed they weren’t using the kitty litter anymore. They wandered to Lord knows where. Right over the fence. I think Midnight wandered less distance than Hook. It’s the wandering that did him in.
Now he’s gone.
A neighbor found him in the back alley near our fence, on our property. Apparently he’d been hit by a car. I drove him to the city pound and left him. Stiff but still warm.
Well, no sense in saying parting words for a cat, is there? It’s not manly to be attached to your pet. No sense in saying, “Hey buddy. I’m gonna miss ya.”
I did anyway and I wrote this eulogy.
My cat is gone – my wife and I are mourning.