Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Fond farewell to a grand Old Man

We once fed a Siamese cat we called Ring Tail when we lived on Jackson Road.  I have always loved Siamese cats from when I first saw the movie "Bell Book and Candle".  I say we fed him because we definitely did not own him.  When we approached him he would snarl and growl, hiss and spit.  So I would set the plate down in from of him and talk softly, encouraging him to be friends.  But no go.  He continued to snarl, though the hissing and spitting seemed to recede in both frequency and intensity. There were not many cats around at that time because of the frequent sacrifices to the Highway gods.  I worried about him, but couldn't control his goings and comings.  I couldn't get close enough to him to be much of anything but his food provider.  One day as I sat by the Koi pond having a cup of coffee he jumped into my lap and I wondered what would kill me first, the heart attack or him.  But he was purring loudly and rubbed his head on my face as though to claim me, so I relaxed.  I hesitantly stroked his ears and then his head as he settled down in my lap. Mac looked as though he may go into shock, so I reassured him that it was fine. I couldn't tell you what brought about this change, for I simply did not know.  After about a year of his being mine (or me being his) he disappeared as mysteriously as he had shown up.  I was crushed.
  
He was wild and beautiful and he had a part ownership of my heart from the first second I saw him.  Mac had spotted the Siamese kitten a week or so before I laid eyes on him.  It was a few weeks after Ring Tail had left, in late June of 1993.  He seemed to be about 6 weeks old and we had no idea where he had come from, either.  Our only outdoor cat, Jane Wayne, had never had a litter, but seemed to be taking care of him.  Gizmo, our little Moggie who lived inside, would entice him to the front door and play games with him through the storm door.  I knew that I would eventually capture him and I named him Pyewackit.  I would set out special little delicacies to get him on the porch then wait quietly for his approach.  Mama had taught me the secret to taming a feral kitten.  Simply get him wrapped in a soft blanket and carry him for hours.  Don't let those little claws out to do the damage his instincts tell him he can do.  One morning as he came up to snatch the piece of chicken I had left on his saucer, I threw the flannel plaid over him and scooped him up into my arms.  He fought like hell but I held on.  I was still walking around with him clutched to my chest when Mac got home from work. "What are you doing," he asked (shocked, that's what he was)"that kitten will do you an injury."  "We're bonding," I said calmly. "The time for injury was over about three hours ago."  I explained how I had taken him into the bathroom for litter pan use, closing the door behind me, then after he had completed his toilet, had quickly wrapped him in the flannel (which now had a few holes in the weave) and we had been walking and rocking since.  That night, I released him to his own devices and Gizmo took over from there.  The next morning, he crawled into my side of the bed and lay purring next to me till I got up for coffee.  That was twenty years ago.  Twenty years of playing and bossing, twenty years of devotion and love.  He was pal Jacqui's (Evil Sister to my readers) "Boyfriend", Grand Daughter Arianna's "Uncle Pye" and a fur son to me. He loved boiled peanuts so much that Mac said we should have named him Goober.  But he also had a love for shrimp, and at his size we could hardly call him that. We noticed a few weeks ago that he had really stopped eating.  We tempted him with all his favorites, I boiled up a pot of goobers and when that didn't work boiled him some shrimp.  Nothing helped.  The vet said consider his age.  I did.  I was not ready to let him go so we came home to await the inevitable. On Friday night, we noticed he had not moved for a long while.  Then Saturday dawned rainy and rumbly, and I held him in my lap, stroking him and talking to him.  Mac and I discussed our options and we decided that if he were still with us on Monday morning a trip to the vets for the final ride was in order.  He did not seem to be in pain, he was not vocal at all, but I couldn't bear to watch him just lying there.  Mac had already dug the spot out back where he would rest and I had faced the truth of it. Late Sunday afternoon I was holding him and he took a long deep breath and was gone.  I lay him back in his bed and went to find Mac.  He knew from the tears pouring down my face what the news was.  I wrapped him in his flannel for the last time and we carried him outside.  I talked to him the entire time, telling him again how much we had loved him. How honored I was to be holding him at the end.  On June 23rd we said farewell to a grand old man.  The house seems odd without him, empty in some way, but when I lay down at night it seems that I can feel him pressed close to me, purring.

13 comments:

bj said...

What a beautiful cat...
thanks for stopping by...always so good to see you. Gosh, we've been blogging together a long time..:))

Finding Pam said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful cat, Ring Tail. It still hurts as much now as it did when we were children to loose a beloved pet.

We lost one of our beloved cats last Spring. He was a black cat and had a big personality. He was always at my side when I ate breakfast, worked on the computer, followed me everywhere. We have two other cats, but they don't have the same personality our Bruno did.

I fully expect to see all of my pets one day at the Rainbow Bridge.

Pondside said...

He was a beautiful fellow. I can imagine how much you will both miss him.

Vee said...

Pyewackit? Oh no. It doesn't seem possible. So very glad that you didn't have to take that trip to the vet...that he went quietly in your arms. Sending a gentle hug because I can't see to type anymore.

Hilary said...

Oh Sandi, I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how very much it hurts to lose one of our furry darlings. He surely chose you from the beginning and again at his passing. Hugs to you. And thank you for giving him and all your sweeties so much love.

Love Bears All Things said...

Thanks for visiting me, I say with tears in my eyes for Pye....it is amazing the love we have for our fur babies. Smokey is in his window seat beside me and there is a Squirrel on the ledge outside, ignoring him. Funny. Enjoy those peas, I'm afraid the critters are eating ours before we can.
Mama Bear

Sally said...

Oh, I can feel your pain, Sandi. I'm so sorry. You write so beautifully, and I'm glad we're friends to share things with.

Take care.

xoxo

Jules~ said...

Hi Sandi. My goodness I am so very sorry. I am crying with you as I read about your handsome Pyewackit. May comfort and peace fill your home.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

So sorry for your loss, Sandi. He was most beautiful!

PS I tried leaving you a comment here yesterday and it disappeared into thin air. So I'm trying again.

ancient one said...

So sorry...

Donna said...

My eyes are full of tears...we lost our KiKi the same way...she was 18. Sending BIG hugs and love...
hughugs

Mockingbird Hill said...

Oh Sandi...so very sorry to read this news! Even though Pye is gone, you were blessed that he chose you and Mac to share his life and that he chose to be with you when he left.

Take care...Cassie

Brian Miller said...

oh i am sorry for your loss...we lost our 12-13 year old cat in december....she had been through much with us...and was our first child....i am glad though that for a time you had that love in your family...smiles.