The first cat i ever owned was put to rest today. Tucker was picked up from a farmhouse in the Naples area of New York in the summer of 1993. My girlfriend at the time picked him out. It was a spur of the moment type of a pet acquisition. I had never had a cat before – and honestly didn’t think that i liked cats. Tucker stayed with me through May of 1995 (which I can’t say about a few girlfriends) when i left for New Mexico for a summer job. My parents looked after him for the next year while i was in Sitka. Then when i moved permanently to Alaska Tucker was more a part of my parent’s life than mine. But Tucker was the first cat – there have been more…
In Sitka i had Mister for a very short time. He died of FIV after having him for a few months. He was from the animal shelter and it was believed that he was born with it since he never had the urge to be outside. He would sit on the window sill and watch for me to come around the corner – and meowed visibly when he saw me. He was a lazy cat. He sat around like Jabba the Hutt. He would actually lie next to his food dish and reach in, fish one piece out, and then eat it off the edge of the dish or the floor. The only time he seemed active at all was when anyone was trying to sleep. For some reason he would attack the door frames – jumping as high as he could and grabbing either side of the doorway. It was sad to have him put to sleep after having him for so short of a time.
As a replacement for Mister, Comet was chosen from a litter of two. Yes – two. I’m not sure, but i think Comet and his sibling may have eaten the other siblings in the womb. He was big. Long thick fur. And very feisty. He had no interest in staying inside though. He would go out the window into a planter box and jump four feet onto the landing. And he was just a few weeks old. I think Comet was largely Norwegian Forest Cat judging by his fur, physique, and markings. He was remarkably adaptive. He lived on a floathhouse, in the back of my truck, and in seven different houses. He tolerated dogs. He was fearless. When i would get home from work he would take a little nap on my chest. At night he would get on the bed when he heard the sound of teeth being brushed. And he was almost always the last pot of bed. He was fast. He killed a few hummingbirds in his day. He also was adept at snagging lunchmeat, taking off and growling if you got near to take it away. His body was found a week and a half after he disappeared. A pair of German Shepards live between my house and where he was found.
Oliver is still with me. He survived the German Sheppard incident by spending a few days in a tree. I put on tree climbing spikes, climbed 40 feet up to him, stuffed him into a day pack, and started climbing down only to have him force the zipper opened and cling to a branch. I ended up dropping him thirty feet. Four years later we are friends again though.
Ollie was also from the animal shelter. Most of his tail is missing and it feels like it was shut in a door. He has the softest fur and does an incredible job of keeping it clean. He is more of the typical cat – the kind like my dad describes as “not having an owner – but rather a staff“. He – like all cats – is quirky. He is aloof unless there are shadows, reflections, laser pointers… anything creating visual objects without a tangible target will get him excited. He also likes to lick the water drops off of people’s ankles immediately after a shower.
The most recent cat is Yeti. His front paws have so many extra toes that he seems to have a large thumb. He is very affectionate and vocal. He terrorizes Oliver. If Yeti had a superpower i think it would be stepping on the heads of sleeping people.
I should do a few stories of other pets – the rats, the duck, the birds, frog, or any of the other small creatures. Oh yeah – we had a dog for my entire childhood too! (Just kidding Shevy – i didn’t forget about you at all.)
- Posted in: Zieak