Sunday, March 8, 2009

In Memoriam - Beloved Cats of the Past

I wanted to wait an appropriate amount of time before entering B.J. Honeycat into the Memorial, which is the list of beloved cats who are no longer with us.

B. J. Honeycat

BJ was a cool cat. I wanted him to be mine, but he really became Spouse's. Unless he was feeling poorly. Then he came to me.

His life began poorly. First he was with a family of four, but the little boy turned out to be allergic to cat dandruff, so he went to my brother and sister-in-law. They had a hobby farm. In fact, that was where Spouse and I boarded our horses. It wasn't working out well. The other cats picked on BJ, and as a result BJ was in a constant state of terror.

I can still remember the day I walked into their kitchen from outside. Spouse's brother was preparing himself some kind of snack. He opened a cupboard door (it was an old house and the cupboards were up high). There, hiding on a shelf, was BJ. The brother cried out in anger, grabbed BJ by his scruff, and threw him down to the floor. BJ splayed out flat and then raced back up into the cupboard. Brother repeated his act and BJ repeated his. Up to this point I was too shocked to move. But when BJ hit the floor the third time I quickly bent down and grabbed him. I carried him to a closet which ran under the stairwell and set him down in the dark. Then I left and drove home right off.

Spouse was there. I explained what had just taken place. We went to our landlord (we were renting half a house) and he agreed we could have a cat - providing we gave him extra security deposit. We wrote a check out right then. Then we both returned to the hobby farm where we suggested we could take BJ. It was agreed, and we took him and came home.

I remember I was holding him as we entered our place. BJ was shivering. Moved again. We weren't in the house more than a minute and BJ began to purr. I knew why. There was no scent of other cats. The apartment was small. Just a living room with a tiny, tiny kitchen attached, and a door to a bedroom with a tiny bathroom attached. The in-laws sent us home with a litter box and some food and we showed BJ where those would be. Then I let him wander. He wouldn't stop purring.

He went from a thing of skin and bones to a hearty animal. In fact, he actually got a bit big. He topped out at sixteen pounds. I know cats get heavier, but that was plenty heavy for him.

When we got Baby Boy he pretended to hate him. But when he thought we weren't looking he would actually play with the kitten. Then he'd see us and whop the little cat and stalk away. Eventually they became good buddies.

BJ always remained shy. Should company stop by he would hide. Even when Son was born BJ didn't come around much. He became annoyed that we didn't give him the attention we once had. Baby Boy had figured out how to get around that. He learned that wherever the baby was, if he was nearby, he would get affection. BJ never figured that out.

The day came when we noticed the litter box was always wet. Always. We brought both cats to the vet. BJ was the cause. He had diabetes. We weren't exactly poor then, but money was tight. And to treat BJ was going to cost a lot of money. More than we could afford every month. So the decision was made to put him down. He was Spouse's cat, but he sat with me that day. He always sat with me when he wasn't feeling well. I cried and told him what we had decided to do. He looked at me and rubbed his face against mine. Then he purred. That was my last moment with B.J. Honeycat.
NOTE: You know, I wrote that BJ never figured out about the baby. And yet look at the first picture. That is Son laying beside BJ. But I think BJ didn't know we were watching. BJ didn't want to let on that he liked anything.


Lisa said...

Bless you're heart for taking BJ in!
Oh distressing that mean brother kept tossing poor BJ to the floor.

Bevie said...

Brother-in-law's problem is he tends to think in terms of dollars and cents instead of living creatures.

To him, animals are property. Not so with me.

Spy Scribbler said...

Oh man. This just absolutely breaks my heart. I want to say I couldn't cope, but I would have no choice, would I?

What a wonderful cat!

Lisa said...

Shame, too many people think like your brother!
World would be better place with people who love and respect animals!

Is that BJ's tail laying across son's leg? That is too cute.

Your memories link has motivated me to post a blog about my Leiby kitty!
I think I'll add a side bar link too!
Granted, not many people will be interested, but it makes me feel better to remember him.

Bevie said...

Thanks, SpyScribbler. Thanks, Lisa.

Spouse is showing Son (using Firestar as a model) of how BJ used come and put his front legs around our necks and actually give us hugs. I had forgotten that.

BJ was so wonderful.

Oh, it was Spouse's brother. Mine isn't keen on cats - until they come to live with him. Then he cries when they have to be put down.

Lisa, do put Leiby Kitty on your blog. And if you would like, Leiby Kitty is more than welcome to be part of Cat in the Buff's In Memoriam. People who like cats will be interested.

Lisa said...

Hi Bevie and Firestar,
I would like very much to see Leiby to be included in the Memoriam.

So many just don't appreciate how much the little furry darlings enrich our lives. They are a treasure!
MY sister Diann found a saying that said Until you've loved a part, a part of your soul remains unawakened. (Diann is quite the artist!)

here is the blog link for my leiby kitty.

Bevie said...

That was beautiful, Lisa.

I hope you don't mind if I wait a few days before adding Leiby Kitty here. I like to give each kitty their own time in the sun.

Each time we remember them, part of them returns to us. I believe this.

Lisa said...

Of course I don't mind. Actually I thought that you were planning on adding a link on the side along with others, so that's really sweet of you to include Leiby on your page.
I can do the same and include BJ on my blog! (Naturally giving Leiby a few days up there.)

Music to Make the Cats go Wild

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Tara - Nick name 'ity-bit' because she's so tiny - just over 6 pounds. She's the most skittish of all my babies and even when being petted has the 'pet me, no don't pet me' look

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Amelia - Nickname 'Bratelia' since she gets into every draw, cabinet that she can put her paws in.

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“She’s got tuna. I know she’s got tuna.”

“Shut up, Sethra. Stay on mission.”

“What’s the mission? I thought the mission was to get tuna.”

“No, you stupid fluffbrain—it’s to escape and become outdoor cats, walking by ourselves, on our wild lone, waving our tails.”

“Oh, yeah? And isn’t it you, my dear stripy sister Aliera, who keeps pushing the FEED button on the printer and waiting for tuna to come out?”

“That was when I was much younger. Anyway, she’s at the computer—yes, eating tuna casserole—so we can go into the bedroom and see if we can knock the window screen out.”
“You do it, Aliera. I’d rather mess with her stuff.”

“Will you GET OVER that fixation on her wristwatch?”

“I like the feel of the Velcro on my paws. Hey! That reminds me. We’ve been declawed. How are we going to survive as outdoor cats?”

“New plan coming up….”

“What’s the big deal about being outside cats? Even StalkerCat, who used to hang around and chat us up, is a house cat now and loving it. We’ve got it made—food, petting, toys, valet service for the litter box, and we get to sleep on her bed twenty hours a day. And we can stick our noses up to the window and smell anything interesting going on outside. Why ruin a perfect situation?”

“Sethra, have you no sense of adventure? No curiosity? No cattitude? We were meant to live wild and free, to stalk and slay our prey, to be mistresses of the night!”

“Look, we’re cats. We were meant to rule the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to WORK at it. You can if you want, but I don’t need to. After all, I’M beautiful!

“Did I mention she’s got tuna?”

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Kitten Close-Up.

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At 8, you'd think Mikey would understand that he's a carnivore. But, no, he's rather fond of the shrubbery! At 20+ pounds, the veggie-enhanced diet is likely mitigated by a love for long naps on a warm comforter, wet cat food, begging at the table, and a nice lap to drape himself upon in the evening. And he drools when he's happy, which may or may not mean there's a Siamese ancestor lurking in the old dna.

What? Green teeth attract mice!

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Who needs a wickerwork basket when you can hop on a cushion and bask?

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Firestar is a tough cat. He has to be, living in Minnesota. He takes care of his family: wife, husband and their son. This was recently proven by his daring capture of yet another mouse in the house. Foolish rodents. They never learn. When not engaged in derring do, Firestar naps, looks out the window and sleeps. Firestar was born in April of 2006.