Seventeen years ago, when I was living in Indianapolis, Indiana,
I discovered a stray cat sleeping now and then in an unused dog
house in my back yard. As time went on, I saw him more frequently,
and I began to set out some food. Occasionally, I’d come home
from work, and there he’d be out on the patio. At first, I’d let him
in, he’d casually walk around the room, and then head back out.
Slowly but surely, he became
a regular visitor. Eventually,
he’d come inside, eat, take
a nap on my couch, and then
go back out. Soon we became
a team. He seemed to always
know when I had just gotten
home, for he’d show up
within minutes. Other times,
if I didn’t see him right away,
I would soon hear him. There’d
be meowing coming from one
direction or another, and all
I had to do was meow back,
and he’d come running. There
were many times when I came
home, and he’d be at the patio
door, waiting patiently to come in. And if I’d just had a long hard day,
I’d lie on the floor, he’d sit sphinx-like on my chest, and we’d have
ourselves a little cat nap. Before long, I’d come home, let him in,
and he’d stay until the next morning, when I’d be awakened by his
meowing to be let out. As cats go, it was a match made in heaven.
When I moved to New York, he came with me. On the plane, in the cabin.
In fact, during the next several years, whenever I’d go back and forth
to Indianapolis, he went with me. He didn’t mind flying. I’m sure being
in that cramped carrier, “placed under the seat in front” of me per airline
regulations wasn’t the greatest, but he knew that I was right there. Several
times I took him out (unbeknownst to the flight attendants, of course),
and he quietly and calmly sat in my lap. He’d even look out the window.
Like I said, we were a team.
In any event, to make this long story short…the point of all this is that,
three years ago yesterday (July 28) my beloved pal, this magnificent cat
who had essentially adopted me, passed away. He’d never been sick a day
in his life, yet suddenly he became ill and was gone in no time.
It was devastating.
Since those early days in Indianapolis, he
had been my constant companion. He went
from being a mostly outdoor cat to being
a completely indoor one. He went with me
from one state to another, and from one
apartment to another and then another.
There was even that short time spent
in Jersey (what I refer to as my homeless
period). He was there as I navigated
the trials and tribulations of life in
the Big Bad City. Not to mention all
the ups and downs of pursuing an acting
career. He was there, too, when my parents
passed, first one, then the other. And the
loss of my beloved dog, Casey. In short,
for nearly 14 years he was the one constant in my life.
And so, this is in honor of my beloved pal.
You were the bestest cat I could ever hope for. My handsome fella.
My gift from God. You are dearly loved and dearly missed.
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