Monday, November 2, 2009
R.I.P. Beauregard, aka Best Kitty Ever.
Once upon a time, about 17 years ago, two small kittens weaseled their furry way into my heart. Emily and Beauregard came home with me from a local pet store's free adoption day. They quickly took over almost the entire apartment, including the rooms we didn't really want them to go in. Such is the way of adorable kittens. They act all adorable so you can't possibly be mad at them, even when they're throwing up on the rug, or in your shoes.
A few months after they came home, I lost the job I was working at at the time. This, of course, meant I couldn't do the spaying/neutering thing right away, and we wound up with two litters of kittens. The first was a set of three, two of whom moved to lovely homes with friends (one became a Natasha, and the other a Tigger), while the third stayed here as my brother's cat. He couldn't come up with a name for her, so we wound up calling her Poofie until he came up with a name (which was Leia, and by that time, she was pretty used to Poofie, so Poofie it still is). Somehow, when my brother moved to Florida, Poofie managed to stay behind, though. The next set had three originally, but one died a few weeks later, poor little thing. The other two went to live with my mom, and were called Butterscotch and Hopscotch. Anyway, I had a new job by this point, and as soon as I was able I got them both fixed. No more kittens for us!
After that, Emily, my little multi-colored tabby, was known as Mama. Beaureagard, meanwhile, due to his doofy, dog-like nature, was called Bo. A big old classic orange tabby, Bo is possibly the second sweetest cat I ever knew, without being needy. He'd run up to anybody, flicking his tail back and forth, greeting friends and strangers alike. Everybody loved Bo kitty. He'd just kind of hang out, often wandering under the dining room table, petting himself on whatever feet were available. Like I said, not needy. Give him your foot, he'd do all the work. Not the smartest cat in the world, but one of the friendliest.
He loved to be outdoors. We have a decent-sized yard, but the best feature of it is the strip of woods that it backs up to. Directly behind the house is our driveway, and on the other side of it, the woodsy part goes kind of straight up-ish; beyond that is the highway and the off ramp. We like to walk up there sometimes and sit on the rocks looking out over the highway and the rest of the mountain on the other side. One day we were sitting up there and all of a sudden we hear a little "meow". He'd been outside wandering around, and found us hanging out up there. After that, he'd always come sit with us whenever we climbed up there. Even when he was just sitting in the yard, he was happy. I'd look out the kitchen window sometimes and see him sitting out there, little round orange face turned up to the sun, eyes mostly closed, just breathing the air.
Funny, though, that even though he loved to be outside, he never really chased any animals. Oh, a few times he brought us some baby moles, or a baby bird or bunny. He only went after the babies. He was nearly as lazy as I am. He was terrified of the blue jays, and they knew. They'd start yelling at him form their perches up in the trees, and he'd come running for the door. Once, we were sitting out in the backyard on one of those glider chair things, and he was sleeping on the picnic table. A couple of squirrels came wandering into the yard, as we were sitting pretty quietly. He saw them and kind of hung over the edge of the table a little, but they knew him, apparently. They ran all around that table, up underneath it and everything, and he just laid there dozing off in the sun. Oh, man, we taunted him mercilessly for that one. Not that he minded. You know, what with the not speaking English, and all. He'd just look at us with that adorable, goofy face of his, waiting for the pettings. Then we'd feel bad for laughing at him. Not bad enough to stop laughing, though.
In recent years, he started sleeping in the classic full-on "Garfield faceplant" formation, catloaf-style, but with his face flat on whatever surface he was on. The first couple of times we saw him do it, we laughed so hard we woke him up and startled him right out of it. It always made me nervous he couldn't breathe, although he didn't have any problems breathing. Or snoring. First snoring cat I ever had, I think.
I lost my special little guy today. He got real old, all of a sudden, over the last few weeks, and today he laid down for a nap he didn't wake up from. Mama seems pretty upset. Poofie, as with all things, couldn't care less. Tim and I are kind of a mess. We'll all get past it, of course, but boy, are we gonna miss our big old doofy dogcat.