With National Pet Memorial Day being on Sunday, I wanted to recognize my kitty brofurs that came before me. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to meet them, I feel like I kind of know them through my mom, ‘cause she talks about them from time to time. I know that each made her very, very happy and gave her so much love. To this day she still has photos of them on her dresser and wall; their pictures fill scrapbooks that she keeps in the cupboard of her bedside table. Mom says Sebastian, Maximillian, and Tiberius will always have a special place in her heart and she can’t imagine what her life growing up would have been without them. When the bells rang on their final days, she knew it meant each was getting his wings even though they had been her angels all along. Each was her precious.
Remembering Kitties from the Past
The first kitty Mom could call her very own was gifted to her for her thirteenth birthday by Grandma. He was an 8-week-old that Mom named Sebastian. A Seal point Siamese, he was creamy all over with a light brown tail, paws and ears, which along with his face slowly turned into a rich, dark chocolate as the years went by. If you looked closely you could see faint stripes at his tail. Thinking of the masked visitors with striped tails that appear at my back fence I had to ask, “Was he part raccoon?!” “No,” chuckles Mom. Mom loved Sebastian’s bright, blue eyes that reminded her of the Colorado sky. Puzzled, I asked, “Like what?” “The color of your water bowl,” she pointed out. “Aww… pretty,” I gave her a silent mew. Mom explained that Sebastian was the runt of the litter and came to her sucking his tail, his pacifier, which he did also as an adult; the habit made the fur discolor a bit to a sort of reddish brown. “That’s silly!” I kitty giggled. He would stretch out in slumber within the folds of her robe at her lap while she did her homework. “Ooh, now that sounds comfy!” I gave Mom another silent mew, eyeing her robe.
Mom had many nicknames for her Siamese kitty – “Sebab” and “Babble Booby” were her favorites. Sebab always loved nestling up next to Mom’s cheek and cozying up on her belly to receive pets. He loved climbing the big, poplar trees in the yard and was always scheming to take down the family’s blue parakeet, Yoyo, in the bamboo cage. (He finally succeeded one morning!) “Mom, I would like a Budgie birdie, too?” my eyes widened with the possibility! “No birds,” she responded, though I heard uncertainty in her voice that tells me there is room for debate on the matter. Sebastian was quite the hunter, one day dragging a dead bunny through the yard that was bigger than him! He also cleared out many o’ mousies at the family’s country house kitchen. “I would love to be a country kitty and have a field mousie feast,” I fantasized, picturing little skewered beasties on a spicket turning golden brown over an open fire. “I’m sure you would,” Mom said shaking her head.
Mom has fond memories of Sebastian resting on his tummy inside her Barbie doll van as it wheeled down the hallway, and of him letting her dress him in baby clothes. “Wow, he was a very patient pussy cat, wasn’t he Mom?!” “He loved the attention,” she smiled. She added that it brought her joy when he would step on his blue owl toy with his back paw to make it squeak, chase it around the house, and bat at it when she tossed it up in the air. Sebastian liked to follow Mom and the family dog on their walks down the dirt lane. He was a nip-obsessed kitty. She loved his kitten-like voice that he maintained into his golden years and loved his sweet personality. Mom says I kind of sound like him when I mew out loud.
When Mom was in her second year of high school, Grandma found her a Persian cat, the only white one among his litter mates. Mom had dreamed of having one since she was a little girl when she had seen her cousin’s silvery white companion called “Christmas.” It took Mom a week or so before she could come up with just the right name – Maximillian, Max for short. “How did you come up with that name?” I looked up at Mom. “I named him after a character in one of my favorite movies – The Great Race,” she replied. As a kitten, Max slept sprawled out lengthwise beside Mom on her water bed, every once in a while causing a tiny mist of water to spring from the rubbery mattress. “Wait, hold it there a minute. You slept on a bed of water?! That Max must’ve been the bravest kitty of all times!” I mewed. Mom nodded, “Yes, he proved to be a very brave, proud boy.”
Mom loved Max’s golden eyes and his long, silky fur. He didn’t mind her brushing him and even appreciated it at times. Max and Mom were inseparable. He waited for her at the same time every afternoon to come walking home from the bus stop after school. He curled up on her lap for cat naps and at bedtime. The only time they were apart were the months when she went off to college. “Why didn’t you take him with?!” I was shocked. “The school didn’t allow kitties in the dormitories, nor did the landlord allow them in the apartment complex off campus,” she explained. Mom and Max were overjoyed to be reunited when college ended. Max took to the man in Mom’s life right away, moved in with the couple after they had married and purchased a home. Kitty even tolerated the young Samoyed puppy that had been adopted. He enjoyed batting his jingly ball toys down the wooden stairs in the old house. Sun puddling on the floor among the potted plants, just below the tall windows, was one of his favorite pastimes. Mom remembers Max would knead and purr at her side in the evenings when she read books. “You like it when I knead, too.” I looked up at her. “Yes, of course” she leaned over and kissed my ear. Max-a-mill, Mom often called her Persian kitty, had a favorite old box he used to hang out in and play at.
Mom remembers Max sitting on the edge of her bed and looking deep into her eyes – how the world seemed to stop all around them when he did that. He seemed so otherworldly and all knowing . He loved to spear mini marshmallows out of the bag with his claws and eat them as a special treat. “Oh, I do that, too!” I paw clapped. “Yes, although you don’t like the taste of them as much as he did,” said Mom. Max had a signature stroll in his later years that was in step with a Da Da Da song Dad heard on an auto commercial; it became Max’s song. “Wow, I wonder if I’ll get my own song one day, too,” I stared at Mom. She shrugged, “Ask your father.” Max was a poised, graceful and kind kitty.
Tiberius Constantine (2004-2010)
One Saturday morning Mom happened to turn on the TV. The program already in progress was a “Pet of the Week” spotlight on a Persian kitty up for adoption at the local animal shelter. “He was a TV star?!” I mewed in awe. “Well, he would soon become a star in my eyes,” said Mom. A red-haired lady was holding the cat in her lap in front of the camera. The program instantly caught Mom’s attention. And though she hadn’t thought about adopting a kitty, didn’t know if she was ready having lost her Max only seven months earlier, she was glued to the TV. She couldn’t stop thinking about the pussy cat on the screen and decided to visit the shelter that very afternoon. “Did you spot him right away,” I asked. “I was led to the cat room where I noticed him as the only solid, white kitty in a cage. He was at his food bowls,” Mom replied. She brought him home a few days later, just as soon as the shelter agreed to release him. Dad was still away at a work conference, but Mom knew he wouldn’t mind. Dad named the 4-month-old “Tiberius.” Kitty immediately took to his new home, spreading out on the kitchen floor on the first day like he already owned the place, a sparkle and hint of mischief in his eyes. Mom thought he looked like a little, white Ewok with his flattened profile.
Mom says Tiberius, nicknamed “Tinyman” and “Beriosis” by her, was the most curious cat she had ever owned and that curiosity got him into a quandary or two. One early morning, Mom woke to his meows out the bedroom window. To her surprise and alarm she realized the sounds were coming from the roof of her next-door-neighbor’s two-story house! “Cool! I bet he felt like the king of the world from there!” I thought. Mom exclaimed, “I was both amused and scared!” I kitty giggled, “That Tiberius new exactly what he was doing and was just seeing how the humans would react!” “You’re probably right,” said Mom. Fearing that Tiberius didn’t know how to get down or that he might hurt himself trying to, Dad hoisted up an extension ladder to the side of the house. He did this as quietly as he possibly could so not to wake those still asleep inside. He climbed up the many steps, right over the neighbor’s bedroom window, to perform the rescue!
Tiberius was a very playful kitty. Mom enjoyed soccer games with him in the evenings, the ball a little wadded up piece of paper that they kicked and pawed back and forth to each other. The two played basketball, too, where Mom would toss up a paper wad and Tiberius would bat it down into a trashcan. “I wonder why he liked paper balls so much,” I questioned Mom. “I don’t know, but he loved playing with the plastic rings from my eye care solution bottles, too,” she laughed. Tinyman was excellent at taking on the laser mousie; countless hours were spent as he ran down the hall, around the room, and jumped at walls after it. She loved how he would plop himself into the chair at the dining table and watch her cook dinners at the stove, or how he’d curl himself up at the back door and look up at her innocently with his expressive, large copper eyes to persuade her to let him out. He loved to stretch out lengthwise at Mom or Dad’s lap when one of them relaxed in the leather recliner – his recliner! Mom was very saddened when one day the light in her little star’s eyes burned out, for it was way too soon. But from then on she knew he would shine and twinkle forever in the night sky alongside her Sebastian and Maximillian.
Thanks for letting me share this with you, my furr-iends. I hope you find some comfort, too, as you remember the sweet moments with precious, furry companions from your past. I would love for you to comment and share your thoughts. I hope you liked this post, and if you did please also see, “Twinkling Little Star Cat.” Mew Mew!