I knew that something was horribly wrong about fifteen minutes after the hug when I called him and he didn’t come. Bogie always came when I called – he was like a dog in that way – he was tuned into me and incredibly loyal. It drove the kids crazy because Bogie would only half-way listen to them and would only allow them to pet him when I wasn’t around. He was, without question, my cat…which in this household was an anomaly. I have had many pets over the years - as the child of my parents and as the parent of my children. Of those many creatures, I have rarely been the primary focus of attention. Often I was a distant second in line after my mom or after one of the kids. Not that I loved any of them less for that – I understood that…and the fact that I wasn’t their primary person didn’t cause me to miss them any less when they were gone. That is the thing about furry, feathered and scaled family members - they come in to your life, do some damage to your home, your possessions and your nerves and somehow in the process leave an indelible mark on your heart – then they die and you wonder how you ever lived without the joy they brought into your life.
Bogie loved me best. That was a fact. Perhaps it was because I was the one who went to the Humane Society and adopted him a couple of years back. At the time he had already passed the young kitten stage and I knew that his odds of being adopted as he became a teenager were decreasing. I watched the Humane Society web page for weeks and every week as others would go, he remained. So I got it in my head that he belonged with us and I went through the process to adopt him.
As you can see from his photo that was on the Humane Society’s web page it wasn’t too tough to love him. Of note, he never did grow into those ears (as you can see from the photo below taken in September of this past year).
It took Bogie awhile to adjust to our house, but once he acclimated to the environment he pretty much owned the joint. When I was at home he was typically in close proximity. He loved attention – my attention – and he wasn’t bashful in seeking it. He would follow me into the bathroom, if need be, to get his requisite love and attention.
I have had to part with many pets over the years, but few have been lost so abruptly as Bogie. I expected to have Bogie with me for at least another decade – he was, after all, at most three years old – indeed – only three years old. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and while it is true that I may never have been really “ready” – perhaps I would have felt less cheated if his time with me had been longer. I expected more days with him…I expected to be able to sit in the chair relaxing this summer with him laying across my lap…I expected to have him continue as our personal furminator for years to come (see She Who Wants to Nap…). Bogie was a seemingly healthy cat – I never had cause to worry about him.
Based on his behavior before his death and the immediacy of his death to otherwise healthy behavior we think he had a stroke or a heart attack. But I can’t help but think he knew this was coming. It all goes back to that hug – he rarely does that in the morning (indeed, I can’t ever recall it happening before) – typically that is a later in the day behavior after he has run off all his excess energy.
I know that Bogie was (as so many folks will remind me) “just a cat” and I recognize that the loss of pets is not the same as the loss of people; but today I mourn the friendship and the loyalty and the unwavering love that he gave me over his short couple of years with us. I cannot express to you how much I will miss him and today I am finding it difficult to get a grasp on the reality that he is suddenly gone. It weighs heavy on my heart and I do believe I will struggle with the loss for awhile because no other cat has loved me like Bogie did and I will miss that so very much.
We’ll miss you Bogie-liscious – you were truly one of a kind. I hope that you knew how special you were around here and how sad I am that you left us so soon…but I am grateful for what you gave me…especially that last hug…farewell my loyal friend.
Day six hundred and fourteen of the new forty – obla di obla da