Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Extra. Extra. Read All About Him.

Special little kittie boy is assuredly no longer after sixteen years of our togetherness.
One of my first memories of seeing Extra was as he suckled alongside his sibs, and seeing him and his two fellow kittens hiding atop the wheel of my car to get out of the rain, their three precious little faces peering up at me and meowing at once.

His story:
Extra was first sighted in the next door backyard after his birth, and alongside him were two other kittens.
His mother was a friendly tabby cat, gray.
I fed the entire family, being a lifelong cat feeder, and when the kittens were old enough (after consulting with a vet acquaintance) I got the mother into a new and loving home.
I got the female kitten a home in Lockport - also loving.
And the two boy kittens (Extra and The Killer) were hard to catch so stayed on with me until The Killer's unfortunate and sad ending. I found his body just on the other side of my fence and we buried him after wending his body in unbleached cotton, and said loving words, and placed flowers.

Extra did not like to be indoors.
He was fed daily, had his shots, was groomed, wore a series of fashionable collars, came when called, loved his belly rubbed, never bit or scratched me, loved my voice, let me carry him in my arms and whisper into his ears, and he loved his special treats that he got nearly daily.

When the back door closed he would fret and he'd complain until I let him out again.

Even in blizzards, when I wanted him to stay inside, he'd prefer to be outside and bravely face the elements and the storm and the possible dangers of what was outside.

I trained him to be afraid of cars - when he was very small I'd charge at him while clapping my hands and yelling so that he knew that if he got close to the street that was a thing that mom did not like him to do.
He may have been humoring me and, quite possibly, hung out curbside when I wasn't around.

So, at the age of 16 he still looked to me like a young cat.
I loved that in his middle age he got a swingy belly, as I always said.
I did note that his hips got a little bonier these past few years.

I knew that he'd probably fade away and I would not find his body - I think we knew that we both wanted that to be our ending. When I didn't see him for about a week I worried but thought he'd come back. Two weeks, no Extra. Three weeks and I knew.

I did ask him to send me a sign, to let me know in a dream what happened.
So one night two weeks ago I dreamed that Extra was in my arms, dead, and I carried him like a baby around a party where I and everyone else was very dressed up.
People came over to pet Extra and only when they touched him did they realize that he was stiff and cold, and then they felt very sad indeed for me.

In the dream I was sad that he was dead, but still loved the color of his fur: the black with a hint of auburn when the light hit it a certain way.

He was Extra because each of his Perfect paws featured a few extra toes.

He was a perfect cat, we made time for each other in our frenetic schedules, taking time to enjoy each other when we could.

I miss Extra.

Extra Love.