For twelve years, my husband and I have shared our home with a wonderful cat. He has been with us from the very beginning, lived through the crappy apartments in bad areas of town, moved two thousand miles across the country, only to get lost behind one of our neighbor’s houses, then to be found again later with four people who hugged him so hard when he was home, that he couldn’t breathe.
Other pets have been added since then, and we have a cockatiel that’s been around longer than that, but Fuzzy has really been our pet. When my son was little, Fuzzy would crawl into his crib and sleep next to him at night. I’d get up in the morning and pick up the cat then set him down on the floor, then I’d pick up my son.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, Fuzzy was our guard cat. When my husband would work late at night, Fuzzy would come lay on my belly and attack anything that even came near our front door. Then there was the black stripe cat. That’s what I called him when he would lay across my belly and just purr at my stomach. Some of the first sounds my daughter ever heard, were Fuzzy’s purrs.
Later, we drove across the country with the cat in a crate in the backseat of a Ford Escort. Every moment that Fuzzy was awake in the back seat of that car, he’d meow in this annoying, steady monotone sort of sound. When we got to our destination, he wasn’t any happier until we finally set up the bed. Then he hid under it for two weeks, only occassionally sneaking out in the middle of the night to eat.
A few years went by, then my parents bought this thing for my kids. It was.. the thing for the kids and the cat. They bought them a ball hut. The kids loved this thing, but Fuzzy loved it even more. As balls came out of the hut, Fuzzy would knock them around the room and you’d hear it all through the house going, “bap-ba-bap-bap-bap!” The kids and I loved to watch Fuzzy play this game. But what was really funny about this game, was Fuzzy getting at the balls when no one else was looking. One night, my husband and I were laying in bed, half-asleep, then all the sudden we heard it, “bap-ba-bap-bap-bap”, and then it happened again and again, and again. When I got up to turn the light on, Fuzzy had managed to get four balls bouncing off the walls in the hallway at once, he was having a grande old time with himself, and looked up at me as if to say, “What?”
Finally, there is Fuzz, the mouser. We moved into this house in a working class area, older post WWII homes were here. You know the sort of area I mean, it’s not a bad part of town, but it is a sixty year old part of town and the houses could all use some work. We never suspected that Fuzz was a good mouser until we moved into this house. The house, we found, was absolutely infested with mice. The refitted garage beside the house was worse than the house itself, but the house was infested nonetheless. Then, oddly, the mice started dropping like flies all over the house. I couldn’t figure it out, there would be mouse corpses in the laundry room in front of the dryer, mouse corpses in front of the bath tub, and once a mouse corpse in my bed. Then one day, I walked out of my bedroom and there was Fuzz. He had his backside up in the air and he was staring at something behind the stove. I waited and watched him to see what he was up to, and then out of nowhere this black blurr darted out of the kitchen. I went into the dining room to see what was going on. There was my cat, sitting on the floor in the dining room, proudly holding his prize in his mouth, which he promptly dropped at my feet, at which I promptly screamed. Fuzz, however, was an excellent mouser. Within two months, no more mice could be found in the house, they had all relocated to the guest house, having decided that life with an expert mouser on hand was just not life anymore.
So why do you care? Maybe you don’t. I do though, because Fuzzy is now twelve years old, and he’s still fighting off a urinary tract infection that I’m afraid he won’t be able to lick. It has come time for me to think about putting him to sleep. He’s lost his dignity, his pride, and everything that I loved about him seems to be slipping away as the days go by. But, I wanted you to understand that for me, there are no other cats. As you read this, I’m sure that you felt that you were reading the words of a cat-lover, but the truth is, I really hate cats, and I’m allergic to them enough that I can’t pick up Fuzzy and carry him around the house without itching for half an hour afterwards. Fuzzy is special, he’s worth having my hands itch for a while after I hold him. He’s the one, very special exception. There is just something about a cat that walks into the room and looks at you as if to say, “I will allow you to look upon me, lowly mortal.” I can’t put a price on that, and no other cat will ever be the same.