Junior (May 1996--January 2009)
My kitty, Junior, passed away this past weekend. She would have been with me 13 years this May.
She came into my life pretty much by accident. It was the last day of junior high, May 1996, and I was walking home. I was offered a kitten by a distant cousin who lived on the same street and I accepted but I didn't believe I'd actually get one. Yeah well I came home with two, Junior and Marmalade. My mom wasn't exactly pleased...allergies.
Keeping them inside was never an option as far as my mom was concerned. On the ceramic tile floor their paws kept sliding out from under them. I naively thought they'd drink from a small saucer of milk. Instead they drank milk off my soaked fingertips. We kept them in a large bucket in the utility room when no one was home. Eventually they graduated to a a large box and finally my mom insisted we take them outside.
Junior and Marmalade were the apple of my eye. They were so gosh darn cute. Even my mom warmed up to them but they still had to stay outside. We quickly realized the Junior was no boy and Marmalade was no girl as I'd been told.
Years went by and the kittens grew up. Marmalade eventually left. He wasn't fixed and male cats tend to wander. Junior remained ever faithful.
I always planned to take Junior with me when I went away to college but naturally dorms didn't accept pets other than fish. Neither did the apartment I eventually got, so she stayed behind with my parents the 6 years I was in Austin. My weekly calls home always had a Junior update.
Slowly I came to realize that she was getting old. I worried when it was cold out. I worried when stray dogs would wandered into our yard but Junior was resilient. She could take care of herself. She was even a hunter. On occasion we'd find corners of the backyard littered with bird feathers.
But Junior did have her share of quirks.
She had practically no fear of moving vehicles. She'd sometimes sleep on top of the truck in the garage. When my dad or brother would get in they always assumed she'd get off when they started the engine. Not so says kitty. The truck would slowly pull out and she'd stay on. It would pull out some some more and there was still no budging from her. It would take a sudden jerky movement of the truck to finally get her off.
Whenever we'd pull into the driveway and she saw the vehicle coming she'd happily walk over and sit right in the middle of the drive way. No amount of honking got her to move until the passenger got out and shooed her away.
She was also super stealthy although my brother wouldn't agree with that assessment. If she saw the door open just a smidgen Junior would maneuver her way in. The shaking of the cat food bag was the only way to lure her out. And she knew who the weak ones were. Those of us who would bend to her cuteness. She'd peak to see if my mom or brother were around. They had little patience for her and she knew that. If it was my dad or me then she was home free.
Junior's been gone almost a week now and the emptiness she's left behind is very noticeable. If I wasn't careful she'd follow me to work, which conveniently enough is right across the street. Junior knew that. To keep her from following me I had to take her through the house into the backyard and feed her so that I could make my getaway. Come lunch time she'd wait practically on the curve for me. She was a small white ball always waiting underneath the truck we use for the ranch. The minute she'd see me Junior would walk right onto the street to meet me. Meanwhile I'm terrified that a car is going to come barreling down the street. We've had several close calls. It became a grim habit for me to start scanning the street for her rundown corpse. I worried that much because Junior had no concept of car equals bad things for kitty. After lunch it was the same procedure as the morning and after work she'd wait for me again. As much as I worried a part of me liked that she did that
All week I still looked for her expectantly when I left work and in the mornings I kept thinking that she was going to run through the front door when I opened it or. Her fairly new bag of cat food sits by the back door. My mom has already removed the tufts of her hair that had clung to our welcome mat. I did laundry yesterday and on the lower legs of my work slacks there were tiny bits of white cat hair.
I suspect it's going to be a while before I get over her death. I miss her. She was mine. I'm thinking of planting some flowers where my dad and I buried her. We both shed tears. He was very fond of Junior too. She'd always keep him company when he did yard work or when he cooked out. Dad used to say that Junior would keep the house safe because she'd patrol the perimeter. Who needs a guard dog when we have kitty. I miss her.
Kitty gets ready to pounce!
Junior always headed to the backdoor because she expected food.
Shh! Don't tell mom. Junior inside and watching TV with dad
Bored now. Apparently Junior wasn't much of a football fan.
Taken about a week ago during my lunch hour
Also taken about a week ago. I have no idea where she'd been because she was a mess.
I'd never seen her that messy.