Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Happy Accident

"OK. I'll take them till we can find a good home."

That was 12 years ago.

And that was the start of a happy accident that led to my living with my friend Xavier, AKA Xavier Bad Behavior, AKA Big Fat Gray Cat.

Xavier: 2003-2016
Xavier's very existence was a happy accident. The feline birth control plan was to keep Dylan in one room and Zoe in the other until Dylan's appointment to get fixed.

Someone left the door open. So on Memorial Day 2003 we had kittens.

He was literally the pick of the litter, the one my daughter named and wanted to keep, until there were too many cats for a landlord. He was also the frisky one who tried to make a break for it every time the door was open, which is how he got the nickname Xavier Bad Behavior.

"OK. I'll take them till we can find a good home."

I already had Butter and Spot, and they vaugely remembered Dylan from a past home, but Xavier was new and before HIS appointment to get fixed he was trying to get the affections of a very disinterested Spot. But one snip and he settled down.


He was the one who would bite me on my bald head or bat at me with his paw, claws out JUST enough to remind me he was a carnivore and I was made of meat, when the dish was empty or, better yet, when the freshness was less than perfect. See, Dylan his dad had a tough start, knew how to catch mice, and was and is always hungry. But Xavier was spoiled literally every day of his life, and never knew any better. And he was loved every day of his life, from the day I first saw him as a tiny eyes-closed kitten till Monday morning when I held him and said goodbye.

We had three years in the bohemian paradise of Gaslight Village, then I joined Koni and the boys as a new family here in Miller-Orchard, where Xavier spent most of his life with a people-mom and boys who loved him despite allergies.

Father and son is not even a relationship to a cat, yet Xavier and Dylan were always extra-tight within our cat family, the way Butter and Spot were as litter-mates. Dylan gets all time champ honors for Father Of The Year, Feline Division, because the bar is very low.
We lost Butter, then Spot, and had our friend Shadow all too briefly, Though it all, lots of dropped pieces of meat, big fronds of catnip from the back yard, and a spot to sleep every night on my feet. And he actually knew the words "head butt" and responded appropriately.

This fall something was wrong, The Big Fat Gray Cat was getting skinny, and someone, I suspected him, wasn't making it to the box. I didn't mind the cleanup, but I knew the accidents were both an affront to his feline dignity and a sign of something wrong. I was worried enough that we went to the vet the Saturday before the city election.

The diagnosis was definite and treatment, while possible, would have been unpleasant for him.  So we decided to enjoy what time we had left. A few more sprigs of `nip, a few more head bites and head butts, a few more naps on my feet, each one treasured all the more because I knew the days were few.

Once I got through the insanity of the caucuses I was able to clear my head, and we knew it was time. One last weekend of saying goodbye, a few more cuddles with me and with his dad. And the vet came to our house because we didn't want his last few minutes to be a crate, a car and an office.

So now he's with his kitty-mom, and Butter and Spot and Shadow, and Dylan is sitting next to me, the only cat for the first time.

Maybe I did find a good home.

1 comment:

Karen said...

It sounds as though you and Xavier (and the human/feline clan) had a good life together. Partings can be hard. Thanks for sharing your story; I'm sorry for your loss.