Ship Wreck, Fort Stevens Oregon 2018

Friday, January 10, 2014

Memorial to a long-gone cat

[From Craig] We've had several really good cats over the years, but my favorite was our black one.  It was a present from one of our neighbors on the wild side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  A cat that our neighbor thought had been abandoned in the wild by some "flatlanders" got pregnant on the mountain and snuck her litter into our neighbor's garage.  All of them were black, but one little male was a bit fluffy. Merikay met her friend at the vet and had the kitten tested for feline leukemia before getting attached. He was fine.

Upon arriving home, Merikay and the kitten were "rushed" by our two large greeting dogs. The kitten shot out of her arms like a bullet and disappeared somewhere into the garage. We put out food, but after two days no kitten reappeared. Merikay's friend came over and called him. Recognizing her voice he mewed from behind a large set of shelves, and the ladies managed to get him out.

At first he was a real "scaredy cat." Then one day he almost drowned by falling into Craig's bathtub, and when Merikay hauled him out from under a bed and comforted him by wrapping him in a dry towel, he relaxed and became a family cat.

We called him Spook because, even though he become more social and civil, he remained the most nervous and "hyper" cat we've had.  Early in his life with us, our son changed his life direction after graduating from college, and gifted us with the cat and dog he had had in San Diego.  

His cat Kali was pure white, which made it easy to tell our new cats apart.  They quickly settled into curling up across from each other in a kind of "yin and yang" or perhaps "paisley" relationship.  We never saw them hunt together, perhaps because Kali was more of an indoor cat and Spook was mostly an outdoor cat.

He was a very good hunter, for a male, and worked hard at keeping the mice, rats, and gophers at bay.

After several years, the white cat died suddenly when it jumped off a chair in front of the fireplace, and its heart gave out.  

As our only cat thereafter, Spook became more affectionate as he got older.  One of my favorite memories of my whole life was how, every morning for his last few years with us, he would come in in the morning, eat, and then come perch on my chest as I lay in bed waking up.  He would sit so that, with my head tilted forward by a pillow, we were eye-to-eye with our noses a couple of inches apart.  We'd lay there sharing our breath, winter and summer, until Merikay brought the coffee and she and I would start reading the newspaper, at which time he'd go off to his place at my feet, where he'd sleep most of the day.

The other keen memory was in the night as I was coming back to bed in the dark. Our house in the boondocks of the Santa Cruz Mountains was very dark, moon or no moon, and I would trail my hand along the bottom edge of the bed to track my way.  When Spook happened to be on the foot of the bed, he would see me coming with his superior night vision, and many times bat my hand with his paw as it went by.  I think this was in a playful way, but a few times he would have some claws extended!  We used the same bed until a few months ago, and years after he was gone, I would say in passing the spot at the foot of the bed: "no cat!"


  1. Great post. I enjoyed reading about Spook and your relationship with him. The animals we have in our lives leave lasting marks in our hearts.

  2. I agree....nice memories! We often think of the pets we have had...and the times we shared with them. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. Great memories, but leaves a tinge of sadness for me as well. I can't imagine my life without my little miss Ariel, although I know the day will come at some point when I have to say goodbye. :'(.

  4. What a great post and tribute to your very special fluffy, black cat. We too had a white cat "White Kitty" and a black cat "Little Boy", however we lost White Kitty 2 months before we went full-time. The photograph of your 2 kitties together really tugged at my heart.

  5. Nice story. You know we have a fondness for kitties.

  6. Lovely memories. They leave such a large hole in our lives and hearts. I have a few cats and several dogs buried on our property.

  7. Well, as meowmomma, I have to of course say I love this story! But, doubly so because I also love black kitties! We currently have two of them ~ who travel quite nicely in the motorhome btw ~ named Mombi and Nicodemus... I can't imagine my life never having a kittie or two in it!

  8. Before we had dogs we had cats. Lots of em. Three house cats & a whole bunch of barn cats which I used to make straw bale houses for in the cold winters. It's been a bunch of years now but I still remember all our old Pals. Many sad stories but many happy one's as well...........

  9. AWww our furball family makes such an impression on us. If only they lived as long as we do.....

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard


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