sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2013-07-16 03:15 am

There was no one like 'im, 'Orse or Foot, nor any o' the Guns I knew

Rob's Abbie is dying. He writes about him here. Go and read. [edit: As of this morning, there is still a cat. We are to consider the cat on hospice care. Read here.]

This is my life with Abbie: we met for the first time on January 31st, 2012 when [livejournal.com profile] ratatosk and I returned to Hall Ave. with our lunches from Dave's Fresh Pasta. The house was to all appearances empty, except for some peculiar scratching noises from the den which I was later informed were [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel playing Rock Band with headphones on; we sat down at the dining room table, began to unwrap our purchases, and a large long-haired black-and-white cat with olivine-colored eyes and a ruff and brightly jingling tags appeared as if conjured from nowhere and tried to stare my sandwich telekinetically into his mouth. It did not work, but I gave him points for trying. Later in the afternoon, Rob in bare feet, brown corduroys, and a mulberry-colored pullover would run up and down the stairs to his shower like Teddy at San Juan Hill, then emerge from his room with his hair in his eyes and announce abruptly, "Do you want to see a puppet feed a cat?" which I believe to be the first words he addressed to me in his own home. Of course I did. The cat treats were in their little ziplocked pouch over the lintel of the kitchen door; Abbie came running at the rattling sound of them, tail perked, and was only temporarily and entertainingly nonplussed at being presented with them from the mouth of a sock puppet with googly eyes. (I was meeting Socko for the first time, too, although I didn't know it.)

I don't remember if he let me pet him then. I crouched down and offered a hand, as one does when meeting a strange cat: not invading, allowing them to make the first approach. He wasn't skittish or standoffish, but he wasn't one of those cats that commandeer your lap by the second visit, either. I can't remember that at all. I know that by March I could greet him with a friendly "Hey, cat," and by late April he would settle next to me on the couch as I worked, but I still noticed in May when he suddenly decided he was comfortable enough with my presence to plonk down on top of me in the middle of the night, causing me to wake for the first time in years to the delicate conundrum of getting out of a cricked neck without dislodging a cat. (Protip: it's impossible.) Sometime over the summer, he began to initiate the mutual grooming cycle of licking my arm or wrist with great enthusiasm as I petted him, and became the set of small careful hard paws picking their way over me and Rob in the darkness—signaling by loud and deliberate scratching that whichever side of the door he was on, it was the wrong one—and by the winter it was unthinkable not to know where he was in the house whenever I was visiting, in the purple basket chair, in his box under Tracy's planter, under Rob's bed, on top of Rob's bed, shedding so densely on the couch it was nearly possible to card the cushions and come up with a textile. I took pictures of him. I posted them to the internet, for the love of memes. He begged so convincingly for a piece of the first chicken caesar wrap I ever brought home from Dave's that I gave it to him despite my reservations about its cat-digestibility; he devoured it gladly, with much licking of whiskers afterward so as not to miss the dressing, threw it up thirty seconds later and promptly begged for more.

He was a regular cat in my life for a little over a year and a half. He was affectionate and definite in his own person, wide-eyed, calm-tempered, and very inconvenient. Rob correctly diagnosed him as an exemplary specimen of the North American Catus interruptus after he opened the door on us in August. (There was fortunately no one else around the house to see me eject a cat at high speed from a bedroom while wearing only an annoyed expression.) There was nothing you could be eating that he would not do his best to persuade you was the food he had been put on this earth to eat. (We told him over and over that chicken sausage and fennel ravioli with mushroom cream sauce was cat poison and we were only eating it to save him from the fatal temptation. I don't think it took.) He had big kitten eyes. He peed on things to make philosophical points. He purred like an eighteen-wheeler.

And I thought he would move with me and Rob to our new place together. (As of this afternoon, we're apartment-hunting. Because nothing in life happens all to itself.) He would be Inconvenient Cat, scratching on all the new doors, disagreeing with the placement of his litterbox, dedicatedly staking out territory among the bookshelves and side-eyeing Doppel-Abbie in our bed. That's not how it goes. We will have cats together. We will not have this cat.

I am glad we did, for just a little while.

[identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 07:32 am (UTC)(link)
You write beautifully about him; I feel as if I've met him. And now I'm sad to see him go.

[identity profile] nineweaving.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 08:13 am (UTC)(link)
Passing the love of humans....

*hugs*

Nine

[identity profile] sairaali.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 11:19 am (UTC)(link)
He is a glorious cat, and you write about him beautifully.

[identity profile] ladymondegreen.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I am sorry to hear that Abbie will be the cat of your engagement, but not of your early marriage.

I am glad you had time to know him, and that he has given you that unique seal of approval that cats give to their people.

Much comfort to you and [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel in your time of sadness, may you heal fully, and always be blessed by the memory of his textile-shedding, truck-purring, food-mooching presence, wherever you are.

[identity profile] cucumberseed.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 02:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I am sorry.
I hope his passage is gentle.

[identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 03:18 pm (UTC)(link)
wide-eyed, calm-tempered, and very inconvenient.

An Inconvenient Cat--there was a documentary about him, right? Did he make it off the iceberg?

Yes, he did.

I hope these days and weeks that you all have left together are good ones.

[identity profile] kenjari.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 03:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Poor kitty. He sounds like a wonderful cat, and I'm so sorry you're losing him. My condolences to both of you.

[identity profile] xjenavivex.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I hope his passing is gentle. I am sorry he isn't coming with you on the next part of your journey together. Thank you for sharing him with us.

[identity profile] handful-ofdust.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 05:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Man, I'm so sorry.
zdenka: Miriam with a tambourine, text "I will sing." (Default)

[personal profile] zdenka 2013-07-16 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Pleased to hear that he decided to be tricksy and stick around a while longer. Good luck to him. He is clearly very much loved.

[identity profile] ap-aelfwine.livejournal.com 2013-07-16 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm sorry for this, but glad for your memories of him and how beautifully you write them.

May he have a gentle passing.
gwynnega: (Garage Kitty)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2013-07-17 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so sorry. He sounds like a wonderful cat.
beowabbit: (Animals: Schnapps)

[personal profile] beowabbit 2013-07-21 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this beautiful and evocative picture of him.