Friday, December 21, 2007

'Bye, Bo

Mom and Bo, sometime in 2006.

Bo on a July night this year, chasing moths in the ravine.

After 18 great years in the family, Mom had to take Grandpa's favorite cat, Beauregard, on that final, sad trip to the vet. If they let cats into heaven, Grandpa's showing everybody all the tricks Bo can do, like fetching and sitting up. And no, your eyes do not deceive you; Bo had no tail. Our Manx mix's mode of locomotion was something like that of a jackrabbit, and the last few years, those crimped and brittle bones were so skewed that he walked like a trout with whirling disease, front moving directly forward, rear end following along almost completely sideways, wheezing and oozing with the symptoms of kidney failure.

But he was a great kitten and only got more lovely as he matured, dignified and affectionate. He made a great hotel cat, so social and curious. I would have been not quite ten when Bo came into my life, and even though no pet will ever replace the ultimate childhood pet, a cat I had for fifteen years, Bo has always been special. To tell you the truth, I've been surprised to find him still alive every time I've arrived at Mom's for more than a year. She fed him green beans and watermelon, his favorite foods, and he just kept ticking along. He even charmed Henry.

But everybody knows when it's time. It appears that there was a grand design, because just before we lost our stately old man, a fuzzy black stray named Spooky -- the last survivor of a local wild litter that made their home under the back porch, lured by the smell of trout in the smoker, no doubt -- made his way in through the back door and refused to leave, so Mom and Henry will not be lonely.

Here's to Beauregard and all the good years.

Grandpa Bartley, A (nearly unrecognizable -- 50 lbs. and two hair colors ago), and Bo, circa March of 2004.


Blogger mister anchovy said...

Bo looks like a magnificent guy! Your family will miss him. It's hard to lose a cat, especially an elder statesman like that. We lost our Twiggy back in May - we think she was about 18 too - Tuffy had her since 1991, and she was a barn cat before that, who had at least one litter in that previous gig. The same week, Rossi showed up on the porch as if he knew there was a vacancy. Naturally, he's still with us.

December 21, 2007 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger A said...

I remember your tribute to the famous Twiggy. Also Rossi's great meow face and how he got his very appropriate name. He's a handsome devil.

In my family (as in yours, I think), we don't pick our cats. They pick us. And they've always arrived at precisely the right time somehow.

December 21, 2007 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger a572mike said...

Sorry to hear about Bo, A... One can own a dog, but one never owns a cat. The two cats that live with me are like roommates that don't help pay the bills. If left to his own devices, Berries will even drink my beer (just like a freeloading roommate) if I pour a Fat Tire into a class and it foams up nice.

December 22, 2007 at 10:42 AM  

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