Farewell My Friend

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ~Robert A. Heinlein~

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
~Robert A. Heinlein~

A few months ago we adopted a kitten.

True to his namesake, Willie Nelson is a mellow, laid-back version of any other cat who made their way into my life.

At nine and a half years old, we figured Leonard Cohen (our older cat), would be a wonderful mentor, and train the wee one in the ways of catdom.

Since all of my cats have lived well past fifteen, Willie Nelson would also grow to  be the caretaker to faithful old Leonard as Leonard was to Whiskey.

But that wasn’t to be the case. Poor old Leonard was taken from us this weekend very suddenly.  He had yet to teach Willie Nelson the art of napping quietly on my bed, stretching out on my belly while I read, or curling up on the footstool while I meditatively stitch my needlework.

There’s something about an old cat. Well, something about my Leonard anyway. We were attached at the ankle as soon as I woke up,and as soon as I walked through the door from work.

Leonard was everywhere I was. He saw me through broken hearts, surgeries, and long bouts of gut-hollowing sadness.

Leonard had a man radar that I could only hope to have; he knew the good ones from the bad ones with just a few short passes around their legs. He knew when I was sick or sad or just plain tired out, and he loved me unfailingly despite my shortcomings.

Friday night, just after he left us, I curled up in my soft flannel sheets and cried.

I missed the bulk of my big, fifteen pound mass of kitty fur and purring. For nine and half years Leonard stretched out on my tummy while I read just before falling asleep. I only had to say, “Ok, Leonard” and he knew it was time for lights out and to crawl onto the passenger side of the bed.

I feel an echoing  ache whenever I think of my old pal, and I miss him terribly.

Willie Nelson seems no worse for wear, batting around toys and chasing his tail until he collapses in a heap of legs, tail and ears, and falling into a deep sleep like only a kitten can. One day Willie Nelson will grow out of his bouncy kitten curiosity and take to the ways of an old lap-cat.

I remember Leonard’s kitten antics; setting his tail on fire (not once, but twice), falling into the toilet, falling into the bath (while I was in it), and doing flying stunts from the top of bookshelves.

We’ll always miss old Leonard. He was a once in a lifetime feline friend.

 

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21 thoughts on “Farewell My Friend

  1. I remember the day you brought Leonard home. He was a tiny little thing who would torment poor old Whiskey. They did end up friends so to get him a new friend or sibling in Willie Nelson seemed the natural thing to do. I will miss Leonard and my heart goes out to you and Andy.

  2. Beautifully written…as I am writing this reply I am watching our new kitten Nigel sitting on my husbands lap enjoying his brushing. My heart goes out to you Trish. Leonard was lucky to have you just as you were lucky to have him.

  3. I’m very sorry for your loss and for your pain. I lost my best buddy cat of over 15 years 4 weeks ago today. I understand. The pain is raw. I miss him terribly. I hope you can find some comfort in happy memories Leonard.

  4. I’m sooo sorry Trish and Andy!! Hugs to you both. I wasn’t around often but even I know how much you both loved Leonard dearly, so you can be sure he went with a full heart and peace of mind! xo

  5. Having two cats myself (one is 15 and the other 11), and anyone else who knows and loves cats, can understand how very sad it is to lose them. I have a lump in my throat as I write this as I too know how much you and Andy loved Leonard. I remember you telling me about Leonard’s tail catching on file and other antics he would get up to, he was precious. So sorry for you loss Trish…

  6. aw, Trishy, tears abound! he sounds like such an awesome guy, I know the pain you have! we are blessed with their companionship, and it seems like you’ve got another special little one with you. my fave saying, don’t be sad because it’s over, be happy because it happened! big hugs my friend! xxx

  7. I already miss the Pantaloon Kid shooting out of nowhere, flying horizontally and at a height that seemed somewhat unreasonable for a small mammal. This was especially funny if we were reclining blissfully to have a streak of fur go by in the blink of an eye. Not lost in memory.

    Rich

    Rich

  8. i just lost one of my Beagles, and though i only had her for one year of her 13, that empty space where Isabel should be rings loud and clear. beautiful story of love for Leonard.

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