When I was growing up, the movie Watership Down was one of my favorites. If you have seen this movie you might be surprised to hear that and wonder what my parents were thinking, letting a kid watch a movie like that. If you have never heard of this movie, go here and read about it. When I got older I read the book and loved it too. At one point in the story, the rabbits gather around a fallen companion and say “My heart has joined The Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.” This little prayer has always helped take the sharp edges of the loss of a furry loved one, at least for me.
Selby: *pant pant pant*
Clock: It’s 6 am.
Me: Did you need something Selby?
Selby: Oh good morning Kari, how nice to see you awake! What a lovely surprise!
Me: I’m only awake because you have been panting in my face for 5 minutes.
Selby: I’m glad it worked! Since you’re up would you mind getting me some breakfast?
Last week we said goodbye to Lord Dormir. This guy:
I first met Lord Dormir in 2004 when I was a volunteer at our local humane society. His name at that time was Sugar, because his first family thought he was a girl.* He weighed almost 14 pounds. He was friendly, beautiful, fully declawed, already neutered and one of the sweetest cats I have ever met. I loved him instantly. He loved people of all ages, cats, AND dogs.
He used to sleep in the dog beds, and though our dogs are ten times his size they never pushed him out. One day I went to put Selby in her kennel and found Lord Dormir curled up in there having a nap.
He had a bad case of feline OCD. He would groom anyone and anything -cats, dogs, people, furniture… but sweaters were his favorite. He could not resist licking a sweater, no matter how many times his tongue got stuck to it like that kid Flick in A Christmas Story.* (Which was EVERY TIME) He groomed himself and our other cat so well that he had a serious hairball problem. I’m sure he just considered this a necessary sacrifice in the name of beauty.
He really did not know how to take no for an answer; it was his firm belief that everyone in the world wanted to cuddle with him just as much as he wanted to cuddle with them. He could hear a butt land on the couch from anywhere in the house, and would instantly materialize to sit in that person’s lap. And then he would slowly make his way up from the lap onto the chest.
He liked to curl up on my shoulder when I was laying in bed reading or playing games on my phone (which was often). Or, sometimes, right on my face:
My friend Eric once described him as “the purringest kitty ever”. This was an extremely accurate description. If he was awake and a human was around, Lord Dormir was purring. He even purred while eating.
He liked to sneak out of the house and chase butterflies in the yard. He did NOT like to go outside on a leash & harness.
He once caught a mouse in my bedroom. And then let it go. And then caught it again. And then let it go. Witnessing this, I fully understood the meaning of the phrase “playing cat and mouse”.
He liked to steal the dog’s food when they weren’t looking. Sometimes he would even steal it out from under their noses while they were still eating it. He also liked to sneak up in the counter and lick our dishes clean. Recently he even got so bold that he tried to eat our food right off our plates while we were still eating.
He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfectly ours. I miss him.
* In fact, nearly everyone who met him for the first time said “What a beautiful cat! What’s her name?” But it made no difference to him whether you thought he was a boy, a girl, or a genderless alien. His mission in life was to love and be loved by everyone.