What kind of cat was Saucy?
A kind, loving, hyper-intelligent cat who stood his ground despite his diminutive size. He was known as a pillow thief, constantly taking over your pillow as the night wore on. He was a keen hunter when given the chance and often ruined playtime by stealing toys out from your hands and scurrying off with them. He was tolerant, loved belly rubs and frequently made sure that both hands, if free, were petting him. As he got older, his demeanor changed in terms of petting to “just the head, please”. His purr was frequent, his meows silent, and he could direct noises right at your face if he so desired. He was as loyal as a dog and nearly as friendly. Even into his final years he celebrated “kitten hour” where his eyes would go wide, his ears would perk up and he would go crazy, chasing this or that and behaving a fraction of his age.
He was, and always will be, my cat.
What kind of cat was Val?
Val was dumb, or at least looked it. Very siamese, very cross-eyed, surprisingly dexterous. He was lean, sometimes mean, but when it came to people, he was a lover. He was loud, channeling his partial Siamese heritage into a plethora of sounds and vocalizations. He would answer to his name and sometimes, one might think, actually say his own name. The ultimate lap cat, if you had a lap, or even if you didn’t, he was there. It took Val a long time to adapt to other cats, but he became Louie’s surrogate litter-mate. “Val Val,” as he was affectionately know, were the first words out of Zoe’s mouth. Val would play fetch for 15 minute stretches, especially if the victim was wadded up piece of paper.
Val was everyone’s kitty. If you were sitting down, you had a Val.
What kind of cat was Louie?
As much as Saucy was my cat and Val was everyone’s cat, Louie was Heather’s cat. He was jealous of me, initially. I came between them and took Heather’s attention. It took him a while to warm up to me and really only became my lap cat in the last two years or so. He never lost his inner-kitten and would frequently claim any loose string as his own. Bags were a favorite and the more noise they made, the better. He had a weak spot for butter and we had to toss many a stick when we realized he figured out how to get at it even when it was covered. He, too, would take care of you if ill and you could rough house with him and he would scamper away only to come back for more mere seconds later. In his later years he spent any time he could sharing body heat with Val and they played endlessly. At nights, when he could, he snuggled up next to Heather’s legs. All night.
Louie was Heather’s cat and no animal has ever meant more to her.
All three cats never hesitated to come when called by name. (Also, none would miss a meal.)
We lost Saucy to cancer in 2005 during Heather’s first pregnancy. Val lost his kidney function earlier this year as well as a growth on his gall bladder. Louie lost his 5-year battle with a thyroid tumor just a few days ago.
You don’t live with an animal for over 10 years and not grow attached to them in many, many respects. They were, by all means, essential members to our family. The love was mutual and plentiful.
Sadly, we now close the chapter of the three cats we had when we married and move forward with two kittens in Neumann and Me-o and an aging behemoth in Squeaky.
They know not what is ahead of them, for they, as family as they are, have giant, loving paws to fill.