When I got home from my first stint in the army. I wanted a cat.
This was 1998. My first wife and I, relatively newly married. Went to a neighbor who never spayed his cat after a litter the previous year. He kept one of the kittens, and surprise, surprise didn’t have her spayed either. His place was just swarming with tiny black kittens.
The smallest of these had enormous testicles, and we wanted to be sure that we got a boy. My first wife’s cat was a female, we thought that somehow they would get along better if my kitten was a boy. We were wrong.
We took this teeny tiny fluff ball home.
He became my familiar spirit, my best and oldest friend.
His enormous testicles, before we had him neutered, made it difficult for him to clean his butt. He also had this endearing habit of circling your head like a shark while you sat on the couch repeatedly running his derriere and tail underneath your nose. Not your nose obviously, but my nose. This habit earned him the name Mr. Poostinks for obvious reasons. Fortunately he did gain the ability to properly clean himself, but the cute name stuck.
He was my constant companion never being more than probably three feet from me while I was home. That is until I had to go to Annual Training with the national guard. He rarely slept by my feet again after that first time I was gone for two weeks. He was my cat though when I moved, he moved. If I couldn’t take him with me he followed shortly after. He violated several leases.
When my first wife and I moved to Las Vegas for her career, he of course came with us. It was 119◦ the day we moved in. He had up to this point never really been outside. The door was open as we were moving in boxes and furniture in the tortuous heat. He showed interest in the open door and I looked at him and said “You know what? Go for it.” He did, he stepped out the door onto the blazing concrete, stood there calmly for just a moment and turned around to come back inside. That was the end of that adventure. (his feet were fine, I checked)
When we moved back to Montana he came with, we actually picked up a couple more cats as well, but we were not allowed to keep those ones. Though I do still remember them very fondly. When my marriage fell apart I brought him with me. He was probably the biggest driver behind our ending up homeless. My mother, absolutely, hates, cats.
He went back to live with my ex wife for the few months of homelessness, before he joined us again in the trailer. He always maintained a habit of being mad at me when I would be gone for a period of time. This lasted until I started driving a truck, I think he figured out pretty quickly that he wasted his time that he had with me by being mad at me. He was nearing twenty years old at this point.
This cat had been with me nearly half of my life and no other creature on the planet had left such an indelible mark on my spirit.
When the time came for me to go back on the road, the Second and I were separating. He was feeling his years, he was no longer quick and playful. He was slow and creaky, skinny to the point of frailty. I knew he would not live long and indeed he didn’t have much of a life any more.
I tried to get the money together to have him put to sleep. I wanted to be there. I even ran a gofundme that met it’s goal within a hour. Unfortunately there was a fee the vet wanted to charge that they didn’t tell us about and he died at home in the Second’s arms before I could raise or earn the rest of the money. I did have the money to have him cremated.
When I came home to get the few belongings I intended to keep he was gone from the house. He was in storage. She had stolen the cat that had been my constant companion for two decades. I think this more than anything else tells you everything you need to know about the Second. She is the sort of person who would steal a man’s dead cat.
The judge granted me the ashes in the divorce, but it was basically unenforceable and we both knew it.
This hole remained in my life and seemed likely to remain forever. It was my intention to have his ashes buried with me, but it looked like that would never be.
Then out of the blue she FB messaged me demanding that I get my things from her daughter. My current Fiancé went and picked the odds and ends up, they included my cat.
When I got home and saw him again for the first time I wept. I wept that he was home, I apologized to him that he had to pass without me. I was told of his final days, I know he tried to wait for me until he couldn’t wait anymore.
I am just so eternally grateful that he made his way back home to me. I miss him so.