“Having a pet is so weird: neither of you speak each other’s language and yet you form some strong bond by rubbing against each other and sleeping together and you might accidentally kick them in the face or step on their tail once in a while but at the end of the day you two are best buddies from entirely different species.”
Willow was a Mancat. I know that Willow may not seem like a very manly name, but, he was used to it when we got him so we kept it. He was originally Trucker Tina’s cat, but when she went on the road, he came to live with Mr.POSSLQ and me.
When Willow was a kitten, Trucker Tina adopted him. She was originally told it was a girl kitten and when it came time for her to get spayed the vet looked at the cat, looked at the chart, looked at Trucker Tina and back at the cat and said “I can’t spay this cat… I can NEUTER him, though”. It was a running joke throughout his life that he had some ‘identity issues’. (He was also prone to hiding out in the closet, leading to the inevitable “Our Cat Needs to Come Out Of The Closet” quips).
Willow was with us for 9 years. He would have been 14 in July. I say “would have been” because today Willow went to The Rainbow Bridge.
Willow was pretty quiet, even for a cat. He VERY seldom vocalized at all. I thought of him as “the strong, silent type”. He was fiercely protective of Mr. POSSLQ and me and, for reasons I still don’t entirely fathom, he was not a fan of my Mom (he would attack her ankles when she visited). When the Pretty, Pretty Princess lived with us for a while, he was not a fan of her, either (and in the Princess’s case, I tend to think it was him making a character judgement).
Willow LOVED feet. He kept his own toes meticulously clean (no easy feat for an all-white cat). When he was young, woe betide you if a foot slipped out from under the covers whilst you slept. That foot would be stalked and chomped. More recently, he was very prone to rubbing up against feet and flopping on them (in a move we refer to as “cat foot”).
Willow hated thunderstorms (he earned the nickname Slinktopuss due to his slinking around looking for a place to hide during storms) and hated going anywhere by car. This made us feel extra bad that his last car ride was during a thunderstorm.
Willow was not a big fan of (but didn’t actively dislike) either Weedy or her successor Crystal (his ‘sisfurs’). I think he was a little intimidated by both of them. He liked to watch Diamond the Chinchilla (maybe dreaming about how tasty she’d be?) and he was puzzled by Pitr the Tortoise (why does the rock walk??)
Right before we moved, we had to get certificates from a vet for the new place (they wanted assurance that our purrbeasts were not rabid). That was just in March. There was no indication at the time that there was anything wrong with him aside from needing a teeth cleaning. After the move, he became more cuddly and more vocal. He used to shun treats and started begging for them. He started showing an interest in “people food” (although he wouldn’t eat it if you put it in front of him… he’d just stare as if you’d pulled it out of some otherworldly abyss). He spent a LOT of time wanting to be on/near Mr. POSSLQ. We didn’t think too much about it, I mean, who wants to overthink a more affectionate pet? But I do have to wonder if something undetected at the vet visit was wrong and that he knew his time was limited and was trying to live each day to it’s catly fullest.
Goodbye, Sweet Mancat. I’ll miss you more than there are words for.