|Larry (the white & gray cat) lying with his brother, SJ.|
My cat died today.
His name was Larry and he was a great cat.
Larry, his mother and four other kittens came into my life almost eight years ago when I took his family in after they'd been surrendered to a local cat shelter.
The month-old kittens were infested with fleas, and one died at the shelter before I took the brood home. The vet said said that SJ, a small black kitten--the runt of the litter--might die, but I kept him with me each day as I wrote, and I made sure he ate, and he pulled through.
Larry and SJ were the two kittens I kept from the litter.
SJ and I had bonded and Larry ... Larry was Larry. That cat had a personality. He was the first kitten to climb to the top of their huge cat-tree, he was the first one to fall into their drinking fountain and he was the last one to make it over the barrier I put up over the door to their cat room, but that was only because he was a BIG kitty. Not fat, muscular.
When he was a little fluff-ball of a kitten, Larry's favorite game was crouching down and sneaking up on one of his siblings, pouncing on them, and then going on a raucous chase through the apartment. One day he pounced on his sister who was playing with a bit of string in my lap. I'm not sure why, but he looked up then, right into my eyes.
Larry was terrified! He arched his back, all his fur standing on end, and backed away slowly.
At the time I was astonished, but then I realized it was a perfectly rational reaction to looking into the eyes of a giant.
He was a very smart cat.
Larry and SJ got along well, though, of course, they fought occasionally. But they slept together, and they ate together. Neither minded giving up food to the other, they never fought about it, even if sardines--their favorite food--was involved.
Larry, though, did have one special love in his life: Luna.
Luna is a big, fluffy, long-haired cat that I had before I took in the kittens. In fact, I took in the kittens because I was wanted Luna to have some company. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. Luna disliked the kittens as much as they liked her. Larry especially.
Larry had never seen anything like Luna's furry tail and all he wanted to do was touch it with his paws and bury his nose in it. Luna, of course, wanted none of it.
One day while I was holding Larry he noticed Luna sitting at my feet. Before I could stop him, he sprang out of my hands and dove straight for her tail. He landed on his mark and for two whole seconds buried his face in her fur. He was in heaven! Luna was very displeased and boxed his ears but I don't think he ever regretted it.
In the beginning, Larry didn't have much use for humans, but he loved playing with cats, SJ especially. It took Larry about a year before he would lie beside me on the couch and another half year until he would lie on my lap.
I found out Larry was sick when he was about a year old. Hemolytic anemia. There were many veterinary visits over the years, his red blood cell count would plummet, sometimes for no reason, and his medication would need to be adjusted.
But, through it all, he was a great cat. He purred when I held him, he never scratched me, not once. He hated the cat carrier and purred like a motorboat when he got back home. He'd flop down on the carpet in my bedroom, all sprawled out, clearly overjoyed to be back.
Larry suffered a stroke yesterday and there wasn't anything I could do, expect the one thing I did.
I loved Larry. I'm so sad I'll never see him again, never pet him again, never hold him in my arms and hear his deep throaty purr.
Goodbye Larry, you were a great cat and you'll always have a place in my heart.