Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Best Friend is Gone.

My big orange cat is dead.  My heart hurts so much and is so empty, it feels like nothing will fill it.  I know that this may sound dumb to some people, but it's where I'm at.  Can I tell you a little bit about him?

Marty was 14 years old.  He was with me through wild times in college.  He lived with me in my dorm room at Williston and literally terrorized my room and my roommate's.  He was always hell bent on freedom as a kitty.  He was the same wild man when he lived with me at Grandma Shirley's house.  He would roll around with her dog, Sam, and knock over her plants.  Grandma Shirley always gave "Moomy" a kiss on the head good night before locking him in my room before he could do more damage.  He was a heck of a mouse hunter, and loved to perch up high above her doorway.  He was really aloof during this time, and I loved that about having a cat, because he was always ready to snuggle up at bedtime.  If I am feeling down, I always lay in bed.  My mom does the same thing, and it's the place where I feel like I can cry safely where no one can see me.  Marty was always there for me if I went to my bed to be sad.  I never felt alone with Marty, because he was always there in the background for me when I needed it the most. In his adolescence he loved to go outside.  He would sit outside on a leash and wait to be petted by passerbys.  It wasn't unusual for him to break through a screen to escape to the outside to "cat around" for a day or night.  Marty was the consummate tom cat, and this came with a reputation to uphold.  He was always just a bit aloof, and never let you rub his belly or his feet, or you would get a scratch or a bite before you even knew what hit you.  My sisters would laugh because I would try to get them to smell his "orange fluff belly".  They didn't dare, and feared that he would claw their head off.  He and I really understood each other though, and I could read his body language and know whether I could smell his belly or not.  One of my favorite traits of Marty's was that he always smelled good, especially his belly. 

Sadie joined our family when Marty was a teen.  I honestly thought she would have to go back to the Humane Society because Marty tortured the poor kitty so.  He would hold her down and bite her.  My dad always called Marty "Alpha Male" and "Le Gran Orange", and I think he was just asserting his dominance over the newest family member.  Within a few weeks, they were the best of friends.  Up until he passed away, Marty and Sadie napped together.  Perhaps Sadie is even more lost than I am without Marty.  As he got older, he slowed down like every human and animal does.  He slept more and played less, and never begged to go outside anymore.  Although I was sad to see him change as he aged, he also became more loving when he was older.  He purred a lot and begged for love.  He always patted me with his claws very softly when he wanted his head scratched.  For the last year he started getting cups of water with me every morning because he had a hard time climbing up on the toilet to get a drink.  He still religiously begged me for butter when I made toast though, and I always felt warm and fuzzy anytime we did anything that was a part of just our special routine. 

I am trying to get into a new routine without him.  I can tell you I don't like this one bit.

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