Rookie, beloved cat

Twelve years ago a little cat in a tuxedo walked up to me at the corner of Duncan and West Side, and asked “Will you be my person”? I give thanks for the grace which led me to say yes, and I picked him up and tucked him inside my vest.

He has been ill for the past couple of weeks. When tuna and ham and raw egg and even his beloved cat treats become pale delights, it is time to say goodbye, which we have been doing for the past few days. Today we made the sad and merciful trip so that his end was as peaceful as most of his life.

Rookie loved to receive and give affection. He was usually timid, but not when he got outside on his monthly journeys to the Poconos, where he would quietly munch grass until the spirit took hold of him and he would dash across the yard to rocket ten feet up a tree, take a look around to make sure he was being seen, and then scamper down, to saunter back to the house with studied nonchalance.

He wore a perfect tuxedo, all mahogany black except for one white patch which extends all the way from his tuxedo shirt along his belly, with a thin white seam down the back of each leg to his white-shod paws.

Some pet tributes are a bit sheepish for caring so much for "just" an animal. No one needs to apologize for love and affection, and relationships with animals are just as real and as true as those with creatures of our own species. Pets are not people, but they are beloved, and a delight. Good night, sweet Rookie. Sweet cat dreams of fields and woods and nooks and crannies and little mousies and catnip forests and warm cozy sofas, with a loved one always nearby.


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