Column: The Litter Box; Goodbye My Friend Rocky

paulb

1/2/2021

Goodbye Rocky

Larry the SportsCat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Larry the SportsCat

(Katlama, WA) Hi everyone, I know it’s been awhile since the SportsCat has checked in and it is with a heavy heart I return to my laptop. My friend Rocky had a visit from the Vet today and he passed away shortly after. His owner and our neighbor Ms Laurie is a very sweet and loving lady who not only owned Rocky but two other cats who are orange tabby siblings, one is Opie who is very adventurous and we see him around our little neighborhood and the other one Cheeto stays inside and is a shy kitty.

Laurie also has a bigger dog named Ginger who is very friendly and a small little yapper Piper who is all bark and then very sweet. Laurie’s own kids also have dogs and sometimes she dog sits them and they are very energetic. I am sure they are nice but I keep my distance.

It was these dog visits that led to my friendship with Rocky who has long soft fur and looks to be at least part Siamese. Rocy was older, 18 and kinda stuck in his ways and the young visiting pups racing around his yard barking and playing well it was too much for Rocky so we started seeing him on our front porch, 2 doors down.

Rocky at first would keep his distance when my owners started to see him and at first didn’t know who he belonged too. They would try to pet him but he would scurry away. As the weather got nicer the more the visiting dogs would come by and the more we would see of Rocky. After a while Rocky got comfortable enough to let my owners pet him.

They then put out a bowl of water since it was getting warm and Rocky started staying longer laying out front with me and we would keep an eye on the neighborhood, chase a few birds and be intimidated by squirrels. Eventually, Laurie was concerned and walked the neighborhood looking for Rocky when he didn’t return home one night only to find him on our porch. She apologized for him intruding on us and my owners told her he was no trouble at all and that he and I were becoming good friends.

We would literally hang out with each other for hours, laying in the sun and then the shade. When it was time for me to eat dinner my owners began to worry that Rocky was not eating enough. So they got him his own bowl and Rocky would eat several meals with me.

I should also mention I have a younger sister Liza, a gray tabby who is pretty stand-offish and doesn’t like other animals much but she also was taken in by Rocky’s charm and his easy-going nature and the 3 of us would spend a lot of time on our front deck.

Rocky

Rocky got so comfortable he would come in and eat a couple of bites of our shared hard food or get a drink of water and then run right back outside. You could tell he felt like he was intruding and didn’t want to overstay his welcome.

After the visiting dogs would go home he’d wait an extra day before he’d go home and then we would know when they were back because Rocky would be on our front porch. I was always so happy to see my friend and happy to spend time with him. I know he brought so much joy and happiness to Laurie through his life and I felt a little guilty thinking I was keeping him from her but she did have several other cats and dogs that kept her busy so I didn’t mind being a little bit selfish if it meant I could be with my friend.

Some people think cats and dogs are just animals and not worthy of being cared for or doted on and others are on the opposite end of the spectrum and try to use us as a replacement for humans. I have often wondered why or how such extreme thoughts and feelings can be displayed toward cats and dogs.

Regardless of where you are on this wide scale it feels like Americans for the most part are more likely to appreciate and care for their 4-legged furry friends. Please, I know there is a lot of abuse and mistreatment of animals I get that but there are also millions that are well cared for and loved.

As a Cat all I can do is appreciate the life my family has given me. They chose me from an animal shelter and got Liza from a friend who could no longer keep her. They care for us, feed us and love us and it is very much appreciated.

We do our best to try and show that appreciation by curling up in your lap when you are not feeling well. Some of us will protect you from danger, others will run to the door to welcome you when you get home no matter what kind of day you had we are always happy to see you.

We can not go out and work at Safeway or mow lawns to help with the house payment or put food on the table but we can give unconditional love and when you are pushed to the limit we are always there for you. That is our job. That is what we do. There is no doubt our lives would be horrific without you, our life span would be so much shorter without you but from what I understand for many of you humans the same is true without us.

Rocky was 18, he loved Laurie and never abandoned her. And when things got to be a little overwhelming for him Laurie loved Rocky enough to let him come down and spend time with me. We were truly friends.

 

I will never forget the time Rocky, Liza and me all teamed up to chase off a larger, less friendly cat. Imagine this, me with no front claws, I was de-clawed prior to my family adopting me but I have never been one to be stuck inside and demand to be an outside cat, at least when its nice out but there I am no claws and then Liza who has the largest green eyes you’ve ever seen, so big we think she has a hard time seeing in fact and then Rocky at 18 and we chased off this feral cat.

Afterward we were treated to some tasty treats and cold water and the 3 of us lounged in the mid-day sun on the porch enjoying our victory. It was the best day.

About a month or so ago Laurie told us she thought the end might be near for Rocky. I had not seen him in a while and he was staying in her upstairs, losing weight and having to be carried up and down the stairs. Then we got a run of some late Indian Summer weather and warmer temperatures with some sun and the visiting dogs were back and suddenly Rocky was on our porch.

I meowed and meowed to get outside to the point of annoying the family but when they opened the door for me we all saw Rocky. We were all so happy to see him and he was looking and acting like his old self. Quickly his bowl was filled and water dish capped off. We got to spend 3 straight days of seeing Rocky and simply getting to be with him.

I know the passing of a cat is hardly breaking news especially now days with so many problems we all face, some much worse than others. And whether you are mourning the passing of a Grandparent from this nasty virus or are out of work and quickly running out of money or not sure if you can simply put food on the table I hope those of you with a furry friend in your life know that when times are tough we are still there with you. We don’t need much and our love is eternal.

Rocky was my friend. I miss him. But I will never forget his friendship and that makes me want to give my family even more love than ever before. Good-bye, for now Rocky, I’ll keep the squirrels away, Love Larry.

www.elisportsnetwork.com

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