You might remember the post I made in memory of my old feline roommate Oscar. Sadly, this post is a memorial for his adoptive brother, Skitch.
Skitch died yesterday, quite suddenly, without any warning signs of ill health. He was found curled up on a stack of boxes. I'd like to think that due to its sudden nature, Skitch didn't suffer, and maybe he went quietly in his sleep. He was such a great cat, and such a nervous cat, that it's nice to imagine -which is all I can do- that he never saw it coming.
I'm a fan of cats, I worked as a janitor for a no-kill cat shelter for almost two years, I grew up with cats, and have lived with cats most of my life. People have often heard me declare, without reservation that Skitch was the best of them all. I think what got me about him was his dependence on those who loved him. He was terrified of strangers, and would quickly bolt out of any open space when more than one stranger was in the apartment. But once he got to know you, look out, because he wanted to be showered with affection from dawn until...well, there really was no limit to how much love you could show him.
He was extremely understimulated, you could pet him as rough and as fast as you wanted, HE LOVED IT! He would melt in your lap as you pet him (or rubbed his ears, he was a big fan of that). Once melted, he was pretty much just a sack of bones, you could pick him up and cradle him in your arms like a baby, and rub his belly and under his chin. He dug it all. He would purr so much while you were doing it.
He did have a whiny side to him, the cries he would make in the middle of the night to be let into the bedroom, to be let out of the bedroom, to be petted. If the pathetic mews didn't work, he went into knock-anything-that-I-can-off-any-surface-higher-than-the-floor mode.
Skitch had a really great mom, who's going to miss him a whole lot more than I will, which is a scary thought, because I already miss him a whole lot. He was scheduled to move to St. Louis in July. In a way it's best he didn't end up making the trek, he is terrified of leaving the apartment. In his last move, several years ago, he broke down the door to two different cat carriers we had before we even got him out the door. A scheme of wrapping him up in a blanket, and holding him tight and praying to god he didn't get free in the block-long walk to Leah's new apartment was the ultimate solution. He then spent a better part of a week hiding in a suitcase full of underwear.
In closing I'd like to present to you a song I made up, and would sing to him from time to time. I feel like it embodies my perception of the guy. As luck would have it I saw him just this past Saturday and had one last chance to sing it to him. I'm gonna miss that dude something fierce.
His name is Skitch
He's a big old Skitch
He's the Skitchest Skitch in the whole wide Skitch
And he Skitches Skitch
When he Skitches Skitch
He's the Skitchiest Skitch in the whole wide SKIIIIIIIIITCH!