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Today, August 8th, has been declared International Cat Day – a notion mocked by our current head of household who believes this celebration is about 364 days beyond reality.
And sometimes 365.
Still, the International Fund for Animal Welfare has chosen this date for the past 20 years to remind us not only to consider the health and welfare of our feline overlords, but also to appreciate their presence.
As if our cats are making us forget it.
With that in mind, those of us took a foray into the RGtCG archives over the past week and browsed memorable moments from some of those who got lost in our lives.
Marshmallow (The Magician)
Marshmallow, a grayish-brownish tabby with tiny white toes, was responsible for an amazing feat. When I was around 8, she climbed into my bed and let me disappear in the middle of the night … only to wake up the next morning in my parents’ bed across the hall.
She achieved this by choosing to have her litter on my pillow in the middle of the night – an event I overslept but which woke my younger brother.
Tiger (the tragicomic character)
We don’t talk much or often about this creatively named orange tabby that wandered into our house one day and disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Legend has it that he was playing with the rubble of an overturned garbage can when my older brother decided to scare away Tiger with his BB gun.
The shot reportedly pierced an aerosol can, causing a chain reaction that resulted in Tiger being buried on the edge of the backyard in a makeshift grave marked with a large rock … which we would later use as the first base for kickball games.
Mitzi (The Mystical Healer)
The first roommate I ever considered “mine” was a calico with a Zen-like nature and the ability to control and calm any emotional upheaval.
Visiting college during a rather troubled time in our family history, I woke up early in the morning to fetch a glass of water.
As I walked into the kitchen, I saw my father sitting at the kitchen table smoking a Pall Mall and staring through the sliding glass door at the morning mist. Mitzi sat on his lap and looked at me with a look that said: “You are not thirsty. Go back to bed. I can do this.”
Bogart (The Court Jester)
Was it when he stormed down a chipmunk hole? When he slipped off a slate roof and Wile E. Coyote’s face climbed off a cliff? Scorch yourself on a wood stove? Cover your eyes while we shotgun as we drove through Chicago?
The fool’s crown prince, dressed in a tuxedo, was clueless, loyal, unintentionally funny, anti-social, stubborn, occasionally loving, and did not like to tolerate fools. My mother-in-law called him “Little Rob” … although neither of us saw the resemblance.
Junior (The Survivor)
Junior, a stray tabby passed down among residents of a Florida apartment complex, eventually adopted us and lived to annoy Bogey just by his presence.
When we moved and arranged his next home, they refused each other – which resulted in an Atlanta operator sending an 911 call to us in Seattle, which then resulted in me hiring a two-woman team of former coworkers to relocate to salvage it, Junior, who was in great shape.
One of the staff took him in until a home was found. Junior spent the night in her young son’s bed (although she wasn’t born) and, well, a suitable home had been found.
Kira (The Thinker)
Unlike the cats, who automatically became the smartest creatures in their home, Kira was actually able to back up that claim.
As a calico with the uncanny ability to warp time, space and her body in order to wedge herself in the most improbable spaces, she was also a planner, a plotter whose cognitive wheels were constantly turning.
More than once we watch in amazement as she tried to escape through the sliding glass door into the backyard. After seeing us doing it, she scratched the wooden stick that kept the door from opening fully. Once she figured that out, she turned her attention to the latch.
How she actually tried to slide the door open, we never found out … but she undoubtedly had found out too.
Dax (The Faithful Companion)
The two were more than ready to play second fiddle to Kira and played a musical performance as Kira played vents like a washboard while Dax provided percussion with whatever was around.
A gray tabby with a belly full of spots that led to her Trillian name, Dax was looking for nothing more than to love and be loved and to be included in her big sister’s adventures.
We found out about this early on when we entered an upstairs bedroom and was staring Kira out the window in another Goldberg-like escape plan with the screen partially open.
Are you kidding me? I asked her. You would injure yourself at this height – information she would learn, and we both looked down at Dax, who had been Kira’s test subject. She was unharmed, but stayed away from windows when her sister was in the room.
Tiffany (The Queen)
The RGtCG archives are littered with their exploits, if not with their names.
The current head of the household, despite his majesty and dominance, has a huge heart … which she proved by giving an ailing Dax an affectionate tongue bath just before she would ascend the throne.
There are certainly many more adventures ahead of her … and us.
That’s only eight, of course. The ninth seat is reserved for The Next One, who will arrive at some point. Tiffany is far from ready to abdicate and has made it clear that she does not need a wife.
But one day there will be another cat. There is always a cat.
Mail Tribune News Editor Robert Galvin fills the bowls at firstname.lastname@example.org