February 17th, 2017 Posted 11:24 pm
Rockie was my first pet cat. I got him in August of 2003 just before my beagle died (also from cancer). I loved the beagle so much, and when she became ill with bladder cancer I felt overwhelmed with pain. I thought another pet might offer distraction and some happiness. I knew I could not get a dog, because I feared I would project expectations and compare another dog to my beagle. My ex-boyfriend’s mother was bringing home stray kittens during this time with the goal of finding them homes. I asked her if I could choose one, and of course, she said yes. I selected a black cat with yellow eyes and a bushy tail. I wanted to call him Rockie, from Rocky and Bullwinkle, because he had a giant tail like the flying squirrel cartoon character.
Rockie was a mostly quiet cat, but when he spoke his had a high-pitched meow. It reminded us of Felix the Cat. Rockie grew to a large size. He was 18 lbs when fully grown. He used to fetch his toy mice. He used to open doors with handles. He wasn’t fond of other pets. I got him a little buddy, my cat Gizmo, at one point because I was worried Rockie was lonely. Rockie tolerated Gizmo (a high energy cat) but preferred solitude. He also lived with a white rabbit, Thumper, for many years, but he was very aversive to him as well. In fact, Thumper wanted to be friends with Rockie so much that he chased him and pulled out some of Rockie’s hind fur with his teeth in an effort stop Rockie from running away from him.
Rockie loved to eat. He could not be free fed lest he would gorge himself. He was overweight. Rockie was as black as the night. We had trouble taking pictures of him, especially if his eyes were closed. He wore a black safety collar with bells, and he had a black name tag. He was an indoor cat or a “shut-in” as mom used to say. We never allowed him outside. I didn’t want my beloved to be eaten by a coyote. He scurried away at the sound of plastic bags rustling. He didn’t bite, but he had a strong arm. He hit me a couple of times while we were playing.
Sharing all these memories brings me sadness and joy. I loved him. I love remembering him. This is why I share the blog. I want to remember the details such as his plush fur, his soft paw pads, his rolling high-pitched mew, and the missing tip of his left ear.
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