Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day 2006

Let's get one thing understood up front: I am the ALPHA member of the Feline Oligarchy so I don't often get sentimental. (That's a warning that you may want to skip this post.) But it's Father's Day and I want to write about me and Ed. That's us in the picture taken right before I moved to Florida. It was our "good-bye" shot.

You might have gathered that I have rather humble beginnings in rural northern Minnesota, being born in a hay barn as one of many litters. When I was a teenager, my original people put me in a car for the first time and drove 15 miles to another farm where Ed and his wife lived. They were retired and their elderly cat had died a month earlier. They weren't going to have any more animals because they didn't think they would live long enough to take care of them. But my original people knew how lonely Ed and his wife were and figured that I was a pretty self sufficient guy and maybe, in my own way, I could take care of them.

It was Ed who named me Blackie but I got to be pretty good friends with both of them. The woman walked very slowly and had to use two canes but she always came to the door for me. And she didn't get mad at me when I attacked her curtains. The three of us did pretty well together for about three years. Then one day the woman went away and didn't come home to live anymore. She had moved to the Care Center in town.

That's when Ed and I started living together - just the two of us. Or as Ed would say "we were baching it" as two bachelors living together. In his 84 years, Ed had always lived on this farm and he had never lived alone. He could have gone somewhere else to live, but he adamantly chose not to. He would drive in to town every day and visit his wife. Then he would come home to me. He fed me my tablespoon of chicken flavored stinky goodness first thing in the morning and kept my crunchy food in a Frisbee on the floor. He kept my water bowel full. He let me out when I wanted out; he let me in when I wanted in. Evenings, we would spend together with me on his lap watching whatever sport was in season while he snoozed. I knew, in great detail, how the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, etc. seasons were going. When he woke up from his evening nap, we would have ice cream together before going to bed. In the morning he would wake up with me sleeping on top of him. We spent a long year and a half living together and really got to know and depend on each other.

It became apparent that Ed also needed to move to the Care Center. We both would have liked it if I could have moved with him, but nobody knew that I was litterbox trained. Besides, the Center already had a cat and I was used to being an only cat. And the Center's cat went outside and Ed didn't want me to be outside in town where I might be hit by a car. Since my mousing skills were current, I had several offers of places to go, but Ed didn't want me to have to go "back to the barn" and he thought "I was too good of a cat to be destroyed". While he always thought that the Florida humans were a little "odd" in how their felines ran their house (he teased them about that a lot over the years!), he decided that maybe Florida might really be the best place for me to go. So he made the Florida humans promise that when he moved to the Care Center, they would come and get me. They did and I've been here over 15 months now. And I've made a pretty good home of it.

Ed and his wife are now in a different Care Center, but they're still together. I know he has my picture on his bulletin board. I know sometimes that he still remembers me and the things we did together. And I also know that most times he doesn't. But I remember enough for both of us. And today, especially, I remember Ed.

Happy Father's Day.

--
Blackie

14 comments:

Beau Beau & Angie said...

Memories and caring are what Father's Day is all about. That's a wonderful story bout you an Ed. You're a lucky kitty.

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

Blackie that is a wonderful story!!! We are so glad they loved you so much to find you a good home and not be a barn cat. Our mom & dad are from East Grand Forks. Where do you happen to come from???

Feline Oligarchy said...

Scooby, Shaggy and Scout - We almost could have been neighbors. If you could climb on top of the barn in which I was born (which would have been pretty difficult because it has an aluminum roof) you would be able to see Upper Red Lake - real close to Washkish. About a 2 hour drive from East Grand Forks, which, if your mom and dad liked to fish, they might have driven right by my old place. -- Blackie

Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

Sweet!! Our Dad goes to Upper Red every summer since high school with his men friends. His best friend from childhood has a family cabin there. They are getting together the last weekend in June this year. Even though dad is not big into fishing he hears it is very good this year. He goes up with 2 other highschool friends from here in the Cities, and meet up with 3 or 4 who go from EGF. They used to go with 5 cases of beer EACH for the weekend when they were in their early 20's, now that they are 47 they take a 12 pack of beer & a case of pop and bring home extra beer! How things change! A little fishing, a little card playing and early to bed. Or maybe a side trip into Kelliher for yucks. OLD FARTS!

Feline Oligarchy said...

Oh how funny! And how wonderful that these hot shot kids can become old farts together and still have fun. This year they can also go to the Big Bog State Park which just opened a few weeks ago; the Human's brother happened to be up there for the opening and said it was pretty interesting. The walleye are back also. And there's a new restaurant in Kelliher open on weekends, we hear.

Anonymous said...

Blackie,
what a very sweet post. It brought a tear to mom's eye. We're so glad you had another home to go to.

Oreo said...

Blakie, that am so sweet! It made mine Mom cry!

William said...

What a sweet story! I'd say that both of you were quite lucky to have the time that you did. Plus, I find it very lucky that Ed's named after my bro.

Hot(M)BC said...

Aw :) What a real nice story! Yall were lucky to be able to be together :) And it's so cool you got a new home too.

~~ Sanjee

Patches & Mittens said...

This is such a touching story. We are thrilled you shared it with us. Our Momma and Daddy were born and raised in Brainerd, Minnesota....you know what cold is!!! So glad you found a new furrever home.

Patches Lady

Fat Eddy said...

Oh man, my eyes are all wet and my nose is dripping just thinking about your story. Thanks for sharing.

Cat said...

Blackie,

This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I know this is late but Happy Father's Day to all Daddys!

Chatham said...

What a wonderful story. It made my Cat Couch cry.

Feline Oligarchy said...

Thanks everybody for all your comments. My Human had a few tears too when she helped me type -- Blackie