Tribute to Dave
May 2003 – January 25, 2010
We named him Dave, but he had other names that that he wore also. Little Boy, The Escape Kitty, Bubba and Red Rat Bastard were the favorites. Today we buried him in the back yard. He was only 6 ½ and he was the most handsome red and white cat that ever graced our home. He was the king of loving head butts and the tip of his tail often moved in twitches like radar zoning in on an object. He was the official pacer of the house – he spent 90% of his time indoors, but he had been born on a farm and that sense of needing to be with nature never left him. He would pace from the back porch to the bedrooms to the living room going from room to room, generally walking on the top of dressers, sofas and chairs and telling anyone who would listen that he wanted out. His cry was low and guttural and it intensified until either Chuck or I opened the door. He always knew where he lived (although the first time he was out at our new home in Indiana we left the porch lights on for him – just in case), and he was on his way home from his early morning trek when he was hit on the street in front of our home. I always told him he had to learn to look both ways when he crossed the street – that was a lesson he didn’t seem to learn.
It has been said that “A loving cat can mend a wounded heart.” (Anonymous) and he did just that. Dave came to us the summer my brother Jon died. I was leaving Indiana to go back home to New Jersey and I desperately needed to take something living back with me. I had several planters from the funeral, but they weren’t what I was looking for. My Dad had a cat named “Mud Cat” that had three kittens and the red and white one stole my heart. Against my niece’s wishes, I called him Dave. He would crawl up into the crook of my arm and purr and stare at me. When it was time to leave, I packed a large box with a towel in it, a shoe box with litter, had a bowl of kitten chow and water. Dave and I started off towards New Jersey. We weren’t five miles down the road when I realized Dave wasn’t going to stay in the box – the next 850 miles would be mostly spent in the crook of my arm. By the time we arrived in New Jersey, the two of us were inseparable.
He would soon become the project of Steve our Japanese Chin. Steve took on the role of “Mom” and he groomed Dave, fussed over him and shared his food with him – until he discovered that this little kitten could really eat. They wrestled and chased each other endlessly and often slept curled up together.
On cold winter nights, Dave could be found sleeping on the pillow with Chuck. Not next to him, but on top of his head with his legs hanging on either side of Chuck’s head. He was a smart boy; he knew where the heat escaped from.
Dave loved a good easy chair – over the 6 ½ years we had together, he claimed several. He rarely curled up when he slept; he was usually all stretched out with his bare tummy showing. He had a habit of chewing all of the hair off of his belly; it was as smooth as a baby’s butt. Neither his vet nor we ever discovered the reason for this habit, but he sure kept it smooth. I “Mom Cat” loved to kiss his naked belly.
He was one of the most loving cats Chuck and I have ever known. When he wanted love, he wanted it now. He would hop up on the table and sit in the middle of the Sunday paper until you moved him off or gave in to his advances. If you were sitting in one of his chairs, he didn’t seem to mind; he just sat on you with his paws on your shoulder, a contented look on his face, and the most beautiful purr coming from within. He could outlast us in the sitting department – are arms were often tired long before he was ready to get down.
Dave leaves behind Mom and Dad Cat – Marta and Chuck, Joel, big dog brother Steve and kitty sisters Lady and Margaret. Before his burial this morning, we gave the kids a chance to say good-bye. Steve kept smelling him, Margaret washed his ears and Lady hissed (she never lets us down in that department). This afternoon has been quiet in our home – we’ve all hung out together in the living room and just loved on one another – just like Dave would want us to do.
It has been said that death ends a life, not a relationship (Jack Lemmon) and for us - those words ring so very true. Dave has left a paw print on our hearts that will never go away. Sleep well dear Dave- till we meet again.
All our love,
Mom & Dad Cat, Joel, Steve, Lady and Margaret