Ode to Zoey
They always say that cats have 9 lives… and maybe that’s true. Zoey lived so adventurously that she probably would have filled 9 more lives (human or otherwise)…
Here are some of my favorite stories:
1) Hurricane Ike left the Galveston shelter underwater and someone rounded up/brought as many kittens as he could to the new shelter in Houston. One of these kittens was Zoey. I adopted her in October, 2009.
2) She was always a hunter- and proceeded to jump off the balcony trying to catch a pigeon. The result was a broken leg.
But don’t worry…. she still managed to climb onto a roof with it.
3) She got the nickname “whore” because when I lost my job in Houston, I was packing up the moving truck…. She was an outdoor/indoor cat and, apparently had made….. “Friends”… All these people came out to the moving truck and saw Zoey and said “oh! is Zoey leaving???”
“yea.. zoey’s my cat. who are you?”
“oh…. we’re zoey’s OTHER family!”
“OTHER FAMILY???? ZOEY! YOU WHORE!”
(She had 10 other families in total).
4) Never afraid of an adventure- she took long road trips with me… The first (and most hellacious) was from Houston to Seattle.
5) She was super adaptable. We went from apartment to house to apartment to house…. and eventually ended up living with RJ and his 4 cats.
She never complained- and (sometimes) she would share treats/food/pettings.
6) Some of her (and my) happiest moments were when she curled up and spooned with me. Every night. No matter what else was happening in the world.
7) We moved again- to Baltimore– and started to go hiking. She loved it.
8) She also loved tuna-cakes (with catnip frosting) for her birthday (April 10th).
But, I longed for more adventure… and my life took me to quitting my job and setting out into the world. I remember getting a call from my parents when I was in France saying she ran away. I went to a cemetery and cried all day. (To this day, I associate France to “food poisoning” and “crying a lot”. I’m not a fan of that country.)
Spoiler- she came back. But I took that for granted. I left again- this time for longer. it’s been 3 years and the longest I’ve been with my whore has been 10 weeks in 2014 when I also lived with Buddy (my brother’s dog)
9) My mom would tell me stories of her jumping on the roof (on the CHIMNEY!) and catching birds… then promptly bringing them to the kitchen and devouring them there. “Does she want me to cook it???” My mom skyped me. No one knew the answer to this.
I would read that skype and wish I was there to see her achievement… To encourage her to live crazy. I always felt like she understood why I left. She was tolerant and always seemed so grateful to have me when she could.
But today I feel differently….. Today, Zoey got hit by a car. And today my heart broke. And today, I feel like I let her down. I feel like a failure of a human for being so fucking selfish and not being there for my Fuzzy-Pumpkin-Head.
The cat with the softest and best-smelling fur in the world. The cat with the cutest jelly-toes that I wanted to pet and touch every day.
The cat that earned her name of “whore” every time I introduced her to new people by promptly sitting in their laps.
I’m glad I was able to give my fuzzy-head a home better than swampy Galveston.
I’m glad she grew to be independent and reliant on herself.
I will greatly miss the Saturday mornings when we would wake up at 6am just to lay and snuggle for a few hours before I had to actually get up.
I’ll miss road trips with her.
I’ll miss the back and forth conversations we would have when I came home. (very short words…. usually “meow” and “oh”.)
I wish there was some technology that could give her a message. I would tell her that I love and I miss her.