Monday, January 14, 2008

IN MEMORY OF COON


Well, the dreaded day is coming this Thursday. That is the day that my beloved cat, Coon, my 16 1/2 year old black and tan tabby, is going to meet his Maker. Coon has been sick for almost a year and we are lucky God allowed us to keep him as long as we have. Coon has been my "Bubba" since he was born in my hand back on July 24, 1991 in Virginia. He lived with me in Virginia, then Missouri, and did the cross country trip in a U-Haul to California. While we were in California, we added Cliff, Kahlua and Mocha to our family, and then lost Mocha before we moved back to Missouri. Since being back here, Coon has been the head dog in our cat family that includes Pewter, Mr. Sniffy, Maki and Kahlua, who is now almost 10 years old. Thursday she will be the oldest cat in the family.

Always my buddy, he would curl up at night and sleep next to me with his head on the pillow and his paws across my arm. For whatever reason, he thought nipping at your nose was affectionate. Or he could have been showing me he was the alpha cat. Coon is one of the smartest cats I've ever had. He understands "No", "Down", "Out", "Stop", "Come" and "Go" and always comes when you call him by name. With "down, out and go" Coon goes in whatever direction I am pointing. Truly a well-minded cat. He can open cabinet doors, sliding doors, and has begging down to a fine art. One time while we were in California, just after Cliff and I got married, I started shutting Coon out of the bedroom. He wasn't having that, so he started pawing at the door incessantly. After 15 minutes or so, we'd get up and shoo him away, only for him to come right back. So we started spraying water on him. That worked for about two weeks. Then, one night we heard a thumping noise downstairs. We didn't know if someone was trying to break in, so Cliff grabbed a tennis racket from our closet (all we had at the time) and we opened the bedroom door and slowly crept down the stairs. We could still hear the thumping noise coming from the kitchen. So we slowly inched our way into the kitchen and didn't see anything at first. Then, we heard another thump right above our heads, where Coon was sitting with his paw under the door, pulling it open and letting it thump closed. As soon as he saw us look at him, he chirped and was off the fridge in a flash, and by the time we got back up stairs, he was curled up on my pillow waiting me to come to bed. We gave up, and learned to sleep with our hands over our noses.

Still the alpha cat, all he has to do is "give the paw" to the other cats and they back down, even though they have their claws and fangs and Coon does not. He just raises his right front paw and give them "the look" and they either pull their heads back or physically step back. He's still the Alpha Cat for a day or two more. Thursday we will put him to rest and end his pain. He'll always be my Bubba Coon. Bye Coon, I'll see you on the other side.

2 comments:

Cliffy said...

Just testing my comments

Anonymous said...

One of my best Coon stories occurred shortly after I met Vicki. We had been dating for a few months when she decided to move to California to take a job. I was still living at Kelly Greens where we met, taking care of Coon. On a Friday morning before I went to work, Coon somehow slipped out the apartment door without me knowing. When I got home, no Coon! I was beside myself, thinking I had lost my new girlfriends cat. My friends and I walked around the complex, calling for him (you can imagine how that went). Anyway, and I'm not sure if it was saturday night or sunday morning, a kind of haggard-looking Coon showed up, having realized the benefits of freedom were somewhat outweighed by the negatives. I don't think he could have been happier to see me, nor me him. I was finally able to call Vicki, and since he was back, I could actually tell her the truth! Of course, I'm kind of a johnny come lately to the Coon and Vicki pairing, but all I can say is that he has been a great cat and will be sorely missed.