I just heard about Ray Bradbury… and I’m sorry about that as well. However, he had a damn fine cat to take with him!
I should be drinking for this to be a proper wake but I do have to work tomorrow so I’m confining myself to coffee. Imagine that it’s Irish coffee and we’ll be all good. In a day or so I’ll clean the whole house and have scotch- one of my co-workers sensibly suggested that I get one of those beer hats and put cups of scotch in that so I can do both at once.
A few things about Pixel- he was named for Robert Heinlein’s Cat Who Walked Through Walls… partly because he did. I would let him in and a few minutes or an hour later, I would let him in again… without anyone having let him out. I always wondered, if he could make it work one way, why not both ways? He would never tell me although I did ask him that more than once.
His tail was too short. When you stroked down his spine and out the tail, it felt like he was missing the last inch or so although as far as I know, he had never had any cut off. Just born that way, I guess. Mom used to pet him and call him “Too-Short-Tail” as a nick-name. He liked to be lifted a little by the tail- until his back feet came off the floor. I think it felt stretchy or something but he would purr loudly if you would gently pull his tail.
Other than that, he did NOT like to be picked up or held. He was very affectionate but he was a “near-lap” cat rather than a lap cat. His favorite position was to snuggle up against the side of your leg to be petted. He also did not like to be on the inside of the bed. If I was sleeping too close to the edge, he would get down rather than get on the inside. And he did like to sleep with me! He would start right after dinner trying to convince me to go lie down and he was really pleased whenever I would go take a nap. On frontline days (he hated to be frontlined) I would go lie down to convince him to come to me and it never took long.
He was most definitely my cat. He was friendly with everyone but he would follow me around the house like a puppy- one friend called him “a puppy in a fun-fur” because he would act so doggy about following me. He also would wag his tail when pleased.
And he could talk when he was younger. Once I caught him doing something he shouldn’t in the hall and asked “Did you do that?” and he puffed up, gave off the scent of Johnson’s Baby Powder (I don’t know how) and said “Who, me?” so very clearly that the was-band (who was around the corner taking a bath) siad “What’s she (Eliz) done now”? When I told him it was Pixel, he said “That cat did not just talk! That was Pixel?” He would also demand to go out- “Mama! Out! Now!”- and if I didn’t let him out fast enough, he would stomp his front feet at me. He never had a very large vocabulary but what he could say was very clear and distinct.
The smell of baby powder gave him away more than once. He would smell like baby powder when he felt guilty over something- even if I hadn’t discovered it yet. I never figured out how he did it… or even where he got the idea that it was an “innocent” scent since we never had baby powder in the house.
Pixel hated water more than most cats. I had to bathe him once (I sprayed insect killer on him by accident thinking it was Adam’s flea spray) and he climbed the wall of the shower with absolutely no footholds at all.
I don’t remember any more Pixel stories right now. When I do, I’ll add them. He was a good buddy and I’m going to miss him a lot. He lived with me 19 years so I’m sure more stories will come up.