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Farewell old friend

Look at that handsome devil – doesn’t he look wise? He was our dear, sweet, more-intelligent-than-many- humans-in-my-life cat to whom our family had to say goodbye a few weeks ago at the age of 18. We thought he would live forever but in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

My husband and I were never “cat people.” My then-boyfriend, now-husband, feigned cat allergies when we were in our early twenties living in Seattle on a whim – but when our apartment wouldn’t allow dogs, I wore him down into adopting a kitten. His friend at work from a town outside the city had taken in a pregnant stray and he had some kittens to give away. We got in the car one rainy Saturday morning in February and Doobie entered our life (it’s not what you are thinking – a Doobie Brothers concert was our first date. Honestly.).

Doobie was a bad ass outdoor cat who came to his name and was smart enough to come inside every night to sleep on our bed. He lived in two states, traveled across the country, saw two other cats come and go at different times (both not half as smart or enjoyable as he was), lived with us in apartments, houses, in the country, in the city. He suffered the arrival of our rambunctious lab as a puppy and showed him who was boss, yet they became best friends. He saw the arrival of three babies, and many baby pictures of our kids include Doobie – sharing my lap with an infant, or standing guard on the floor next to a just-sitting baby. When my kids’ friends came over, the first thing they would do is find Doobie, who would tolerate being carried like a baby or being trapped in a home made “cat fort.”

Doobie owned our neighborhood and everyone knew him. I would daily catch mailmen, UPS men and unknown walkers stopping to pet him. My friend and neighbor called him the mayor of the street. He would roam, yet never too far, and his favorite spot was in the sun on our front porch or in our driveway. As my dad said, Doobie is waiting in the driveway of heaven. Amen.

Our family was able to bury Doobie at our cousin’s house in the country and say a few words about him; we will visit him when we can. The kids are desperate for another cat and while I would like one too, I know that cats like Doobie don’t come along very often. As I told my daughter the other day, I think we will have to let our next cat find us. Good bye old friend – see you in the driveway of heaven.

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