Today, January 27, marks the second anniversary of losing Scooter. Rather than mourn him, I wish to pay tribute to him.
I still remember the day when I went to the Michigan Humane Society to adopt a new kitten. I already had one cat, Bogart, and I thought it might be a good idea to get Bogart a companion. It was Good Friday, March 23, 1989. I had decided that I wanted a black and white short-haired kitten (Bogart was a gray and white long-haired). I walked into the room that housed all the cats and kittens in cages. There were lots of kittens and cats. In one cage were a few black and white kittens but they were long-haired. After playing with them by poking my fingers through the cage bars, I decided on one of the black and white ones even though I really wanted one with short hair. The humane society worker took the one I selected out of the cage and put it in a “holding” cage until I could fill out the appropriate paperwork. At that point, I heard a loud “MEOW!!!” I looked down and there in the bottom cage was a tiny, about 6 weeks old, gray and white short-haired kitten with the cutest triangle of gray on his nose. He meowed loudly again, clearly trying to get my attention. It was as if he was saying “Don’t take that one! Pick me, pick me!!!” I hadn’t wanted another gray and white cat, but how could I say no to that face???? Sometimes you don’t pick the cat…the cat picks you. I told the worker I changed my mind…that I wanted that little one (with the loud mouth 🙂 ) in the bottom cage. And thus, life with Scooter Cat (as I affectionately called him) began.
Scooter was a wonderful cat…I was his “mom,” that was clear. He was my “problem child” but I loved him in spite of it. Unfortunately, Bogart and Scooter never became best friends, but they did tolerate each other.
When Scooter was 13 years old, he developed arthritis in his spine which caused a spinal compression. He was in terrible pain and the only solution was surgery. He came through the surgery but it was not without some complications. Towards the end of the surgery, Scooter suffered cardiac arrest. The surgeon and vet assistants were able to revive him and, fortunately, he suffered no ill effects. One of the doctors commented that they had nicknamed Scooter “Phoenix” because it was as if he rose from the ashes.
Soon after Scooter’s surgery, we moved to Grosse Ile. Scooter loved being an Island Cat. He enjoyed watching the birds, squirrels and other wild life.
We were able to let him go outside (supervised, of course) and he would lay on the deck soaking up the sun. He loved to walk around the yard, checking everything out…and we began saying “Scooter is out doing a walkabout.”
Even though the surgery helped emmensely, Scooter was never 100% afterwards. About 3 years later, he began having problems walking again. This time, however, there didn’t seem to be anything that could help him and his health deteriorated rapidly. I made the hardest decision of my life…but gave Scooter the greatest gift I could give him…and released him from his pain.
This is one of the last photos I took of Scooter…along with Wally.
Scooter will always be the original “Island Cat.” I still miss him…but his memory lives on in my heart.
The Rainbow Bridge story: http://www.indigo.org/rainbow/rainbow.swf
“…do animals go to heaven? I do believe that we and our animals will meet again. If we do not, and where we go is supposed to be heaven, it will not be heaven to me and it will not be where I wish to go.” ~Cleveland Amory