For Zippy… Feb. 1999 – Dec. 2012
Fourteen years ago a note came in the mail that I couldn’t ignore: Six kittens born Valentine’s Day. Three were male, three orange and white, like Rudy, the beloved cat I’d lost one year earlier and thought I could never replace. I picked Zippy out of the litter at 5wks of age, and he made sure every other cat that was in my home before him, or after him, knew it.
He had big feet to fill, and he filled them completely. Now there’s so much to miss – like getting ready for work in the morning and sharing the bathroom sink, coming home to his face in the window waiting to greet me when I walked through the door. Sometimes I imagine I still hear the un-catlike thump of his feet walking to find me, and I’ve left his water bowl on the counter because it’s too final to put it away. Except for the one I’ve filled with five roses that sits near his photo and urn on my bureau, beside my bed, beside the pillow where he slept by my side.
Underneath the bureau someday when I’m ready, I’ll probably find more of his red and green twinkle balls. But he won’t be there with those topaz eyes, wide with excitement as I fished them out for him over and over again. The stuffed toy he carried to me on his last day lies under my pillow. I’d like to think it’ll stay there until we’re together again.
*I am so grateful to Zippy’s doctors who helped me keep him with me for as long as possible, and to Dr. Klie and her compassionate staff for making it possible to give Zippy, and me, the most peaceful parting.