Dearest Boo Boo,
You are a handsome short haired tabby cat, beloved companion of Mary, my/ our mother. It took me the better part of a decade to love you. I found you hard to connect with, you needed to do something about your breath and quite frankly, you drool.
Boo Boo, you probably could sense I didn’t particularly like you. Given your sense of smell, I suspect you already knew I was owned by Heidi, the chocolate Labrador. Heidi and I saw you as a threat. In fact Heidi was ostracized because of her apparent threat to you! Boo Boo you know I saw through that hoax. You would run and take cover hissing at that gentle Labrador. You know full well that you would take my sweetheart down with one swat of those sharp claws. Your childish histrionics were such a façade to keep Mom on your side! It took me a decade to understand that I would have done the same had I been a cat.
Boo Boo did you see it coming? I didn’t expect your whole world to be put on its ear either. Your lair was pretty much unchanged until the fatal day of Mom’s fall.
All Mom needed to do was drop her car off at the garage, she did that often enough with that old clunker. It was close to your meal time and Mom needed to prepare your tilapia to go with your Fancy Feast. She was such a slave for you! So she called the local taxi company and they sent a van to pick her up.
Now the garage was in the country and the parking area had crushed stone. Mom was already 87 years old and Boo Boo you kept her in such good shape the lazy taxi driver presumed she was in her late 60s. But taxi drivers don’t get out of their vans to help people get in. That courtesy is long gone. A van is a high step off the ground and Mom couldn’t see a handle she could grab. Boo Boo you know Mom, she was filled with personal pride. She was 87 and she should have known it was too difficult for her manage. Her attempt resulted in a bad fall on those awful crushed rocks and she sustained her fourth concussion. That lazy taxi driver didn’t even notice. He drove her home, took the fare and let her stumble up the stairs. Didn’t he notice the blood on her head or even the blood stain on her leg?
Thank God for our sister, she was the first to arrive to Mom’s rescue. Boo Boo you must have been stressed. I called in the doctor and he did a pretty good job. The morphine he gave her was a little too much. Between the concussion, the coccyx injury and the infection in her leg, she just couldn’t stay at home with you. If she only had a bungalow and lived closer to her daughters, she could have managed.
So I won Mom and you lost. It wasn’t ideal for either of us Boo Boo. You still needed to be feed and the kitty litter changed. You were as important to Mom as we were and Mom’s direction was firm. We were to feed her Boo Boo at all costs. Let me tell you, for a dog lover, that commitment was onerous.
You were so sad. You seemed to think I was Heidi. Every visit you welcomed me with a hiss. I couldn’t pet you because you didn’t trust me. Do you remember when I would sit on the stairs and place my head down so you could eventually come and sniff my hair? After many weeks of that routine you eventually let me scratch you under your chin. You were so lonely!
Eventually that loneliness got you ill. Our sister told me to catch you and put you in the cat carrier so we could take you to the vet. By that time you trusted me! Regrettably, it turned out you were smart. No carrier for you and scratches for me! I was stupid, because I tried it again. Thinking back on it, you were awfully desperate for affection or I doubt you would have let me pick you up twice. I could not get you in that carrier.
Our sister managed you the next day. Perhaps you couldn’t fight anymore. We met at the vet’s and you were so afraid. You shook with fear and you looked up into my eyes. Darn it Boo Boo, I had to fall in love with you that day! Any of my brave talk, “that leaving you in that house alone for over a year was cruel and required compassionate euthanasia’, went quickly to ether. You needed a home. I was going to find one!
You only had bad teeth. The antibiotic worked. You managed to get worms and we got rid of them. I was beginning to think you really liked me and you were getting sick to make me swoon over you! But you would vomit and I would get over that fantasy.
I did find you a home over Christmas. Thanks for crying for all 12 nights. It was nice to get you back! I had my short haired tabby stress ball back! But you were still alone for 23 hours a day.
Our sister found a home for you! Only six hours flying time away in Winnipeg. But it was with our niece, the cat whisperer, and her cat friend. Oh and who knew the vet had Paxil! Paxil for cats! We medicated you for a week and boy, oh boy, you were better prepared for the cat carrier. You made it to your new home and Mom and I got your letters and pictures regularly.
Boo Boo, I am sorry we didn’t get along for our first ten years. I am glad we sort of liked each other for another two. You were such a bad boy and girls often fall for that kind of guy. I love you and wish you well. Mom loved you too! She has already left us for a better place. I know some day we can all get along together, where cats and dogs can coexist and it is peaceful and bright. Until then my furry friend!