We walked in the door yesterday, returning from a week-long trip out of town, to find my beloved Wolfie laying peacefully on the living room carpet. He died while we were gone, most likely from a stroke. From what we could discern, it had been instantaneous. He seemed to be in mid-stride going into another room, and didn't suffer. Wolfie was nineteen and a half, which is a pretty amazing run for a dignified domestic short-hair from Barling, Arkansas.
One beautiful September morning in 1994, I walked out my front door to visit my parents for the day and do my laundry. A scrappy little white and black kitten paused his butterfly chasing by the ditch to come over and get chin scritches. When I came home about eleven hours later, he was still sitting in my yard and looking at me as if to say, "Woman, where the flip have you been?!" I took him in the house and kept him. We went through a divorce, grad school, and two cross-country moves together.
Now, after so many years of love and support, he's finally moved on. We buried him next to Shadow in the front flower bed, where they can watch the squirrels and birds hop around our trees. Knowing they're together is comforting since they were inseparable in life, and we'll plant something special for them when the weather gets warmer. Wolfie loved a lot of things, like grass and flowers (both to nom and to roll in).
To mess up photos.
To play video games.
To kill string.
To help me work.
Wolfie loved to get under Brian's chair and use his tail to tickle Brian's butt (also known as "tailing"). He was also fond of cheese and Doritos. Tailing was probably his favorite, though, and heaven knows it made me laugh. He liked to tail on the back of the couch, too (to tickle Brian's ears).
Although most people would think it's silly to be so crushed over losing a cat, I feel like anything I say here will be insufficient tribute to someone who meant so much to me. Wolfie was with me for very nearly half of my life to date. From the gangly, energetic kitten to the haughty, secretly playful adult to the snuggy, mischievous elder, he always had a fangwipe and a "mrfff" for me when I got home. He made everything better. And he's the only cat I ever met who could (or would) turn on light switches.
Reaching such an age is unusual, and for the past few years Brian had taken to calling him Methuselah Cat. Other favorite nicknames included Dorian Graymouth, The Holstein, and Hairy Trotter. Regardless of which name he went by on a given day, he was unique. I'm utterly heartbroken to lose him, but I'm grateful for getting to keep him with me for so long. Family member, best friend, and cutest cat in the history of ever...rest well, Wolfie Love. We love you.