My name is Dennis. My wife Barb and I had to put our kitty Scooter down on Monday August 24, 2015. He had turned 19 last July. His kidneys had started to fail several years ago and we were managing it with food but we discovered he had a tumor on his bladder and once we found that out he just went downhill so fast. James at Home to Heaven was kind and compassionate and we will always be grateful.
Scooter was born in July 1996 and came to us in mid-October of that year. We had a cat named Luey and thought he needed a pal. We found Scooter on an index card on the bulletin board at Toddy’s, a grocery store at Lemay and Drake which some may remember. The card described him as a friendly people cat and boy did they nail that one. The couple who had him had allergy issues and when we went to see him he licked my wife’s face so we brought him home. At 3 ½ months he was mostly legs and tail and just personality plus. Scooter never had any use for the other cats we had/have (Luey and Cleo) but he really loved his humans. Barb and I both have multiple recollections of him lying on the bed with us when one of us was sick.
Scooter had a variety of vocalizations all of them heavy with meaning. When he was on one of our laps he would make this little noise in the back of his throat. I would pet him on my lap and he’d look right at me and make that little noise. My heart would melt. I always thought it was a happy noise. On the other hand he wasn’t afraid to scold if food was late or if we had been gone too long for dinner. We would open the door from the garage after being out for dinner and Scooter would be waiting just chewing our butts. He also could backtalk with a vengeance. He would misbehave and be told no and he would stop the behavior but would complain to us about it in the process. All of these occasions had a different meow or some such noise and of course the volume was upset-dependent. My wife’s daughter never understood why Scooter was allowed to talk back like that and she couldn’t. Scooter was very curious, even for a cat, and would often push things to see how far he could get. We would play board games and Scooter would want the game pieces. You could tell him no and he would obey but sometimes he seemed to actually tremble from the effort it took to behave. We ended up making a small bed on the game table where he could lay and maybe leave the pieces alone.
As a younger cat Scooter wasn’t much of a lap cat. He did like to march (as we called it). He would stand on my lap on his hind legs, put his front paws on my chest and knead. He would get his face right up in mine to the point where his whiskers tickled my face and purr loudly. As he got older he became a big-time lap cat especially if a newspaper was being read. He would leap on your lap, swat the paper down and climb on the paper on your lap no matter the condition of the paper. Barb and I have had a small table between our chairs for years and Scooter could spend the bulk of an evening going back and forth from lap to lap.
Scooter was quite a jock. As a young cat he seemed to be one big muscle. The house we lived in then had a basement and you could see his strength as he ran up and down the stairs and through the house. My wife has a curio cabinet to store mementos. It is exactly six feet tall. One day about 15 years ago I was changing a light bulb in the dining room which is where the curio cabinet lived. From the ladder I could see paw prints in the dust on the top of the curio cabinet. There was nothing around it from which he could have gotten a boost he just did it from the floor. Thank God it didn’t tip over.
Like many cats Scooter always was ready to lend a hand with chores. Putting up the artificial Christmas tree this year will be a different experience. He loved to sit on our laps (without a newspaper!) while we used the computer. We always had cat hair on vacation courtesy of Scooter’s visits to our suitcases while packing. When our laundry room was in the basement Scooter always came downstairs with me and offered tips on hanging shirts and folding towels. Barb and I called him “the laundry cat”.
In the last two or three years of his life he began giving us presents with vocal accompaniment. With Scooter we had two cats so we have a number of kitty toys scattered around the house both upstairs and down. Just out of the blue he started bringing both of us these toys as offerings. You could hear him coming down the hall or up from the basement day or night with this low, loud moan and a toy in his mouth. If we were sitting watching TV he would come to one of our chairs and drop the toy, talking all the while. Of course we would loudly thank him and pet him. We would carry toys to the basement rec room and he would bring them back up over a period of several days. Often we would wake up in the morning to find a toy in a shoe or slipper. Scooter apparently did this part of his gift giving silently.
Barb and I feel so lucky to have loved and enjoyed Scooter for as long as we did. I’m sure all kitty parents feel this way but we always felt he was an extraordinary cat. We used to joke about having him cloned; now I wish we had. We will think of him every day.