Friday, October 27, 2017

Good Bye Rocky

Rocky came into our life in the most unexpected way. From having as many as three dogs and two cats at one time, we were down to one dog. After having lunch at a local mall, my son and I were walking through it. The SPCA had taken over a store front and had cats for adoption. They were closed for business, but as we passed, a black and white cat came up to the window, looked us in the eye and literally reached out his paw to us. That was Rocky.

The next day we went back when the SPCA was open to adopt him. We found out that he was seven and came with another cat, his supposed "sister" who was ten. She looked nothing like him. She was sort of a purply gray with some calico coloring on her lower half. We found out that they had been brought to the store front because they were deemed not likely to get adopted because of their age and it seemed like they’d have a better chance there.

They’d been left at the SPCA by a family with no explanation.

We took them home and they met Goldy, our aloof terrier mix who spent most of her time sitting in a chair in our bedroom. She was fine with them and they were fine with her. That was in 2009.

I quickly discovered that the two cats had very different personalities. We left them with the names they came with - Spago and Rocky. We think Spago was named after the restaurant because she was a real foodie. She was also a huntress and took the tail off a lizard before it disappeared in our house. For a week we tried to catch it and return it to the wild. We finally succeeded.

Rocky was a lover from the start. He came up to me and put his paws around my neck in a hug. He liked to cuddle in the morning when I was having coffee in the kitchen. He didn’t care much about food unlike his sister.

They groomed each other and hung out and occasionally got into a noisy fight. When Spago died a year and a half ago, Rocky seemed to be okay. Instead of grooming her, he groomed my bangs. He grew even more affectionate and if I sat on the couch, he sat behind me, his head on mine. He slept behind me, draped over my head. He loved his time in the yard. We were pretty sure they’d been indoor cats, but we let them in our yard, supervised.

As he got older, Rocky became more and more like a cat-dog. He would come when called. He seemed to understand things I said. He was never aloof and liked to be cuddled and kissed. The thing I have learned by having so many pets is that there is no such thing as just a dog or just a cat. They all have unique personalities.

It is lonely without Rocky. This is the first time since I was eleven that there is no animal in the house. The strangest thing is seeing that the water bowl is gone.

I don’t know how long we will stay petless. It seems like we and our pets have found each other in unusual ways. I’m waiting to see what happens.


Christina Freeburn said...

I am sorry for the loss of your beloved Rocky.

Linda Osborn said...

I know the loss of Rocky is very hard. When our last dog died, we had a few months with no pets (first time in my life), and I said no more. It was too hard losing them. My husband developed cancer, and about six years ago he decided I would need company when he passed. We went to a beautiful shelter in Long Beach and found our calico sisters, only 8 weeks old. Adopting them was interesting--we had to answer a lot of questions about discipline, training, and care. They had to have their surgery, and then we could pick them up in 4 days. They are now 5, and are the most wonderful company for me. I too get the drape over the head, pulling rollers out of my hair, staring at me when I eat but then refusing a bite I offer. All in all they are fantastic, and understand many things I say (especially "dinner"). I am sure you will soon find another little friend or two--every home needs a pet !

Linda O. Johnston said...

Rocky sounds like a very special pet. Once again, I'm sorry for your loss. A household with no pets must be very difficult. I'll look forward to hearing how your next pet(s) find you.

Betty Hechtman said...

Christina, thank you for your kind thoughts.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Osborn, thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry about your husband, but how thoughtful of him to want you to have company.

I haven't given up on more pets. The cat box is in the garage along with a crate and a number of pet carriers. I still have several leashes rolled up by the door just in case.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Johnston, I am curious how we will find each other. Two of our cats and one of our dogs simply showed up at our house.

Joanna Slan said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Betty. I remember losing my Bichons, six months apart. I kept bursting into tears. Because we authors work at home so much, a pet is our best friend in more ways than for most people. I'm glad you haven't given up on pets. There's a fur-baby out there who needs your loving home.

Miriam Lubet said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. i hope your next fur baby is out there somewhere waiting to come to your lovely home.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, I'm so sorry about your Bichons. Yes, we writers get used to working with our pets close by. Rocky was usually on the floor behind me when I sat at my computer or even on my lap. I do know there is a fur baby out there who will find its way to me.

Betty Hechtman said...

Miriam, thank you for the kind thoughts. The welcome mat is out for our next fur baby.