Have you ever felt like the universe, seeing that you’re already on the ground, approaches and beats you up (or down)? This feels like my life right now. Monday morning my husband told me that he couldn’t find our cat. He had last seen him outside on our patio and had left the door to the garage open so he could come in at his leisure. We live in the country and I am certain that some animal has killed him.
Pedro was born May 15, 2005 in Oregon. My husband and I, not married or engaged at the time, had just moved into a shared house together in June 2005. I hadn’t had a cat in years–not since leaving my parents’ home for college in 1998. I’m a cat person. We picked up this adorable sweet tiny kitten from a pet store in July 2005. He was named for the character of Pedro in the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
As a kitten, I diligently taught Pedro not to climb on tables and counters. He lived in our rental home in Corvallis until we purchased our first home together in Monmouth. Once Aaron accepted a position in Orono and moved to Maine, Pedro kept me company in Oregon. Pedro helped me plan my wedding (ok, not really, but he was there). He loved going outside–though I tried so hard to keep him as an indoor cat–he was so happy outside with the wind ruffling his fur. When it was time to move him to Maine, we flew him on the plane, worried the whole time. He enjoyed clawing up our small rental house in Hampden and his life ended in Winterport, Maine.
Pedro was part of our family for 80% of our relationship. He literally was our first (and only) “fur baby”. He endured 2 pregnancies with me and met one of my children. He had incredibly soft fur–great for sopping up tears. He was also a good lap cat and loved to purr and be petted. As a baby, Astoria picked up a few signs and faithfully “signed” cat for Pedro (which was actually her just brushing her fingers against her cheeks to indicate whiskers).
Don’t get me wrong–he had his faults. His long soft fur shed like crazy, especially during season changes. He would get thick knots in his fur that I would brush out. He scratched up a great deal of our furniture. Once Astoria started walking he seemed to be really pissed (literally) and peed up one of our area rugs. He had constant eye gunk which every vet attributed to allergies. He coughed up the most disgusting fur balls and in recent years seemed to be getting some sort of cat IBS, which sometimes he uncontrollably shat on same pissed-on rug.
I’ve lost my fair share of pets in my life. In addition to like 5 cats (4 hit by cars), there was a dog, a couple of chameleons, a hermit crab, a snail, and numerous fish. Most of the time, we are going to outlive our pets. And losing a pet doesn’t come close to the loss of a beloved child. But it still stings. It’s still a reminder that we can lose what we love in a second.
May 15 2005-May 13, 2018