Saturday, November 19, 2011

he came named

In 2003, I worked at a horse farm; I did everything—you name it—including mucking out every one of the 30+ stalls every day. I often had a little friend with me, a black and white kitty that was full of vim and vigor. He would ride on the “prow” of my wheelbarrow and occasionally jump up on my back for a rest.  He would try to stop the flow of water when the hose dripped in the barn, batting at it with his perpetually-bright-white paws. It was so cute that it would dribble past him, and he’d back up and scramble to put a “stop” to the “creature”. His history was tragic; his little siblings were killed in a car engine when they crawled into the engine block for warmth. Lucky, however, was found in time and hence the name: Suerte. He didn’t keep the cultured form of his name, though, due to a stereotyping boss. So, we have Lucky—he came named.
When I left the farm for another job, we left him there for a while. He was happy, running around like any good barn cat, and we ended up just “stealing” him in April 2005. I remember bringing him home {to 1246 Cedar Street} and forcing him to get a bath to get rid of the barn stink. He was wide-eyed and panicky, and he hid for days under our bed before he decided he wanted to socialize. He did, eventually, and by July he had the run of the neighborhood. We brought him a little companion, and she promptly stole all his food. We had to separate them when we would feed them, and he often got left in the pantry because we forgot to let him back out.  They would climb to the top of the cabinets in the kitchen to watch from their lofty positions the goings-ons in the house.
They were a fun little team, but when we got orders to Japan, we knew the little girl wouldn’t be very happy to go, so we gave her to a family nearby. Lucky, however, made it. The whole 40+ hour trip he slept, except for a brief crying spell in the line for Customs. We had to keep him upstairs and inside all the time in our new apartment in Japan, though, and he was not happy with the situation. He came home with me to Pennsylvania in 2007, and he stayed there when I went back to Japan. He lived it up in his favorite place yet: Woolrich. He had the run of the neighborhood again, and he loved it. He also put the older cat AND dog in their places, and was often found sleeping in the dog’s oversized bed, in the middle, by himself, while the dog looked on wistfully. He continued his decimation of the small rodent population in PA and brought prizes back for the family to applaud him for. When we moved back to America, he stayed with the family until we found a place to live, and he joined us in Tuckerton in March 2009. Again, he had the rule of the street, and he liked this town since he was near the water and there were plenty of small animals to stalk. We moved to another few apartments in the interim between moving into our house, and he went back to Woolrich for a while. He loved being back; you could tell because he wouldn’t even give you the time of day until he was ready to come sleep on your lap.
We moved into 306 Ash in August 2010, and Lucky moved in, too. He was greeted 6 weeks later with a small, loud thing, who he knew as the “smallest one”. For his part, Lucky ignored Raegan until she was bigger; only on the rarest of occasions would we find him sleeping in her room—on her chair—while she napped in her crib. He was keeping an eye on her, you know. As Rae got bigger, she became more and more aware of him, and her very first squeal of the day was often directed at him. He was her favorite! She knew he was the “kitty” and that his hair tickled her. She got into a habit, not that long ago, of putting her face on soft things, and I would find her holding his side and putting her face on him. He really was the softest kitty, ever, and very tolerant of rae, especially if there would be chicken treats involved. He was present for everything, every meal, every party, every nighttime tv show would find him underfoot or on a lap. He was at Rae’s party hanging out with the kids the night before he went missing. And his legend lives on, we don’t know for sure, but it seems most likely that he was hit on our road.

However, I want to leave this note, just saying that I found two—not one, but two—four-leafed, lucky clovers yesterday. In succession, and inexplicably. I have to think it was a “sign,” and that my little buddy, my soupie-soup, had a good run, a full life. I’m going to miss you, little bud. 

Endnote: sorry for the photo dump, but I had to post this today, so I can finally stop crying every time I work on this draft. Losing a pet stinks :(


  1. Aww, he was so wonderful. Miss that little pal!

  2. oh, sorry for your loss. I had no idea this happened.
    ps.I have heard kitty heaven is the bees knees. :)