Adopted: February 1997
Died: November 10, 2007
In February 1997, I was living in Michigan and my only pet was a cat named Simon. Simon was an insanely social cat and this sociability included waking me up several times during the night because he wanted to play. I tried everything I could think of to stop him from doing this, but I realized that he probably needed a friend.
So, I set off for the local humane society in search of the perfect friend for both of us. I was drawn in by a handsome, tiger striped cat named Parker. He was 3-4 years old and he seemed perfect.
Simon and Parker hit it off almost immediately. They became constant companions and playmates. Most importantly, Parker’s arrival meant that Simon no longer woke me up during the night to play. Instead, I would sometimes wake up at night and hear the two of them tearing all over my apartment.
However, Parker and I did not hit it off immediately. He was the stereotypical cat: standoffish and totally not interested in human interaction. If I even tried to pet him, he would immediately run away. I chalked this up to not being settled in my home and figured he’d come around in a few weeks or months.
I was wrong.
The weeks turned into months and those months turned into years. Still, I didn’t feel like I even knew this cat. I loved him and provided a great home for him, but I was obviously just his landlady. Parker tolerated no petting and picking him up was out of the question. In fact, if I just looked at him he would usually slink away and hide.
I gradually became used to this arrangement. I had two cats: one of the cats adored me and the other one hated me. It became normal and before I knew it six years had gone by.
In November 2003, Simon suddenly became ill and died. The day after Simon died, Parker started yowling. It was obvious that he missed his buddy and I assumed that he would get used to being alone and settle into a new routine.
Again, I was wrong.
After three weeks of all night yowling (I am not kidding: I didn’t sleep more than a couple hours at a time), I decided that Parker needed a friend. I made the trip to the Humane Society and came home with Romeo.
Romeo and Parker were instant friends:
When Romeo moved in, something else happened and it was amazing. Parker suddenly became very affectionate and loving towards me. It’s almost like he had to stake his claim on me before the new guy could.
Overnight, Parker began meowing at me on a regular basis. When I called his name he would come running. He loved to sit next to me and rub against me, asking to be petted.
The transformation was startling and I loved it. Finally, I was getting to know this cat and he was pretty fantastic.
Over the last four years, Parker made up for all that lost time. When I arrive home from work, the dogs come running and right behind them was Parker. He would then follow me from room to room as I changed, cooked dinner and settled in for the night. He would meow the whole time and as soon as I sat down, he would jump up and settle in beside me.
Parker was never a lap cat and rarely tolerated being picked up. However, he would usually sleep on the couch next to me, pressed against my leg. He also loved to sit behind me on the back of the couch and survey his kingdom. He was very vocal and would often meow at me. If I didn’t respond, he would meow louder and louder until he got a response. During the warm months, he would spend hours looking out the back door:
Parker and I (literally) came a long way together: we moved from Michigan to Colorado. He also saw the arrival of three dogs into this household (and expressed his displeasure with each one of them). He transformed from a standoffish cat to one who demanded attention all the time. He was perfect.
Parker’s death was sudden and unexpected. However, he had a great life and was one hell of a cat. I’m honored to have known him.