Another sad goodbye.


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.


26 responses

  1. I’m sorry for your loss… Parker sounded charming and was such a handsome boy. I’m glad he let you get to know him.

  2. I am sorry. I really enjoyed reading about Parker. He reminds a little of a cat in my household named Mr. H (he is white with a big black H on his side).

  3. I am so, so sorry. 😦 The hardest thing in having and loving our pets is losing them. Parker sounded special, for sure. I know you will miss him greatly, and I’m sure Romeo probably will, too. 😦

  4. I’m so sorry, Kathy!

  5. I am so deeply sorry to hear about your boy. I’m so glad you got to know him and how special he was. Sending you healing thoughts.

  6. kristi and otis | Reply

    Thoughts are with you – great tribute. Parker sounds like he taught you many things.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and healing thoughts to your family. What a wonderful tribute you made to your furry friend.

  8. In Memory of all our pets
    who we know are more than just furry friends.
    With the knowing look they tell us
    that they are reading our thoughts,
    feeling our pain,
    loving us unconditionally.
    They force us to be present,
    to pay attention,
    these deliverers of messages.
    For all our friends in the Animal tribe,
    here on the Good Red Road,
    and those who have taken the Blue Road of Spirit,
    Thank you;
    And one day, when it comes time for us to drop our robe and take that Journey,
    there they will be, waiting faithfully to greet us once again.

    – Rev. Marianne Goldweber

    I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved kitty…my thoghts and prayers are with you. *hugs*

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. He sounded like a great cat.

  10. I’m glad he found his home with you. As you said, he had a nice life, and a sorry we always are for ourselves, it’s always great that we got the chance to be with our pets. WONEDERFUL pictures, I love them. I always liked cats, but so far never had one.

  11. Oh, Kathy, Your beautiful tribute to Parker has touched my heart. My own furry babies surrounded me as I teared up with the reading. Thank you for sharing your grief with us in blogland. Our house of six furries and one human are sending you and yours many heartfelt hugs.

  12. My deepest condolences. My kids have gone through the passing of three cats in the past year (Okinawa is rife with Feline Leukemia) and the loss has touched us all. Our hearts go out to you as you deal with the changes.

  13. Such a wonderful story, I’m glad you have such good memories and also pictures to go with them. I’m very sorry for your loss. The sudden death of a pet is terrible for his human companion, but at least saves the pet the suffering of old age, with the lack of understanding that usually accompanies the pain of medical treatments. I’m sure you are going to miss him badly, and so will Romeo.

  14. what a sweet and loving tribute to your beloved kitty.
    I know how awful it feels to lose a pet…but what a
    great home and companionship you provided him.

  15. Dear sweet boy. I’ll miss seeing his likeness on your pages…and I know you’re aching for him.
    Till the Rainbow Bridge, Parker…look for a long-haired Blonde Bombshell; she’s right pretty, and will help you find your way around the place…till we get there to be with you again!

  16. I am so sorry for you loss, what a wonderful story you wrote about him. Sounds like he was a really intriguing creature. I’m glad he had a good life.

  17. I’m so sorry about Parker – he sounds like Crazy Aunt Purl’s cat Bob. Her cat Roy had a cat Bob and when Roy died he became very attached to CAP. Will you now need to get a friend for Romeo? Aren’t cats great – they do know how to affect our lives so much. Again my sympathies to you and your loss

  18. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of Parker, but what a lovely tribute you wrote to his life. I feel your pain acutely – but he sounds like he was a sweet boy who came through a lot with your love and help. Pets leave such imprints on us… My thoughts are with you.

  19. I’m so sorry for the loss… I’m thinking of you.

  20. Sympathy on the loss of your furbaby. The pictures are wonderful. Hope they are a comfort for you during this sad time of loss.

  21. {{{{hugs}}}} Parker was a beautiful boy.

  22. What a touching tribute. I am sorry for your loss. I agree with whoever said that our pets’ greatest weakness is that they don’t live long enough.

  23. Kathy,
    I am the author of the poem that someone was kind enough to post on your page. I wrote it after I had to put my 2 beloved cats, Pumpkin and Ashley to sleep.

    I am sorry for your loss- but Parker is not gone- he is still with you- and in your quiet moments you will feel his presence like a blanket- surrounding you with love from above….

    Peace and Love,
    Marianne Goldweber

  24. Oh I am so sorry about Parker. I am glad you had all those special times with him and he had such a loving home. Hang on to all those wonderful memories of him. Hugs!

  25. Oh, I’m so sorry Parker’s gone. I too enjoyed learning about him.

  26. […] said goodbye to my Michigan Kitty and to my Once In A Lifetime dog. I miss both of them every single day. However, I can look at […]

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