I can’t describe how odd it is to recognize my Skooter died a year ago today; my first year without him since I was six years old. I find myself missing him extra hard today but his memory continues to be sprinkled randomly throughout my daily life.
I wanted to focus on how grateful I am to have my newest fur baby, and share his unfortunate beginnings that ended happily when he came home with me.
With time, life without Skooter became more normal yet I couldn’t help but look at shelter websites and want another one, or two or three. I knew I wasn’t ready to have another cat and I should wait until I graduate but I literally could not help myself.
I have a wonderful friend whom I trust and love in Stillwater; she took care of Skooter while I went on vacations and knew how much I loved him, in addition to loving him too. She was and still is, having a beautiful home being built out on some property in town. I remember her posting on Facebook that they had found this cat on her property and she was trying to find his home. As time passed, my friend continued to post more and more to find his home or let alone, A home for him. He had been in a bad riff raff with some other stray cats and she was trying to get him out of the outdoors and into a loving home. There was no denying his charm in his sweet face with his curious green eyes but I continued to scroll down my news feed and pray he found a home.
Later on, during a text conversation, she suggested I take him and I told her I didn’t think I could. She promised he was so sweet and I would be a perfect mom for him; I started to entertain the idea. I said I’m never home and wouldn’t be able to give him enough attention; she tells me any attention would be enough, he just needs a home. I told her I knew for sure if he was sick in any way, I could not financially afford him; she tells me she will get him a full check-up with shots and the whole shebang. My excuses were running out and a part of me yearned for another cat like Skooter, which led him into my arms later that day.
Ever since I watched the Disney classic, The Aristocats, I knew if I ever had a solid black, white, or orange cat, I would name them Berlioz, Marie or Toulouse. Choosing his name was no challenge, and as weeks began to pass, he started to recognize and answer to his sophisticated name.
My life with Berlioz these past four months has been nothing less of amusing and wholesome. He is much spunkier and lively than Skooter; it’s been interesting adapting back to what it’s like living with a younger, more active cat. Some of my favorite qualities about him that I’ve grown to love these past 4 months is:
· Without hesitation, if I’m sitting or laying on the bed, he is always laying or sitting right next to me. His favorite is to plank his entire body across my stomach.
· He has this little chirping noise that is so sweet and endearing. He greets me with a series of chirps every time I come home from a long day. The only time he meows is when he’s in the car or if he can hear me outside of my room and wants me to come to him.
· Catnip toys are his kryptonite. He gets so hyped up playing with them, so much that he ‘parkours’ in my room because he gets so excited. It’s hilarious.
· The last inch of his tail perfectly curls into this small, semi-completed circle and for some reason, this precious detail to me is one of my favorite things he subconsciously does.
· I observed he was getting some cabin fever so I decided to buy him a leash. It’s funny watching him find such joy in rolling in the grass and curiously exploring my front yard.
Berlioz is seriously such a sweet cat that just wants to be loved. My friend nor I know how he got outside but it’s safe to assume he was dumped. He is neutered and declawed in both his front and back paws; it angers me that someone would leave a cat in that condition outside. He was quite skinny when I first got him; it took about two months for his sores to heal, his tummy to fill out and his fur to fully cover his figure. He’s so sweet natured and full of personality; it’s encouraging to know people like my friend in this world and having them do the right thing. I’m even more grateful I get to give him a forever home that he deserves.
I still miss Skooter, sometimes so much that I accidentally refer to Berlioz as Skooter. This only proves my love for Berlioz is just as great. I will never get another Skooter but I’m happy Berlioz and I are able to create a new bond that I know I will cherish after he passes on too. I’m more than happy to give Berlioz a loving home and he seems more than happy to be my furry companion.