When we first moved to Smallville, it was so Carlos could take a job running an animal hospital and, one day, while there to pick him up, I noticed a cat in a cage that looked very much like a cat we'd had in Miami, Voncie.
Voncie was devilish and smart and crafty and fast and annoying, and I loved him until the day he died. So, looking at this No-Name Cat who could have been Voncie's twin, I became a petulant little brat, begging Carlos to adopt her.
And we did. And we learned that she was nothing like Voncie.
We named her Tallulah Belle because we figured she was a Southern Belle, and our first South Carolina cat, but we soon realized she was really just as mad as a hatter. Tallulah was Groundhogs Day come to life; rare was the morning that, when I came out to greet her, she didn't look at me as if to say, "And you are....?"
But a scratch under the chin and she remembered; and she would jump onto a chair and sit with Carlos and me while we had breakfast, asking for a head scratch or a belly rub.
Where Voncie was smart, Tallulah was eccentric; where Voncie was fast, Tallulah was plodding. She never ran, unless it was to a fresh bowl of food, or to the refrigerator to ask for ice for her water. Or to the back door to take a walk around the yard.
Our cats are indoor cats, but Tallulah was given the honor of touring the backyard on occasion, and always with an escort. Because she was slow-and-steady, we never feared that she would take off and run; she just meandered and stopped and studied, and, perhaps, wondered where in the hell she was.
She was that cat.
She was also Ozzo's cat, even though she wasn't his first. Those two loved to play, and play fight, and wrestle, always in good fun. Tallulah really wasn't much for games, but she was a sucker for Ozzo, and even he's wondering where she is today.
Tuxedo wasn't much for Tallulah. They spent a great deal of time glaring at each other, maybe raising a paw, until one blinked and ran off. They never fought, but they weren't really buddies, although Tucky loved to run behind her, smack her on the ass and dash away. Tallulah never chased, unless there was food in that direction, or some ice cubes, or an open door.
And she never talked much, and she never complained.
She had issues with her sinuses, and would, at times, become so congested we would put her in a cat carrier in front of a humidifier and steam her; those times we called her a Steaming Hot Pussy, which was quite the scary name for a cat with two Daddies, but she never complained.
We didn't even know she was sick until the other day when she didn't seem hungry. Carlos felt a lump on her side, and we both knew what that meant. In that way, she was exactly like Voncie; fine one day, and then...Time to make that decision, to decide to do what's best for the pet, and set aside your own needs and wants and desires and hopes. She wouldn't get better, she couldn't get better, and we couldn't hope for that.
All I hope is that her life was better for the few short years that we had her, and she had us, because I know our lives were better having her here.
Breakfast won't be the same without Tallulah at the table, but I'm sure there's a yard out there for her to wander through, and a dish of ice cubes for her to play with, and another cat that looks an awful lot like her to be her new friend.