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In Memorium

July 3rd, 2007

Our very first photo of Cupid, on the day she came into our lives.

We picked out Cupid from the shelter in January 1993. We were told that she was about three months old, which would have placed her birth date on or about the day Vic and I got married. Cupid was her shelter name, but it seemed appropriate enough that we kept it.

It was strange at first, having an animal roaming freely about the apartment. She was the first real pet I’d had since a brief few months of dog ownership when I was a small child. I really didn’t know how to train her, and I’m afraid that my attempts to keep her from scratching the furniture or getting on the countertops merely scared her. She was always timid and skittish, and I blamed myself for that.

Cupid criticizes my penmanship.

She tried to get between Vic and me at night, which worried me as I didn’t want to crush her tiny body. I made her a nice, cozy bed, but she always preferred to be with us. After a while, I stopped trying to keep her out. I remember that in those early days, she used to stand with her back paws on our headboard and her front paws on the high bedroom windowsill. We’d wake up in the morning to the sight of cat butt.

Cupid’s first Christmas, looking at what Santa brought.

I had an early health scare one night when Vic was out. Cupid was yowling and running around, and I realized to my horror that she’d eaten a short length of cord and had managed to (mostly) pass it. It hung from her hindquarters as she raced around the apartment, hissing. Fortunately, it came out of its own accord before I had to seek medical help.

Vic and Cupid perform the death-defying reverse lion tamer act. Cupid loved the smell of toothpaste, and would try to stick her head into Vic’s freshly-brushed mouth.

It was hard to feed her, as she picked at her food and constantly looked over her shoulder at every sound. At times she ate kibble by picking up each piece, one at a time, in a paw. Similarly, she sometimes drank by sticking her paw in the dish and licking that instead. She never gained much weight, and it was a struggle to keep her at seven pounds and change. In the last few years, we began to lock up the other cats for her morning feeding of moist food.

Cupid would watch us from the window when we left for work each day, and deciding that she was lonely, we wound up getting another cat–Tigger–to keep her company. It didn’t work out. When Tigger was a kitten, Cupid would repeatedly smack her in the head. After Tigger had grown, it was her turn to chase Cupid around the place.

Cupid and Tigger attempting to run a session of Call of Cthulhu. To be honest, they weren’t very good at it.

A few years later, we adopted Hobbes, who ruled the roost thereafter. Yet, unlike her dealings with Tigger, Cupid rarely took guff from him. If she didn’t like him messing with her, she’d smack him in the head with a paw. More often than not, he’d topple onto his side.

Cupid could be shy, but she was usually the second cat to come out and investigate company. (Hobbes is always first.) And she loved to snuggle, but only on her conditions.

Looking regal in her later years. March, 2005.

We had a near-nightly ritual in the last half-dozen years or so. When it was time for bed, Cupid would run back and forth across the mattress, yowling, until I climbed in. Then she would walk across my chest and repeatedly rub her face against mine. Her short hair made me itchy, but it was hard to argue with her. After a lot of rubbing and purring, she’d eventually flop onto her side and allow me to stroke her tummy for a few minutes. That was the only way she’d ever let me touch her stomach. Then, when she’d had enough, she’d jump up and run off.

Cupid rests beneath Christmas tree boughs. December, 2006.

Sometimes, if we didn’t go to sleep right away, she’d begin the whole, long routine over. On occasion, she’d try to start it up in the middle of the night. I usually rolled over and pretended she wasn’t there. I wish I’d allowed her a few extra snuggles. That’s what I’ll miss the most about Cupid. Bedtime will be a little bit lonelier without her.

We’re sorry that you had to leave us, Cupid. We will never forget you.

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