Monday morning, because we were having work done in the house, we decided to shut some of the permanent residents in the foster room, some in Fred’s room, and Archie in my room. Due to a miscommunication, neither of us got Dennis shut away, and at some point during the day he escaped the house. We spent hours searching for him last night, but at some point before daylight yesterday morning, he was struck by a car. Fred found him by the side of the road, already gone.
This post is my tribute to him.
Dennis came to us at the end of January 2014. He was rescued near a feral colony, but was clearly not feral. He was tested and neutered and went to the shelter for a while, but needed more socializing, so came here to join our current fosters, the Players.
It made us smile to see him among the other fosters. They were all long and sleek with huge ears, and he was shorter and more compact. He made friends with them quickly – he was always very friendly toward other cats – and though he’d hang back if they got too playful, he was happy to play and snuggle with them.
It took him a little while to warm up to the humans, but once he decided we were okay, he was sweet and snuggly and would cuddle with me at nap time. He was an outstanding nap time companion, got top grades from the very beginning. He wasn’t quite sure about this whole “kissing” thing at first, but once he figured out what it was all about, he was perfectly fine with it. In fact, after a while he would lift his face up so that I could kiss him properly right behind the ear, and he’s purr like crazy.
He was supposed to go to Petsmart with the rest of his adopted litter, and in fact one Sunday morning he did go with them. I’d been home for only a little while when I got a call from Susan. The morning cleaner had reached for him just as someone walked by outside the cage he was sharing with a couple of the other kittens, and Dennis freaked OUT and attacked her. Fred and I left immediately to go get him and bring him back here, and after a few hours, Dennis was perfectly fine.
The funny thing is that Dennis was always a super gentle boy, not an aggressive bone in his body, who would respond to threats by falling over on his side. He must have been terrified to act that way, my poor sweet boy.
I spent the next month or so trying desperately to find him a home. I posted several long, descriptive posts extolling his many virtues and hoped that someone would fall in love, but there was not a single peep of interest.
In the meantime, he was an excellent uncle to the next litter of fosters.
He was so sweet with them, would play and snuggle with them, groom and discipline them. His sweet, indulgent behavior with them combined with how wonderfully snuggly he was with me and – to be honest – the fact that no one else was interested in adopting him finally made me face facts, and I announced that we’d made him a permanent resident.
I don’t know if he actually got better looking as he aged or if I was just looking at him through the eyes of love, but that boy was just SO gorgeous with his emerald eyes, his dark stripes, his sleek, silky fur. He was the total package – looks, personality, sweet, gentle, a fabulous purr, and so very patient with us all, humans and cats alike.
I may never have mentioned this before, but Dennis was one of our smaller cats, weighing in at just over 9 pounds.
Like the majority of our cats, Dennis thought I was okay, but if given the chance to flop down in Fred’s lap instead, he went for it. Many nights I’d be laying on the couch snuggling with him, and Fred would come in and sit down in his chair. Dennis would still snuggle with me, but he’d start giving Fred a considering look. Eventually he’d get up even though I’d be clutching at him and coaxing him to stay with me, and he’d mosey on over to sit in Fred’s lap.
(Occasionally he’d come back to me after a while, and I always felt like I was being given a wonderful gift. That boy was a wonderful gift every day of his life, really.)
I just cannot believe that he’s gone, that he won’t wake me up nearly every morning by flopping down against me and purring me awake. That he won’t jump up next to me and lift his face up for a kiss. That he won’t listen to me tell him how beautiful he is and then smile at me as if to say “Yeah, yeah. I KNOW.” That he won’t walk into the kitchen and meow his sweet, high-pitched meow in hopes that I’ll feel sorry for him and give him a treat just because (I did that many times.)
He was only 3 1/2 years old and I expected we’d have many more years together. I am kicking myself for not double checking that all the cats were safe and accounted for before letting the workers into the house, that it took us so long to realize he was gone. I wish I could have a do-over.
Goodbye, Beautiful. I miss you.
Dennis came to us from Challenger’s House. If you’re of a mind to, donations can be made in his name to Challenger’s House.
They accept donations by mail (check or money order), by phone (Mastercard/VISA), or there’s a Paypal button at the bottom of the Petfinder page.
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773
I’m taking the rest of the week off from the blog; I’ll be back Monday.
2016: Chesnee, miraculously healed.
2015: No entry.
2014: #Corbie is 100% over this kitten situation.
2013: “You go ‘way, lady. I speak to this boy ’bout his attitude.”
2012: The Americauna hen said “Stop all that slurping out there, I’m trying to molt! I need to concentrate!”
2011: Try to relax, Chuckles.
2010: He is SUCH a happy boy.
2009: “HELLO I HAZ A COMPLAINT.”
2008: No entry.
2007: “HALP, I SAY!”
2006: I hope he gets adopted before next Monday, though.
2005: Good thing for him he’s so cute, I suppose.