Spot J. Anderson, 1993(ish) – January 28, 2008.
Yesterday Fred and the vet determined that it was Spot’s time to go, and he was gently and peacefully let go. This is my entry in honor of him.
Sadly, we don’t have any pictures of Spot from when he was little. This was back before digital cameras existed – if you can imagine – and I don’t think Fred even owned a camera before I moved down here.
Spot belonged to Fred before I moved down here, so when we moved in with Fred, we were moving in on Spot’s territory. Spot was always a gentleman, though, and instead of responding territorially like some cats might, he mostly responded by hiding. One day Fred was at work and the spud was at school, and I was sitting in the living room petting Danielle’s cat (who later passed on), and Spot peeked out from his hiding place under the couch. He watched me petting the other cat, and he looked to me like he wanted to be petted but was too scared to come out and ask for it. I got down on the floor and he moved as far under the couch as he could get, and watched me. Much as I sweet-talked him, he wouldn’t come any closer.
It took months before Spot would come out of hiding to hang out with us, but even that made him nervous, and he never stayed out for long.
Several months after we moved in with Fred, we compounded the insult by bringing home a kitten. Spanky was a very little, very needy kitten, and when he saw Spot he saw a big cat who would take care of him. Spot would lay on the chair in Fred’s bedroom, and Spanky would climb up and snuggle up next to him. Spot would move from the chair to the bed, and Spanky would follow him and snuggle up close. Spot put up with Spanky’s needy snuggling, though it didn’t take very long before he’d get overwhelmed and run off to hide in a place where Spanky couldn’t find him.
Moving from the apartment to our first house was a big deal for Spot, and the night after we’d moved in, we were unpacking when Spot started howling at the top of his lungs. Tired and annoyed, I snapped “I hope he’s not going to do THAT all night!” Turned out, the washer hose hadn’t been attached correctly, and water was spraying everywhere. He was just doing his part to let us know.
Spot got a new experience when we moved into the new house, and that was being let outside. Our back yard was tiny, but he didn’t mind spending hours upon hours walking around the tiny lawn, sniffing every blade of grass and watching every bug fly by.
He wasn’t really close to the other cats – he was a solitary creature, Spot was – but he didn’t mind so much when Tubby hung around him. Spot and Tubby, aside from having matching colors, were the same kind of cat. Neither would go out of their way to growl and strut around and proclaim how scary they were, but when it came right down to it, you’d want one of them guarding you, because they were quiet and they were quick and you knew that when the rubber hit the road – and a strange neighborhood cat came wandering through the yard – they’d totally kick butt.
In his later years, Spot started to come out more often. Most nights, he’d settle on the back of the couch with us while we watched TV, and he staked claim to one of the cat beds on my desk where he could be found most days. If I ate lunch at my desk, he’d glare at me judgmentally until I shared a little of it with him.
Every so often I’d wake up in the middle of the night to find Spot standing on the bed next to my pillow, staring down at me. Once he realized I saw him there, he’d curl up. He’d always be gone when I woke up in the morning.
The older he’d get, the more easily he accepted change. At first, when we started fostering kittens, he’d hide for a couple of days before slinking out and sniffing around. As time went on, he’d look at the new arrivals as if to say “More? Whatever. They better not mess with me.”
When we moved into this house, he took it in stride. “Another move? Just show me where the food and the litter box are. And keep the food bowl filled!”
He was our oldest cat and we knew that one day we might have to face the idea of having him put to sleep. When Fred said that we should have Spot on the front of our Christmas card “Because we don’t know how much longer he’ll be around”, he was joking. We both thought for sure we’d have at least a few more good years. Spot seemed happy, he was eating fine, and he was glad that we put a bed in the guest bedroom just for him. He’d spend his mornings in the guest bedroom, in the sun, his afternoons alternating between sleeping on my desk and exploring the back yard, and his evenings in the living room with us as we watched TV.
It was because of his quiet ways that it took us so long to realize he wasn’t feeling well, that he’d gotten so thin and wasn’t hanging out with us as much. Fred took him to the vet when we realized how thin he’d gotten, and Spot seemed to rally – it wasn’t until he started acting like his old self again that we realized how much he hadn’t been acting like himself. But in the last week, he stopped eating almost completely and we’d offer him several of his favorite foods before he’d eat a little, probably just to get us off his back.
Sunday night he settled in the cat bed on my desk and stayed there all night. He couldn’t seem to get comfortable, moving every few minutes, and at times tipping over because he’d gotten so weak.
Yesterday morning before I left for Petsmart, I scratched Spot behind the ears and kissed him on top of the head twice, just in case. I hoped that the vet would take one look at him and say “Oh, he just needs (whatever)” and when I got home, he’d be bright-eyed and ready for a brushing. But in the days before Tubby died, he got a certain look in his eyes – one that I didn’t understand at the time, but now I think it’s the look of a cat who’s ready to go.
He was a sweet and gentle cat and sometimes it was easy to overlook him. You wouldn’t think his absence in the house would be so noticeable, but the void where he was is huge.
2007: Obviously he just doesn’t love Joe Bob enough.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.