11-15-17 Dennis

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October 12, 2013 – November 14, 2017.

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.

Oh, that sweet little baby face.

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’d 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.)

Ape arms!

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 at their Paypal address challengershouse (at) mchsi.com

Challenger’s House
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773

Phone: 256-420-5995


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.
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.



11-15-17 Dennis — 144 Comments

  1. I can’t stop crying and I can’t find words to express the grief. Try not to be hard on yourself. Take time to heal.
    Love to you both and the rest of your family.

  2. I am so very very sorry. Please don’t beat yourself up. Warm and healing vibes from our house to yours.

  3. I am so sorry! I’ve always loved Dennis, which is silly since I never met him. But I sat in my office and cried the day you announced you were keeping him, and now I’m crying in my office again. Such a sweet, beautiful boy! Don’t be hard on yourself – he had a wonderful life with you and Fred and the other Permanent Residents. {{hugs}}

  4. Dear Robyn and Fred. I am so very sorry about what has happened. Dennis was so loved by you two and all of us out here. As many have said, we have never met , never felt sweet Dennis’ soft fur nor heard his purr but we loved him none the less. I think this strikes us so hard due to the circumstances. This is a fear we all share and to have it happen to such a wnderful family is especially difficult. Please do not beat on yourselves. I am sure it was quick and Dennis never felt pain. I am certain he is at the bridge making friends and helping the others like my sweet Charlotte. I feel your pain and sorrow.

  5. I am so sorry. You gave him a great life, even if it ended up shorter than everyone would have hoped for.

  6. Dennis in his devil horns has always been one of my all-time favorite L&H photos — and he was one of my all-time favorite cats, too. Hugs to you and Fred from me, and vigorous head-licks and purrs from my stripey girl Edie and house panther Monk.

  7. This news is truly heart breaking and I am so so sorry for your loss. Dennis was my favorite resident to read about. I am so glad that you and Fred became “his people”. I’m sure he knew he was treasured and loved.

  8. I’m so so so sorry about Dennis! 🙁 I saw on Facebook that the new post was called “Dennis” and I thought, “No, no, no, no!!” and was heartbroken. I cried all while getting ready for work for the sweet boy that we only knew from your words and pictures. And then I cry again because I know that my own sadness is nothing compared to what you’re feeling right now, and my heart breaks all over again for you and Fred. Sending love and hugs.

  9. Robyn and Fred, there are no words. I feel so sorry for you both. I remember being happy you decided to adopt him. It’s obvious he felt the same way about the both of you. You gave him a good life and I’d like to think my girl, Rootie met him at the Rainbow Bridge and has taken him to meet all the friends she has made since she left.

  10. Oh how awful!!!! I’m so sad for you, I just lost lost my little girl Trissy last month. I don’t know if i’ll ever feel better.

    • Dear Susan. I am thinking about you and hope it gets better with time. I understand how you feel.

  11. I’m so sorry Robyn. I have that fear every time I open the door to feed the my feral colony. Hugs to you and Fred.

  12. I am so so sorry. Words can not express the sadness I feel for y’all. Which is nothing compared to what you’re feeling. Sending purrs to you from Pogo, Bander, Merry and Pippin to help heal your hearts.

  13. I’m so very sorry, for you and for sweet Dennis. He was always one of my favorites, and I can’t believe he’s gone. Sending love to you & Fred.

  14. Robyn and Fred,

    I was gutted reading this post. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish there is something I could say or do to help, but I will keep you all in my prayers. Sending hugs across the miles.
    Laura and The Six Pack

  15. I am so so sorry, it’s a horrid feeling. We had it happen to a cat a few years ago and it’s just shocking.

  16. My heart is broken for you, I’m so very sorry to hear of this. I always enjoyed seeing Dennis, he truly was a beautiful cat. Sending love to you and Fred and the Crooked Acres crew.

  17. Oh…I am so incredibly sorry, Robyn and Fred. I don’t even know what to say, as I sit here crying. Love to you all.

  18. I cannot stop crying reading this entry. My heart is so heavy with your grief. Please know I’m keeping you in my thoughts. Dennis was a special little guy and will be missed by all of us who you let into your life on here. Xo.

  19. Being a veteran of your blog since the True Bloods, I always dread seeing these posts. This news about Dennis breaks my heart, and I know how tough it must be for you and Fred. You had already lost one Most Beautiful Cat (Corbie), and now the second one too. Doesn’t seem fair. Sending my hopes that your broken heart will heal soon.

    Run free at the Bridge, sweet Dennis.

    & my 3 girls Gypsy, Angel, and Sheba

  20. After many tears, I will say Precious Boy. So hard to have hi gone. I’ve also been hard on myself when a darling of mine passes. Many darlings. Thoughts and prayers for you and Fred.

  21. What a horrible shock. I am so very sorry, and know what you must be going through. It’s the good and caring pet owners who blame themselves. This is just a testament to the deep love you have and the care you give to your animals. Dennis was one very special cat and was so very lucky to have you. Much love to you and Fred.

  22. What? Nooooooooo, not Dennis!!

    For what it’s worth we thought every day about adopting Dennis, though we are ten hours away. But every time you described him as being very interested in meeting other cats – we thought you should keep him, he has a job to do. He can do it best with you. We’re going to miss him so much. He was totally our favorite. Beautiful, beautiful Denny-bun.

  23. Robyn and Fred, so very sorry for your loss of sweet Dennis. He was so full of life and always a great uncle to the kittens. We will miss him along with you. Much love to you ~

  24. I am just catching up on your posts. I have been out of town and swamped at work. When I read this, I just about threw up. I am speechless and my heart is breaking for you. Oh my….sweet Dennis.