January 1, 2013 – January 31, 2023.
Yesterday morning, when Fred gave the cats their breakfast, everyone showed up as usual except for Archie. This is very unlike Archie, and so Fred went looking for him. He was curled up in his favorite bed in the recliner in the living room where he had passed away at some point in the night. He has had absolutely no health issues lately – in fact, he had an exam just a few weeks ago, and came through it with flying colors.
Monday night, he was quintessential Archie – he had the zoomies, ran around the house for a bit, complained to Fred that it was time for his bedtime crunchies, and kept me company while I watched TV. He just turned 10 years old earlier this month, so we expected we had plenty of years left with him… this was just an out-of-the-blue shock to us both and we both keep expecting to see him in his usual spots. It’s so strange to have him suddenly gone.
Archie showed up on our property (Crooked Acres) in November 2014. He was skittish at first, but Fred worked hard to gain his trust, and it wasn’t so very long before Archie decided we were okay and was letting us pet him and pick him up. It was our intention to keep him as an outdoor cat – we’d feed him and make sure he had many warm places to hole up – but one day Archie decided he was meant to be an indoor cat. So he went over the fence into the back yard, and stomped into the house through the cat door. We spent an entire weekend trying to stop him from coming over the fence, but he wasn’t having it. No matter what we did, he got over that fence and into the house. So we gave up. Archie became an indoor-outdoor cat and we had him tested, neutered, and vaccinated.
We had no idea where he came from, but he had clearly been in a house before – nothing about being inside mystified or scared him. Loud TV, loud radio, vacuum cleaner, none of it bothered him at all.
He was a pretty quiet cat unless he had an opinion (that opinion was usually “It’s time for me to be eating right now, and you need to make that happen”) and then he’d unleash this loud, husky meow.
He got along with the other cats, though sometimes he’d chase Alice (I contend he was trying to play, but it frightened her). He got along surprisingly well with the fosters – he found them interesting to watch. But he absolutely hated his nemesis Stefan, and if he wanted to walk somewhere and Stefan was in the way, Archie would arch up, growl fearsomely at him, and just absolutely lose his mind. (Stefan would just sit there and look at him like “What is your problem?”)
When he got all arched-up and tense and growly like that, he could be scary. But the truth is that he was all talk. I could reach down and pick him up while he was arched and growling and hissing, and he never once bit or scratched me.
He had a hair-trigger temper and if you were walking behind him, he’d growl and skitter away. He liked to be petted until he didn’t, and if you reached the threshold of his tolerance, he’d growl and skitter away. He did NOT like to be restrained in any way – as soon as you tried to hold him in place, he’d tense and growl and yowl and hiss – but again, it was all talk.
(I’ve always said that Archie is the cat version of me – he’d go from 0 to 100 in an instant.)
Of course I can’t describe Archie without mentioning his vendetta against dish towels. When we walked into the kitchen to find one on the floor, we knew that Archie had been there, doing his job, keeping us safe from a dish towel gone rogue.
I worried how Archie would handle the move from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove and then here to Crooked Acre. I needn’t have worried – he handled it just fine. I will say that I think he would have preferred to be a free-roaming cat, but he was happy to be able to go into the back yard every day… and sometimes we’d let him roam in the back yard after dark, with supervision. That was enough to scratch his itch to roam.
In the past few years, he and Newt developed a relationship that I wouldn’t exactly call “friends”, but they’d snooze together just inches from each other with no drama. It was nice to see that relationship develop for a cat who never seemed to be that crazy about other cats.
He’s only been gone for a little while, but the house seems so different without him here. Quieter, maybe. Which is an odd thing to say about a cat who didn’t really make that much noise. It will be strange not to see him stomping through the room when we watch TV, or look over and see him sleeping in one of his favorite spots.
We are having him cremated, and while we might eventually scatter his ashes in just the perfect location, for now I just want him back here with us for a little while.
There’s an Archie-shaped hole in our home, and we miss him so much.
2022: Still here, still pregnant, still eating up a storm!
2021: Three weeks into fostering Canasta, I still get the occasional “She looks a little cross-eyed?” comment.
2020: No entry.
2019: This turned out to be less of a good idea than he’d expected.
2018: And yet, I get the Squeezy Eyes of Lurve.
2017: It was an Archie in the poltergeist tree.
2016: She’s really starting to fill out. I haven’t seen any belly movement yet. (GEE, I WONDER WHY?!)
2015: (“Use a sharp tooth, Ruth”)
2014: No entry.
2013: I believe that the only correct response to your question would be a Miss Piggy-style “HMPH!”
2012: Sugarbutt gets in the middle and decides to show Sally who the boss is.
2011: Corbie’s all “Why you gotta be up in my space, man?”
2010: Where’d they come from? What are they doing here?
2009: No entry.
2008: A picture of each cat with his/ her name and nicknames, and what they’re doing in our house.
2007: Maybe she IS part cougar.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.