The day we adopted him, I worried some. Years ago I had a sweet part-Siamese cat somebody gave us. She had feline immunodeficiency virus--kitty AIDS--something the generous folks who gave her to us knew, but failed to divulge. As long as she stayed on antibiotics, the cat was happy and energetic. As soon as the medication stopped, though, she would meatloaf in the warm spot atop our television, looking miserable, and her whiskers grew brittle and broke into stubs on her pretty little cheeks. I feared for Ferby's health, although needlessly. Here he is today, with his whiskers strong and lush.




bffs11/17/13 - A little over a year is all the time we had with Ferby. He turned out to be the merriest cat we've had. He was always cavorting on the patio or looking for trouble inside the house. He and Nezumi were best buddies.

We thought he would be with us for a long time. He spent relatively little time outside, mostly in the morning for an hour or two, after which he came inside and plopped down in my rocking chair, where he snoozed for the rest of the day.

He was just coming into his own. He had grown dense, powerful, heavy. Didn't want to be picked up and cuddled, but was happy to crawl up onto Ted's chest to knead and drool and purr.

Ferby was as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise. He didn't stray far from the house. We haven't seen or heard coyotes in many months, but it's the threats you don't see or hear that get you. Something got Ferby yesterday morning. He went out as usual, but didn't come back as usual. He's never not come back.

So there it is--again. A funny and much-loved friend lost to the predatory New Mexico landscape. Nezumi is suddenly clingy, worried. He wanders around the house looking for Ferby, puzzled. That's the hardest part to bear. Ted and I have been through this before--which doesn't ease the pain, by the way--but we know what happened. Nezumi doesn't and he's confused, distressed.

It's all I can do to stop myself from running down to the animal shelter and adopting a new kitten immediately. Nothing distracts from sadness like a kitten--and why not be distracted from it? We've been through the process. We know how it works. I believe it's sufficient to acknowledge grief, then move on. We miss Ferb and ache for him, but languishing in it doesn't help Ferb, doesn't help us.

Maybe a kitten tomorrow. For Ted and me and Nezumi.

Ferby's gallery