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Saturday, December 11, 2004


Our longtime master, friend, and cat, Madison, died yesterday. He was 20+ years old. We stopped counting at 20. About a year and a half ago, he got sick. He pulled through that, but he wasn't quite the same. He moved a little slower and a little more deliberately. About a week ago, he took a turn for the worse. He would take a few steps and then have to rest his bones before going on. There were other things.

When the girls were little, they just wanted to play with him and hold him, but he would run away from their little hands. As time went by, that changed, and they became his benefactors. Rather, he allowed them to be his benefactors. It may sound strange for a cat, but it was like he came to depend on them. For their efforts, he rewarded them with mass quantities of love and affection and entertainment.

Now, he's gone and their hearts are breaking and my heart is breaking for them.

Posted by Marie at December 11, 2004 9:18 PM


I'm sorry your cat died. We had a cat for many years when I was growing up. He ruled the roost. My mother's dog was terrified of him and would always jump down off the cat's preferred chair and run away when ever the cat entered the room.

Posted by: Kem White at December 13, 2004 10:30 AM

thats a link to a picture of him.

Posted by: allie at December 14, 2004 3:51 AM

I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Bill Dennis at December 14, 2004 4:16 PM

Funny thing about cats. I've never been a real cat person, which I ascribe not to any anti-feline proclivities but to the fact I got severe asthma when I was four, about the same time we got a ginger-colored cat we named Leo. On top of the asthma, Leo was ornery unto viciousness, though he may have been harassed into that state by my three brothers and me (all under age six when we got him). One time the cat climbed our living room curtains and jumped on my brother John's head, clawing him. Another time my mom came home from her Atlar and Rosary Society meeting one evening to find my dad up past his usual bedtime, sitting on the living-room couch with his feet up. Mom asked him what was going on, and he replied that Leo had clawed him and tried to bite him when he put his feet down to go into their bedroom. The cat had stayed beneath the couch, swiping at his feet whenever he made a move. Mom chased or charmed Leo out of his hiding place so Dad could go to bed. We took a family trip not too long after this, a drive around Lake Michigan. Leo wasn't there when we got back, and I was satisfied and not at all unhappy with the explanation he'd run away (years later, of course, it came out he'd been put down).

Now, decades later, and against by best health interests, we have a cat here in Berkeley. A big, black-and-white tom called Gulliver. A coworker found him as a kitten back in 1996, a stray wandering around the then-future site of the Giants new ballpark in San Franisco. He's amazing in that at first-glance he seems slow-witted. But he's really just obstinately fixated on getting his own way, and he's actually personable in his own way and quite bright. He's been my son's cat, mostly, but has successfully insinutated himself into family life to the extent he's a fixture now.

Anyway, sorry about your cat. They really become family members, don't they?

Posted by: Dan at December 14, 2004 4:17 PM