I don't have cats, but cats seem to like me. Exhibit A: Bob the Cat.
He's my friend Dianne's cat. Bob had adopted her by virtue of appearing on her property at some point in the early 2000s and claiming it as his own. Eventually, she let him in and he became the family cat. But he was quiet. He rarely came out and socialized with them.
Until he met me in 2002. I put my hand out. Dianne said, "He won't come to you. He's antisocial."
But he marched over to met and craned his neck so I could pet him. A friendship was born.
She had no idea how old he was. We suspected, because of his size and energy level, maybe 4 years old. I got a kick out of him because he had a stub for a tail. Dianne thought Bob may have had his tail run over. Personally, I think he's just a Japanese Bobtail cat, which unlike most breeds only has a stub for a tail because of a genetic defect.
We had some great memories with Bob. We called him Hurricane Bob. We would shout, "Bob!" every time he entered the room and he would meow in response. He watched football with us. He loved having his neck scratched.
But recently he's become frail and thin. Cats age just like all of us. They don't last much more than 14-15 years, and as best as we could tell that's about where Bob was at. Saturday, Dianne broke the news to me. On Wednesday, while I was saying goodbye to The Chopper, Dianne went to the vet and put Bob to sleep.
That fateful morning, Dianne said Bob wandered over to a neighbor's German shepherd, seemingly in an attempt to commit suicide by dog. I hate to see Bob suffer and it was probably for the best.
Bob now lies in a coffin buried in Dianne's backyard. I kind of wanted to dig him up and scratch his neck one last time. But he's in a better place now. And he's at peace.