It's been a little over 2 years since our beautiful cat, Teddy, passed away. Teddy was a Russian Blue cat, and although I don't have an actual picture of my handsome buddy with me today, he looked almost exactly like the picture that I'm sharing here above. He had piercing turquoise eyes that were friendly yet at times seemed like they could cut right through you.
He was absolutely a beautiful cat and everyone who saw him said so. But the thing about Teddy that made him so unique to us was his personality. I remember when I was talking to the breeder over the phone about the litter of kittens she had for sale, I told her I wanted a kitten who stood out from the rest. She paused and then said, "I think I have exactly what you're looking for." She went on to describe one of the little kittens who was "a real talker." She said she couldn't shut him up. And I said...that's the one I want!
We were living near Tampa Florida at the time and the breeder was in Atlanta. I remember going to the airport the day he arrived to pick him up. He looked terrified in his cat carrier sitting there on one of those baggage carts. As soon as we got to the car I took him out and started petting him and talking to him. He started to calm down right away. I took him home to meet my wife at the time and an 18 year relationship began. Teddy, and soon after, his "brother" Peanut (our second cat) were inseperable. They would play with each other for hours and gave us a lot of love. Both cats accompanied us on moves from Tampa to Reno and then a year later, to Seattle.
Teddy was a master at showing off. He would "talk" to us all the time. I would say "Teddeeeeee!" and he would always answer me with a lazy "Meow" every single time. He would sit like a king on his cat tree and as Peanut walked by, he would pounce on him and they would roll on the floor playing. It was very entertaining to watch. Teddy liked to jump a lot too. He would be on top of the frig and I would tap my shoulder and say "Jump Teddy, jump!" and he would jump across almost the entire kitchen and land on my shoulder every time. He did this literally HUNDREDS of times and NEVER missed. He was amazing. Of course I always rewarded him with a cat treat for his athletic prowess.
For people who don't have pets, some of them don't understand the human/pet relationship. It's like they are one of your kids. Especially when they are with you for a few years...you just can't imagine life without them. But sadly, one day they leave your life. But you always will keep the memories of them. I will NEVER forget when we had to say goodbye to Teddy on the day he left us. Both of my kids and I stood around the table where he was at the animal hospital. While I was standing there, all the memories came flooded back to me as I looked at him. Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes as I remember that day. I truly loved that animal with all of my heart. It was finally time to say goodbye and all three of us touched him for the last time as we cried around him.
When we left, I knew it was going to be awhile before I was going to be ready to get a new pet. You know how they say, when you lose a pet, get another one right away? I just couldn't do that to Teddy. I didn't want to forget any of the memories of him by replacing him right away with another cat. But time has finally healed some of my feelings of loss. I am ready now to seriously consider another cat. I'm trying to decide on whether or not I should get another Russian Blue, or just get another kind of cat altogether. I'll let you know what I decide. But the memory of Teddy, the greatest cat I've ever known, will never leave me.
[photo courtesy of Lil Shepard's photostream]