Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Many cats ago...

More than 20 years ago, when I moved into the first Shady Rest, I brought with me from Greenwood a little black cat named RoyGBiv. A few years later, RoyGBiv got cancer and had to be put down. By that time, I had a big orange tabby named Bosco, a little Himalayan/Abyssinian named Betaille, and a gorgeous Russian blue named Sam. A lot of cats.

Mark Smythe was there when I put RoyGBiv down, and he helped me bury her in the back yard. After the burial, Mark drove back to Tacoma where he was in law school. He called me to report that when he arrived at his apartment building, he found a little back cat that looked much like RoyGBiv in the back alley, being menaced by some kids. Did I want the cat?

My answer was no. Sam's best friend, a little neglected neighborhood tabby named Socks, had already moved in and was in RoyGBiv's bed!

So Mark kept the black cat. He named her Melilot. She often stayed at the Shady Rest at Christmas when Mark would go back East to visit family. She liked going outdoors with our cats. One afternoon, when we got home from work, Melilot rushed up to
the porch to be let in and Zorg picked her up. Melilot didn't like that, and she batted him in the face with her little paws. She was declawed, so Zorg just laughed at her.

She leaned over and bit him on the nose.

Melilot lived most of her life in Mark's apartment in a urban part of Tacoma. She didn't get to go out much — but that might be why she lived to a very old age.

Two months ago, Mark called to say Melilot had been diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer of the jaw. Mark discovered some herbal remedies and managed to give Melilot another 10 weeks of life. He called today to say that she died last night.

Melilot, shown here on the mantelpiece at the Shady Rest, was a professional cat. She will be remembered.

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