Today we said goodbye to our sweet kitty Flipper. Mel and I adopted him and his calico sister Roberta from the Lexington County Humane Society on December 1, 2001 when they were about 8 weeks old.
Mel, always a dog person, had been fairly neutral about cats, but these kitties won his heart.It turned out that he's quite allergic, but there was no question that he would just have to live with the sinus trouble. We kinda became crazy cat people--before we had kids, we'd go out to dinner or on vacation and have lengthy conversations about what the cats might be doing back home.
When I was pregnant, Flipper would curl up around my belly. As our more outgoing cat, he's the one who became most acquainted with the kids. He always enjoyed their scritches. If he felt we were ignoring him, Flipper would reach out and paw one of our arms, sometimes poking a claw out to express some urgency. He was always the first to trot out to greet a cat-sitter.
We are so grateful that Flipper was a big kitten for almost 12 years, with no sign of aging until he suddenly became an old man a couple of weeks ago. Roberta drinks from the fountain of youth, as well, but I worry about how the old girl will get along without her brother.
They hadn't cuddled together much since they were kittens, and often their only obvious interaction was Flipper smacking Roberta in the head when she dared get to the food dish before him. But they have been constant companions since the womb, and have faced all our household disruptions together. Since Flipper became too sick to come out for his scritches, Roberta has been demanding both her share and his, so I think she'll muddle through.