By Gary Bogue
Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 7:11 am in Cats.
I’m not sure what possessed me to write this and send this to you but I’d like to share a story about two cats.
When the evening air is warm, as it was last night, I often like to sit out on my front lawn and enjoy the evening with a nice cigar and a beer. And I did just that. It was a beautiful night. The sky was clear with a few patches of clouds and topped off with a full moon.
As I sat there, the memory of two cats came to me. I have no idea why. It just did. Their names were Socks and Squeaky. They were orange Tabbies and they were brothers. Socks got his name because of his white feet and Squeaky got his because he usually gave out a little squeak meow when you picked him up. Squeaky was a gentle soul and a bit shy. Socks on the other hand had a very confident attitude and sometimes very feisty. The brothers got along very well. They were both good cats and I enjoyed their company.
I shared my home with them for about 4 years when I live with my cousin in the early 90’s. He adopted Socks and Squeaky as little kittens. When I moved in with him they were already a few years old. Both were indoor cats and had been declawed. So they didn’t get outside very much. But whenever the door was left open, they were quick to take advantage and hop outside.
On one such occasion through the kitchen window I saw Squeaky approach a cat in the middle of the street. As cats do, he was just curious to see who this new neighbor was. But as soon as he approached, the other cat suddenly attacked and bit him in the head. Stunned, he just sat there. However, Socks quickly came to his defense. He calmly walked up to this cat and without warning, smacked that cat so hard across the face that it nearly spun him around 90 degrees. And he did this with no claws! The other cat took off running but Socks did not give chase. He took a moment to examine his brother and then slowly escorted him back to the house. I was amazed because that is the only time I saw a cat, who was not a mother cat protecting her young, defend another cat. Obviously there was a strong bond between them. That’s was just one of many fond memories.
After a few years my cousin and I both got married and went our own way. He kept the cats of course. But I would drop by time to time to visit. When I was there, I would always take a moment to spend a little time with Socks and Squeaky.
One day I stopped by. By now the cats were in their early teens. When I saw Socks he had lost a lot of weight. Being indoor cats early in their life both had always been a bit on the heavy side and kind of stayed that way even after they were allowed out but now Socks was slim and trim. I asked my cousin if he had put them on a diet. He said “No, Squeaky died 6 weeks ago.” I was shocked and sad to hear of Squeaky’s passing. What shocked me even more was until that moment, I never knew that cats could grieve as deeply for another cat or person as a human can. I was deeply moved by this and my heart went out to Socks. My cousin told me that he hardly ate for a couple of weeks afterward and for a while thought that he might lose Socks, too, but he slowly recovered.
About 6 months to a year later I stopped by again. I saw Socks lying under a bush. He was much thinner now. As I looked at him, I somehow sensed that he was dying and this would be the last time I would see him. My cousin confirmed it. As I spent a little time petting him I remember his eyes being so clear. There was a feeling of serenity. He knew he was dying, too, and had accepted it. I always wondered if it was because he knew he would see his brother soon. I was sadden by this but also thankful that I had this moment to say goodbye. Two days later, Socks passed away.
As I sit here now 7 years later thinking about them, a moment of sadness has come over me. I hadn’t realized until now, how much I still miss them.
What I’m going to tell you next I swear before God that it’s the truth.
At that moment I looked up into the evening sky and saw something amazing. I saw the clouds basked in the moonlight, shaped into a cat’s face quite clearly. And where the eyes were, as if they were looking at me, were two shiny stars. As I stared for a long time at this cat’s face in the sky, I couldn’t help wonder if this is just a coincidence, or was it Socks and Squeaky saying “Thank you for remembering us!” To be honest, I really don’t know but I hope it’s the latter.
D.R, Livermore, California