It was very unusual when our cat Eddie decided to sit in a chair at the table with us while were were having lunch recently. I really can’t remember him ever doing this before. The behavior brought memories to mind of another cat we used to have, called Johnson, who often sat with us at the table.
When I first met Nick he lived in an apartment with a couple of other people. Basically he had his room and shared the kitchen and washroom with the others, sort of like a rooming house, except that he knew one of his flat mates from before. It was a temporary living situation, made more so because he had a cat, who essentially lived in Nick’s bedroom, which wasn’t ideal but was unavoidable at the time. So when I first began visiting, I would share the only chair in the room with this thin orange cat. He was a very good boy though, and I was happy to have him enter my life, along with Nick. Frankly, I had no choice in the matter … the man came with a cat … so Johnson became my cat too.
He was extremely well behaved and calm. And gave us so many laughs. He would fetch toys when we tossed them and bring them back to us, carrying them in his mouth. It looked so cute. He also liked ice-cream, particularly caramel, and one time we let him lick the bottom of a small cup-shaped container, into which he got his head stuck. So we laughed as he walked around the living room backwards with a paper cup on his head, then we quickly helped him out of his predicament.
When he sat at the dining table, if we stood a matchbook on it’s side in front of him, he would knock it over with his paw. If we set it upright again, he would knock it over again, over and over again until we got tired of the game.
Actually, he wasn’t meant to stay with Nick at all … Nick was talked into fostering two older cats temporarily because they had nowhere else to go and would otherwise have been put down. Both were found homes pretty quickly and Nick’s job was done where they were concerned. That is until the little orange one was sent back. For some reason the woman who took him didn’t want him after all. Further searching for a home was unsuccessful so Nick eventually decided to keep him, and named him Johnson.
This was about 3 years before I met Nick and after we got together, the three of us lived happily for 6 years. Johnson was a very sweet and friendly boy, but he was not cuddly and was quite awkward when we picked him up. But he didn’t ever get mad or scratch .. he just never quite relaxed when being held.
In 2005 we adopted our second cat Eddie, who was living rough on the street (or you could say that Eddie adopted us). He was a lot younger than Johnson and quite rambunctious, to put it mildly. To this day, we wonder if we had been fair to old Johnsy by allowing Eddie to stay, and do feel pangs of guilt at times because, while we tried hard to control him, Eddie was quite a bully. But you do what you can do; they both needed a home and we had a home to give them.
(I scanned these few pictures I had of Johnson, that were taken with a film camera.)
Johnson died in 2006 of a common age related feline illness. We had to say goodbye to him at the vet’s office, and then had to walk home along a busy street, both crying, with our empty cat carrier.
We were so sad when he died. The thing with having pets is that you know you will naturally outlive them. But the fear of this inevitable occurrence doesn’t stop us from choosing to have them and love them dearly.
Thanks for reading. If you keep a blog and have posts about your pets, I would love to read them.