Since I last wrote, my husband, Ed, now has one less bowl to fill with cat food each day. Now, you may be thinking it’s “Trouble”, the cat, from The Man With The Can stories, but it wasn’t “Trouble” that we lost. It was one of our original “shelter cats” named “Smut”, who was several years younger than “Trouble”.
“Smut” came to live at our house back in 2004, when I adopted him from our local animal shelter, where I was volunteering at the time. He was about 4 months old when I brought him home with me. “Smut” was just a run of the mill black cat, who stole my heart after his sibling “Ashes” got chosen for adoption and he didn’t.
2004 – Smut (the larger black kitten) playing with Tabby (the small kitten)
When “Smut” was old enough, I had him neutered, but he still enjoyed rambling and partaking in a few fights, every now and then. It was almost as if he still had some testosterone in his blood! I just know “Smut” would’ve made one heck of a tom cat, had he not been neutered.
Sometimes, in winter, “Smut” would sleep outside, in a chair, on the tiny terrace right outside of my bedroom. He had his own cat bed and blanket in the chair, something most of our other cats don’t have. Yes, “Smut” was special, and he knew it.
The years passed quickly, and “Smut” lived a good life, up until about a month ago, when it became apparent something wasn’t right with him. Feeding time became an issue with “Smut”. He’d hiss and growl at the dry food in his bowl, and act like he was afraid of it. So, we added canned food to “Smut’s” diet, which helped for a short time. As time went on, eating became difficult for “Smut”, and he began to lose weight, in spite of Ed’s best efforts.
“Smut” always loved to sit in my lap and be rubbed. This hasn’t been possible, for a while, due to the back problems I’ve been having. Finally, one day, week before last, I made a point to drag up a chair outside and sit for a few minutes. “Smut” came over for a visit, and I noticed how thin he’d become. He hopped onto my lap, and I sat and rubbed him for as long as I could. Little did I know, then, that we were saying our goodbyes to each other. Within a week, Ed found “Smut” dead. He buried him at the edge of our field, beside most of our other deceased pets. Unfortunately, our pet cemetery is growing quite large.
As for old “Trouble”, of The Man With The Can stories, she is still with us, but has moved back to Ed’s parents’ empty house (again). She stayed at our oldest son’s house for a while, but when they went off for a long weekend, a couple of weeks ago, she left!
So, after a brief hiatus, “the man with the can” is back feeding “Trouble” again. The saga continues… It’s a good thing Ed’s a very patient man…
*** I’m not sure how old “Trouble” is, but I’m thinking she’s at least fifteen. Our youngest son, Brad, was a young teen when I brought “Trouble” home–and he just celebrated his 30th birthday. “Trouble” has been living at Ed’s parents’ empty home for just shy of three years.