Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Spoonerisms: Junior

Bandit and Coco II
Bandit, top, puts the kitten Coco II in his place, circa March 2005

My father's beloved cat Bandit died over the weekend after what was apparently a rapid series of strokes. Bandit showed up over 15 years ago when friends of my parents found a kitten when they were out walking, and being allergic, brought him straight over to their house. He was the first cat they had gotten since I left home, and the first couple of times I visited, he wanted nothing to do with me. Then one Christmas he had sustained one of his many injuries fighting with some creature real or imagined, and my soft, warm lap was too much for him to ignore.

My father called Bandit "Junior," the son he never had, and their affection was clearly mutual. Always riddled with health problems, mostly from his overactive lifestyle, Bandit's health became more precarious at the same time as my father's. He clearly missed my father when he was away at the hospital. After my father died, Bandit perked up some. I realize it's anecdotal evidence, but I really do think that Bandit felt the stress of my father's absences and the clear distress he was in when he was at home, and it took its toll on him. His health did actually improve somewhat over the past year, but he was still clearly showing his age.

Rest in peace, big guy. You made my father very happy.

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