El Gato Muy Malo, 1992(ish) – 2010

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

Today marks the second anniversary of the date when I lost the most remarkable animal I have ever known. Note that I did not say the best cat ever, or that he was a good boy, or anything praising his virtue. Adolph was a terrible cat at times, so bad we called him El Gato Muy Malo, among other things. But goddamn he was remarkable. He was our nasty roommate who refused to learn English and get a job. I am not one to anthropomorphize my animals. But Adolph was different.

Happy Fatty
I cannot describe him well anymore. I fear so much time has passed since I spent time with him that I would not be able to find the words to tell you how intelligent, friendly, disgusting, valiant, nasty and wonderful Adolph was. Even if he had been a perfectly ordinary cat, he looked like Hitler and lost a leg. That alone is worth remembering.

But even though I no longer really know what to say, I needed to commemorate this day. I posted his eulogy on this site, but I also wrote about him in a cat community. I was surprised at how many people felt similarly about him in just the informal post I made right after he died. I gave him a lengthy eulogy that he likely felt was the least I could do, and it was. Last year I also remembered his passing. Perhaps next year the day that he died will pass without me immediately realizing the significance of the date. I tend to doubt it, but I also used to doubt that a single day would pass without me thinking of him, and that has happened.

Until then, I’m just remembering the most epic cat who ever lived.

Feel free to tell me about the epic animals you have known and I’ll return to odd books on Monday or Tuesday, I swear.

Eulogy for Adolph Cat, 1992(?) – 2010

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I don’t discuss my personal life in my review journals outside of how my own life affects my reviews to some degree. But I felt the need to eulogize my cat Adolph, who died on 2/19/10. So if you come here for the books and only the books, that’s cool, just give this a miss. It is long, wordy and extremely picture heavy, but he was with me for almost 15 years and, frankly, writing these things out helps me put things in perspective.

Adolph was a cat larger than life. He was the first animal who lived with me, and I was 24 when he came into my life. I will be 40 this year – my entire adult life was spent with that incredible cat. I am not one to anthropomorphize my cats – they are cats, pets, and not my babies or friends or relatives. My relationship with them does not need honorary human status for it to be very special. Nothing wrong with either approach to animal companions – it’s just how I interact with my cats.

Not so with Adolph. He was not our pet. He was our peer. He was our gross roommate who refused to get a job. He was amazingly intelligent, knew us inside and out and understood that we were flawed and loved us regardless because he knew we loved him in spite of his flaws. He was insistent, needy, imperious, a bully, weird, gross and intrusive. He was empathetic, loving, caring, smart, adorable, silly, and loved all humans – all of them, big, small, scary, cute. There was no sensible person he could not charm, even when he acted up.

When he first experienced renal failure and had to spend a couple of days at the vet, they gave up keeping him in a cage during the day. He upset his water bowl several times and howled and howled, so they let him out during the day, letting him have the run of the place. He mocked the dogs in the dog run, greeted people at the front desk. Several people asked if he was up for adoption, he was so funny and interesting. So while I am biased, I know others saw his roguish charms and gave into them, too.

First pic ever
This is the first picture I ever took of Adolph. I don’t have many pics of his early days. No dig cams then and I was very broke. Film was a luxury that I now wish I had spent more money on since I have so few pics of our early days. It was 1995 and he was around 2 years old.