A Memorial to the Little Guy
Feline aficionados read Bandido’s story in Cat Fancy magazine (December 2005). Bandido is gone now. I miss the little guy. He was my buddy. He came to us as a feral. He had many ailments, including poor vision, asthma, a convulsive shudder, a crippled left leg, and FIV (feline AIDS). As a result, we always knew he would have a short life. We had him seven years after he adopted us. He was very affectionate. He would allow himself to be petted for hours, if one didn’t first get bored. He loved to cuddle and snuggle up to body warmth. Bandido had many notable traits.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been a movie star. He had pale, yellowish Tabby fur. In contrast to that color scheme, he had beautiful, black-framed eyelids. His natural eyeliner gave him a darkly accented, glamorous look. He always looked like he had just come from a professional make-up session.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been an excellent con man. He had such a friendly, honest look on his face. One could swear he was insisting…..”I have never stolen a granule of cat food in my life.”
If Bandido had been human, he could have been an All-Star leftfielder baseball player. He could catch a low, chicken-liver liner on the short hop, down a runner trying to make it home and then down the chicken liver….all with time to spare. He could catch food like a dog snaring a Frisbee.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been a pirate. He had a hole pierced in his left ear. The hole was the result of a bite wound incurred in a territorial fight with a rival. Bandido won, but was left with an ear suitable to wear an earring, just like Blackbeard.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been a cowboy actor. His crippled left rear leg, which caused him to hop would have led to a perfect stage name….Hopalong Catastrophe.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been an aircraft carrier pilot. He could jump from on high to the top of a scratch pole located several feet distant. He would take off by launching himself with his good, rear leg and make a perfect, 3-point landing every time. I don’t mean cling onto the scratch pole. I mean land on top of the scratch pole with its 4 inch diameter, and all the while retain perfect balance.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been an entrepreneur. He was a self-starter. Despite his feral origins, he learned how to please us. Without prompting, he observed our other cats and taught himself the use of the litterbox.
If Bandido had been human, he could have been a talk-show host. At suppertime, he would begin to meow in a way that demanded a response, to which he then responded in kind. This would continue until dinner was served. He knew how to “work” an audience.
If Bandido had been human, I couldn’t miss him more. The day he died, I cried. He was my buddy.
(see companion article entitled "A Friend in Knead").
Copyright © 2007 by Frank Koerner