Tuesday, January 5, 2010
In 1996, I was drinking buttery nipples and Miller Lite (I know!) with some friends from school when one of them said to me, "Hey, James! Do you want a cat?" I was deliciously tipsy and feeling magnanimous, so I said, "Sure."
The next day, I met this scrawny, ugly, angry little thing that was going to be moving in with me. Rob, Amanda, Lisa, and I spent some time discussing the name of this mangy animal--I wanted to call her Buttery Nipple, in honor of our original coming-together, but we thought that might be awkward. So we settled on Schnapps.
Over the last thirteen years, Schnapps and I got close. And I mean, Super Ridiculous close. I wanted her to be an outside cat, but she decided that would not work. I thought she should not attack my visiting friends and family. She, however, was a fan of the secret-ninja-hand-nibble, and she scared the dickens out of poor Ed many times.
She moved with me to several cities in North Carolina and several apartments in Austin, Texas. She saw me through three different degrees, numerous writing panics, illnesses, disappearances, and heartaches. I dragged her into houses filled with dogs (whose main idea of entertainment involved biting her on the face and flinging her across the linoleum tile), out of a marriage filled with crushing desperation and expectation, and after the hope of a New Start in a Big New City.
Last weekend, she disappeared. And she has not come back. Pretty soon, I will be moving again, and I will have to do something with her little food bowl. Right now, though, I'm going to leave it alone for a little while longer.
She is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen, my favorite familiar, and one of the best accidental companions I have ever had. I will miss her.