Goodbye, Thumper Cat. You were one of a kind.

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Another one of our furry family members has left us. Benny discovered our three-legged tuxedo cat Thumper had passed away tonight. She was between 11 and 12 years old.  I hope they were mostly happy years for her.

A good Samaritan found this little kitten in a parking lot one rainy day. She was soaking wet and ripped open from stem to stern after an altercation with a dog. In spite of her severe injuries, she was struggling to get back up. This kitten was a fighter.

The local vet wasn’t able to save her mangled leg but he tucked in the organs, sewed her up and gave her shots and meds, fearing she would not make it.

But she did. A friend of the good Samaritan  took her in after she did some healing and fostered the kitten until she could find a good home.

And that home was with us. Thumper was a very interesting cat. While she loved being rubbed, she hated being picked up and wasn’t what you would call an affectionate cat (she would frequently growl at me and try to bite me and loved to attack your toes under the covers). She was a loner who didn’t interact much with our other cats. I loved her so much, but sometimes it seemed she would never love me back in the same way.

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Thumper was litter box trained, but she often found other places to “go”, much to our frustration. Sometimes she’d suddenly begin quivering from head to toe out of the blue. Was it some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Because of the trauma of her early life, we delayed having her spayed. Turns out we shouldn’t have, because it proved a turning point in our relationship. Suddenly she was hauling herself up on the bed to be with us by rappelling up the comforter. She’d voluntarily seek out our laps.

Later in her life, she became strange bedfellows with our diva cat Puddie. The two would often cuddle together and groom each other. We lost Puddie several months ago and saw yet another change in Thumper.

She began to behave much more like a, well, like a real CAT. As if she’d discovered her true identity. For the first time, it seemed to me Thumper Cat was largely happy. I enjoyed her so much and felt as if  we were bonding in a way that had never before happened.  Benny would walk into the bedroom and she’d immediately begin meowing at him, insisting he sit down. As soon as he did, she’d climb into his lap and purr as if there was no tomorrow. Benny would roll his eyes, but I could tell he really enjoyed it, too.

And now there are no more tomorrows for my funny, smart, strange, oddly endearing tuxedo cat. Thumper, I will miss you. You’ve had my heart for years, and I felt I finally won yours. Yet you will live on in the Land of the So Not Dead with Puddie and Guy, who will surely spoil you rotten (er).

Tonight, I am sad. I fell in the middle of the road walking back from the farmhouse tonight and banged myself up, abraded knee and elbow, busted lip, bloody nose, and it will all be worse in the morning. Maybe even a black eye or two.

But it will heal. What won’t ever completely heal is the loss of yet another family member, that eccentric one you never quite understand but loved deeply anyway.

Tonight, I am hoping my little Callie–my last remaining cat–will stay a while with me. Sure would ease the pain, of the body and of the heart.

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Goodbye, Thumper Cat. I truly will not ever forget you.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

29 responses »

    • Thank you, yes, it is hard. Even tho we have been through it many times–this is the third cat we’ve lost in about 18 months, never mind all those who went before them–it’s still hurts every time. Oh, when I do something, I don’t do it half-way. I was walking beside husband and talking,everything going fine, and suddenly I was on the ground bleeding on a tackle box. Happened without warning. *sigh*

  1. I like to dream that there is a Heaven and when I die, all the animals I loved will be waiting for me. I am so sorry for your loss. Feel better, and thanks for the photos.

    • Me, too. I saw an illustration once with all these dogs and cats waiting at the pearly gates, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and so happy, with the caption, “Hello! Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you!”

  2. Oh Angie, I am sorry for your loss. She sounded like a real character who made life interesting. ❤ I hope your physical aches heal up quickly.

    • Thank you, Dawn. She was and she did. I need to get some sleep, that would help, unfortunately the painful places are acting up. And I think I need to rinse my mouth with peroxide as grit keeps popping up LOL I guess I ate more dirt than I realized! 🙂

    • ChiChi, Bear and I send our love. We are heartily sorry for your loss. Sometimes words aren’t enough. The ones that survive early trauma seem to wrap themselves around our hearts tighter. We think they are 5 feet tall and bullet proof. Be at peace knowing she saved you as much as you saved her. Now about that fall….

  3. Angie, I’m glad you were able to write about Thumper and post her photos, such a sweet tribute to a special girl. I am so sorry for your loss, beyond any words I could write. Wishing you solace and comfort, and thinking of Thumper among the SND.

    • I told Benny I was so glad I ‘d taken those photos recently. She loved sitting in that bathroom window and sitting on top of my books. And in her own way, she was kind of amazing. Thank you. XX

  4. Rest in peace, Thumper.

    She was a lucky cat the day she found you and Benny, Angie. She had a fortunate life once that initial trauma was past and i hope you can feel very satisfied that at much as you miss her, you did a great thing in giving her a safe home.

    • Thank you, Phylly. Yeah, it was a rough night and it’s going to likely be stormy later today and tonight, so feeling less than great physically. My Callie Cat is hanging out with me, though, and that’s really nice. 😀

  5. I wish I could tell you how incredibly sorry I am and how sad. All of ours are getting on in years as well and I worry constantly that we will lose another one. She looks like a beautiful kitty from her photos and I know you will miss her.

  6. So sorry to read about the loss of your cat. As independent as they are – they always find a way to your heart, don’t they? Also hope that your injuries will turn out not to be too bad. Get well soon.

  7. Buddy and I send our love to you and Benny at this sad time! Thumper reminds me a lot of my tuxedo cat, Pepper. She had some really strange things happen as well. She was a one person cat who was so nervous she had to eat special food. Our animals are like people. They come in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of quirks and personalities. I’m sure that Thumper loved you in all the ways that she could. And I hope you feel better soon, both mentally and physically!

  8. Angie and Benny, So sorry for your lost of Thumper. Pets are part the family too and in their own way love us also.

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