(The following story was originally penned on May 12, 2010 in an intention to pay homage to our best ever cat, Tucker. Somehow it never got posted to the blog and time passed. Tucker has been pretty sick lately and within the past two weeks he really went downhill. When he stopped eating and drinking several days ago, the handwriting was on the wall. Since I couldn’t face it, I asked Marc if he would be the one to take him in to be put down, so at noon today, that’s what happened. The loss hasn’t caught up with me yet so I thought it was definitely time to give Tucker his due. Rest in peace, old friend. You were the best and we’ll miss you always.)
I’m aware that not all people appreciate cats, but accordingly, I don’t like dogs. They yap and bark, they constantly lick their private parts or their feet with an absolute annoyingly loud slurping sound, they require constant attention and adoration (or develop bad habits), they require walking day and night, they always embarrass their owner by sniffing a complete stranger’s private parts, and in some cases they can be downright and viciously dangerous and unpredictable. What dog owner can say he has left his RV and gone off for days and left his dog inside unattended? Although we don’t like to do it, with Tucker and his automatic feeder, his litter box, and his comfy bed where he sleeps up to 20 hours a day anyway, it’s all been possible!
So yes, on the other hand, there is our cat Tucker. He came to us on June 28, 2003 by raiding the leftover crab guts Marc left out in a bucket in Coos Bay right after our beloved cat Skitter had died; obviously feral or sadly neglected. Either way, he was already “fixed” and in sorry shape, so we adopted him and promptly took him to the vet. He had an extremely bad ear infection and was also loaded with fleas. To this day his left ear tilts permanently to the right as you face him, causing me to call him “my cute kitty face”.
Tucker likes to please. Through the years I’ve been able to teach him by hand-clapping not to roam too far from our site, with a “get back here” wherein he does an immediate about-face and high tails it back to camp. He no longer grooms himself at night when he is in bed with us too often; if so, a gentle tap on his head reminds him that’s not permissible when we’re trying to sleep. For you see, Tucker has always maintained he was one of us and would sleep nowhere else. After countless years of trying to wash his shedding hair off bed linen it finally occurred to me to buy him his own bed which he took to like a duck to water.
Tucker is not a lap kitty but occasionally claims us. Mainly me; whereupon he throws a paw up over my breast as if to say “she’s mine”. He has also been known to give Marc support and attention when he needs it.
He gladly joins in on the festivities of the day or explores whatever terrain we happen to be located in at the moment. Sadly, he’s not much of a hunter although one time he brought us a chipmunk. He tries to make friends with one and all.
Tucker has been leashed trained but is much more satisfied sitting in front of any heat source. And don’t even mention crab in his presence—he’s there!
I fear our sweet boy is growing old with us. We really don’t know his age but suspect about eight or nine. I see a gauntness now developing in his hip line and note his reluctance to jump up to or down from higher places. I have had cats my entire life and with his sweet nature and personal interaction, he is one of my very favorites. It will certainly be a sad day when he leaves us for good. We hope it is many years into the future. For now, he absolutely loves our Yuma lot—he does spin-arounds every morning in front of the door to get out and explore his domain and then he settles himself under the rustling palms and watches the world go by and the birds twittering above him. And he really gets into his drop and roll routine here! Such a sweetie he is: this joy, my golden boy.