He was not my first choice out of the litter of kittens. His sister Franny, a grey tabby with a penchant for screaming at the top of her lungs was my first choice. In fact, I wouldn’t have ever had Zooey if it hadn’t been for her. When I went to collect her to take her with me to West Virginia (my internship was with the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) she ran around behind Zooey and cowered. Zooey, being the gregarious sort, meowed at me and purred when I came over to retrieve Franny. They didn’t even have names then…and we thought Franny was a boy…hard to tell on a three month old kitten that won’t really let you pick it up and investigate.
So I took both of them with me, figuring that this way my little grey screamer would have some company. They were tiny tiny tiny, and sat in my lap as I drove my old Ford Escort over the winding roads leading to my new home and our new life.
That was twelve years ago, in the summer of 1994.
Zooey is going on a new kind of journey tomorrow, one that I can’t share, at least not yet. He has been sick off and on for about three years now, and has been steadily losing weight. Two nights ago he looked me in the eye, straight in the eye, and I knew it was time…or rather, I knew my time had run out.
Zooey is my Tiny Man. He’s my Zoe-Boe. He would sing to me in the shower and could jump almost up to my waist chasing after a feather on the end of a stick. He could sit on command and if I said “Gopher” he would sit up on his hind legs for a treat. Zooey’s favorite foods were peanut butter, strawberry jam, strawberry pop tarts, strawberry nutri-grain bars (seeing a theme here?) and cheese. He never liked milk, and would rather chew on my hand than eat canned cat food.
I’m choosing to post this older picture of him because the cat sleeping in the chair behind me in the office now is not my Zooey. I’m not quite sure how I will get along without him. Twelve years is a long time to get used to having someone around.
I love you, Tiny Man. Rub your head on Lizzard’s legs for me and watch out for BoBo, he’ll probably feel like chasing you now. I won’t say goodbye to him…everytime I leave the house to go anywhere I tell my animals I love them, and I’ll see them soon.
See you soon, Zooey-Schmooey. See you soon.