Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Three days from now, the twenty-second of December, 2012, marks the four-year anniversary of the death of Linus the cat, as well as the two-year anniversary of the death of my younger aunt. I wrote a big thing about Lucy, Linus's sister, after she died. I wrote a big thing about Cookie, my father's sister, about half a year before she finally took her one-way trip into the tie-dye dimension. But I never wrote a big thing about Linus, even though his life did end during this blog's lifetime; I only wrote a tiny thing. I feel like he deserves more.

Linus was, quite simply, the ideal pet. About his only quality that could be considered a drawback was that, like Loki before him, he was diabetic and required insulin shots on a rigid twelve-hour basis. But that wasn't a big deal. He didn't feel anything in the scrunched-up back between the shoulders (cats are like that), he got a treat after each shot, and he was happy. So beautifully happy.

He loved attention. He loved being petted. He loved a good, soft belly rub. His size, condition, texture, and easy personality made him the ultimate snuggle-bunny. He was, in essence, a living pillow. Not too clingy; very laid-back. He had a good life, and he knew it. He loved everything....except the dogs. (And perhaps Loki.) He and Lucy had to take refuge in the basement any time the dogs visited, and that was nearly any time I visited. The dogs have never gone to the basement. I always did. I knew where the really good quadrupeds were.

Sometimes in the morning, while the dogs were still locked away in the bedroom upstairs with my folks, Linus would be out on the dining room table, just relaxing. I'd bring the newspaper in, set it down in its plastic sleeve next to him — he loved licking plastic for some reason — pull out the chair a bit, sit down, snuggle him, bury my head in him, and stay there until someone else had gotten up and come downstairs — usually my cousin, who would see us and just sort of spiritually melt.

Linus was the only pet in our family that I could really do that with. The other pets were either too small (the yorkie, or Lucy), too reclusive (Abby), too grouchy (Loki), or just not really designed for snuggling (the pointy-eared schnauzer). Loki slept with me once, and watched Saturday morning cartoons with me, but he wasn't much keen on fully snuggling. About the closest approximation to Linus I've had, and still have, is Dinah the second schnauzer, who is basically the canine version of Linus. Same general temperament, good bit of size, nice soft texture. Yet, as much as I enjoy snuggling her, I've never really succeeded in burying my head in her and just leaving it there for a sizable time, the way I did with Linus. She's just not built that way.

I miss Linus so much. In this crazy world with religious nuts, gun nuts, sex nuts, money nuts, war, poverty, diseases, natural catastrophes, artificial catastrophes, and all other brands of madness raping our senses, I feel an ever-growing need to find something or someone snuggly and appreciative, bury my head in them, and just leave it there for a while. For brief windows in time, I had such a creature, and I will be forever grateful for that and for him.

Rest in love, precious pumpkin.

P.S. Now and then I run my cursor over his tummy in this picture and imagine his purrs. (Click to enlarge.)

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