By Morgan Chambers

I lost my boy Marco last Thursday after 17 years of love and companionship!  This makes two of my boys that passed on in the year 2013.  In January of this year I lost my king dog Raptor who was the most beautiful and majestic Red Dobie I have ever seen.

Today, my house is full of sorrow but as we all know, time heals these wounds.  So now I walk around seeing empty spaces everywhere there used to be a wonderful warm fuzzy little fuzzla’ wuzzla’…  My boy Marco was a tiny little life form in a great big world.  He was a black Tabby!  I believe they call this a “Smoke Tabby!”

I gave him my everything and in return, he gave me a love larger than life.  He was in my view, the perfect life form!  A little tiny boy with a great big heart!

I guess my Marco must have been about a year old when we first met back in 1996.  As a swimming pool contractor I owned a small pool route and one of my customers in Jamul happened to be a dog breeder.  The breed of choice for these fine folks was the very large and beautiful Akita.  They had picked up Marco and another kitty who was a little girl in thoughts of keeping the rat population down around the exterior of their beautiful Jamul home.  They soon noticed that Marco had other ideas.  While he loved being outside as most cats do, they told me that on many occasions they would arrive home to find him at the door.  They said he was asking with his eyes to be allowed to come into the house with them.  Even then he knew he wanted those soft couch pillows and those fine thread count sheets to curl up on.  Alas, they said that each time they bent down and explained to him that he was to be a yard cat and not the “Life of Riley” pillow boy he so seemed to desire and that he would have to stay outside as long as he lived with them.

Each week when I arrived at their home to service their backyard pool, I could feel the excitement in my heart as I began to look around for Marco.  There he was!  High up on the top of the brick trash enclosure wall or out on the lawn just sitting there in the morning sun.  Our eyes locked and he scampered towards me with a happy gait.

I was in love… we were in love…  This was to be the beginning of the most wonderful chapter of my life.

Mr. “Marco Bear” ruled our home from high up on top of the kitchen cabinetry where he had five different cat beds to choose from and one of them was electrically heated.  He wasn’t spoiled now was he?  My kitchen cabinets run the length of one wall with one sma
To get to it, he would make a very technical jump across the entire width of the kitchen at the ceiling.  Easy for those with backward knees, amazing for we humans to behold.ll cabinet the other side of the room on its own.  I have the type of cabinets with edge trim that resembles a castle wall.  This creates a “catwalk” if you will which allowed my boy Marco to traverse back and forth at will.  The perfect place for a kitty to spend his sleepy days!  I don’t remember how we began to do this but somehow Marco decided he wanted to “occupy” that isolated cabinet as well so I stuck yet one more cat bed on top of it.

I remember many a day walking out of my kitchen into the living room and experiencing a swoosh and a big black shadow right over my head and there he was peering down at me from his own private little isolated island in the sky.

I was raised with cats in the house as far back as I can recall.  I have had many cats in my lifetime but none li

ke Marco.  He was what I like to call “the dog named cat!”  He would actually come when I called him. And talk… this was one taking cat!  True cat lovers know that cats and dogs have inflections in the sounds they make that tell you what they want or what they see.  Call me crazy but on more than one occasion, I heard human words coming from this little guys mouth.  Not fully formed words but enough for me to understand what he wanted.  And so funny…  Marco was the only kitty I’ve ever experienced who would meow and yawn at the same time.  You’ve got to hear it to understand how funny this was.  Think about it!

When I would bring home bags of groceries, Marco would invariably jump up and walk around on top of and through the bags making it quite difficult for me to put the groceries away.  Do you think he was saying… “Never mind that stuff Pop, just get to the cat food?”

Marco went for walks with the dogs and I when we went out on the property.  As cats do, he would always try to look preoccupied with the sniff of a plant here or a lizard to chase there but he was right there behind us every time I turned around to check on the little guy!  When my aging Father was living here with us, he would call Marco the “Littln” with his thick English accent.  On many occasions I would find him sitting in the middle of the garden amongst the flowers as if to say…  “look at me Dad, I’m a flower too!”

Yeah, a big fat furry one!

I think that since cats have such longevity as small animals go that in turn, when they approach the end of their little lives, that period too is elongated.  This is the price you pay for all the years of absolute love and devotion you receive during the happier younger years.

Of course, I’ve known for months that this day was fast approaching but in our minds, we tend to want to keep them forever against all odds still knowing how impossible this is.  In the end, the poor little guy had some serious problems we could no longer help him with.  My vet told me that I did “a great job” in his “elder care” and that with my love and nursing skills, I extended his life for a year or perhaps even longer.

 

On Friday I buried my boy Marco beneath that flower bed he so loved to sit upon.

What is it about a cat that so fills a house and home?  They say that home is where the cats are!  It is going to take me a very long time to stop looking for him up on that catwalk or to remember that it doesn’t matter any longer if I turn the lights on in the kitchen when I get up in the middle of the night because there is nobody there to awaken or to disturb.

 

So I told my sisters that I would have no more cats.  That seeing him slowly fade away was just too much for me to bare.  That my Marco was the greatest cat ever and could never be replaced.  This morning I can feel that familiar creeping sensation in every cell of my body telling me…  “Cats need your love… you need a cats love… there will be more cats in your life…!”