I wanted to do one final "Caturday" post, at least for while, with my favorite pic of Baxter & Mr. Stinky together (above), and Me & Stinky (at the bottom of the post).
After losing both of these wonderful cats within the span of a few months, I’m not sure how soon I’ll be ready to have another one again. Both came into my life in unplanned ways: I was supposed to watch Baxter for my ex-girlfriend for six months, and that ended up lasting six years… And as I mentioned with Stinky, I was only supposed to watch him for a few months, and that lasted for over 17 years! They both truly became like family for me. The years with Mr. Stinky alone lasted through eight human roommates, and many failed relationships.
Because Mr. Stinky’s death wasn’t nearly the complete shock that Baxter’s was, I’m coping much better for now, just remembering how much of a truly long and remarkable life he lived. Last night I also posted about his passing on Facebook, where many of my former roommates, college friends, and ex’s still keep in contact with me… and I was pleasantly surprised at how many of them had fond memories of him from back in our college days, or while they were living with us (and many were shocked that I still had him all these years later!). It reminded me just how many lives he touched in his 20+ years, and that his memory has lived on with so many people.
[*Btw, in case any of you missed my audio post earlier, I again thanked the many of you from Tumblr who left supportive comments, messages, etc. for me last night… Please give it a listen.]
So, for my very last Caturday photo as a cat-owner, I wanted to re-post this pic, originally from this past April… since I’m currently sitting in the same spot on my couch and it seems very strange that he’s not hovering above me, as he always did when I sat here…
Repost: "The story of 'Mr. Stinky'" [1990(?) - 2011]
Thank you *all* for your hearts, comments, & condolences, both here & privately…I’m still trying to process this, he’s been with me since 1994, so this will be a huge void from my daily life. But I also know that he lived an amazingly long-life for a cat, living to somewhere in his early 20’s (…As you’ll read below, I’m not *exactly* sure how old he was, but over the years we’ve narrowed down his year of birth to either 1989 or 1990.)
[The story below was a post from this past April, and tells the origins of how he first came to live with me…]
Aww. You better give that old fart some lovin’ too!
You mean *this* old fart:
This is “Mr. Stinky”- I’ve had him since the Spring of 1994, when my old college roommate offered to “watch him for a few months” for a girl he was trying to hook-up with… The hook-up didn’t end up working out, and the girl never came back for the cat! (… And the old-roommate didn’t really take care of him, so I ended up keeping him myself.)
I don’t actually know how old he is, but I do know he’s at least 21 years old! - The girl who owned him before me had rescued him from an Animal Shelter a few years earlier, and he was already a fully-grown adult (who had already been fixed & declawed) at that time! - Also, she is the one who named him Mr. Stinky, and I could never change the name because he already understood *and* answered to it when I got him.
In his younger days, Mr. Stinky was a very social kitty… He was the unofficial “Mascot” for our college-newspaper staff, who used to party at my apartment practically every weekend in the mid-90’s (it was a “dry campus”, and I was the only one with an off-campus apartment.)
Mr. Stinky in the mid-90’s:
I don’t usually post him as much these days because: A) He usually starts trying to walk up to the camera *every* time I try to take a picture, which leads to alot of “white blur” pics on my phone; and B) He’s now lost most of his teeth**, and doesn’t keep himself as clean as he used to… So Baxter is usually the more “photogenic” option.
These days, at his advanced age, I tend to worry about how much longer he’ll be around… I swear every time he sleeps for too long I start to worry, and sometimes check to make sure he’s still breathing.
**- Fun “Mr. Stinky” fact: For the past ten years, since he started losing his teeth, he will only drink warm or hot water… I started noticing around that time that he wouldn’t drink cold water directly from the bowl, he would scoop it with his paw to drink it… shortly after that, he started jumping into the shower after I got out, to drink the water pooled-up in the tub & lick the shower curtain!!! - So I tried to start giving him warm water, and he absolutely loved it that way!
The only problem now is that if the water’s too cold, he will splash it all over the floor, until I finally refill the dish with hot water! - Yes, he has ME trained very well!!! :P
The Dead Weather stuff has been good, and is growing on me, but I truly love the stuff Jack White has done with the Raconteurs so much more. Let’s face it, Jack on guitar will always beat-out Jack on drums. Plus, I really like the combination of Jack & Brendan Benson, both in performing & song writing.
Getting into the Raconteurs’ music has also lead me to discovering, and buying, all of Brendan’s solo albums, which are also really great.
You all may have noticed something different about my recent ‘Self’ pics from the past few days… and that is my teeth are *actually* showing.
I had mentioned that I had some major oral surgery last Thursday, and while I’m still not up to fully eating pain-free yet, I’m happy to report that I can finally show my full smile on Tumblr! (…Just look at how happy I was to smile for Tumblr on the first photo I posted, from Saturday night’s new album post).
I’ve been embarrassed about my upper-front teeth for a few years now… It’s mostly been from old medication I was on, which one of the side-effects was the wearing-away of my enamel, plus over 20 years of smoking & drinking black coffee certainly didn’t help matters. I had been stupidly avoiding getting a regular dentist until a couple of years ago when I broke a front tooth while eating lunch at work, and from there everything just started falling apart faster than I (or my annual dental benefit) could keep up with.
It’s been really depressing over the past couple of years, and it’s really held me back from doing things and interacting more. It was one of the main reasons I didn’t attend my 20th High School Reunion last Fall, and it’s why when I’ve had a chance to meet some of you in-person, I’ve held-off. [In fact, I was really hoping I could get this surgery scheduled at the beginning of the Summer, so I could’ve attended either the Boston or NYC meetups, but I wasn’t able to get everything done in time.]
Now it’s finally done, and while it was quite ridiculously expensive (over $3,000 out-of-pocket *after* dental insurance picked-up their part), and somewhat painful, to get everything done at once, it was worth every-single-penny to finally be able to smile again, both in public *and* especially for all of you here!
"Sitting round thinking ‘bout Keith all day long Getting stoned thinking ‘bout how he played the guitar Ain’t nothing like getting stoned to The Rolling Stones Can’t find my copy of Goats Head Soup Think it’s under my clothes
Having drinks taking some pills and playing in ‘A’ Dressing up pretending it’s 1973 Ain’t nothing like getting stoned to the Rolling Stones Go get my copy of Let It Bleed I got some papers and weed God damnit where are my smokes? …”