Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rabbit the cat

I thought you would like to see the picture of the cat I was talking about in my post last Friday. He's laying on the arm of the couch under the lampshade, soaking in the warm heat from the bulb.

This is an old picture, as you can tell by the wrinkles and folded edges. It is the only picture I have left of him, so I thought to share it with you. Sigh. I had him for a very long time, close to 14 years. He died from failing kidneys, and he had such an interesting life. The photo was shot with a disposable camera back in 1995. When I got the film developed, this photo was in there. I guess the worker who developed the film had messed up somewhere in the process, because I did have a second copy of the same shot that had turned out fine.

Rabbit’s life? Well, he started as a kitten (obviously) given to my seedy boyfriend during my college days. The feline was called a Manx cat, which means he was a breed of tailless cats from the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom. Here is an encyclopedia picture of one.

There are two types of Manx cats: the rumpies with no tail and the stumpies with a stub of a tail. Rabbit had a stumpie. There has always been a debate on whether to continue breeding of this feline because of a genetic disorder involving the spine and serious defects. The cat actually moved in a rabbitlike hop.

During the time when he belonged to my boyfriend, the cat’s name was Cheba. But when I broke up with the boyfriend (a whole other story involving drugs, a pissed-off apartment manager, a gun, and a hurried trip out to another state), I inherited the cat and changed it to Rabbit. He came to my apartment, his fur shaved off in tufts by an underage girl (and when I mean underage, I mean she attended middle school) dating a 30-year-old roomie to my exboyfriend.

Rabbit stayed with me during the best and worst of times: with little money when I survived on only buttered spaghetti and green beans every day for a month to when I had enough cash to buy my brother a $450 snowboard so he could teach lessons up at the local ski resort.

*sniff-sniff* Sorry. I have to take a break right now to compose myself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . okay.

Thinking back on the hard times still chokes me up a little. But Rabbit never complained. While I lived in the house in Pittsburgh (which was actually two apartments - a first floor and a second floor . . . I lived on the first floor), he would lay beside me on the bed. With all the bedroom entrances covered over with blankets, we would share in the warmth from the small space heater because the furnace was faulty and the house owner was too cheap to get it fixed. We also made due when there was no hot water in the house during the winter months when the pipes burst. We shared in each others company, and I always made sure he was well-taken care of for the remainder of his life. No underage girls would ever come and snip his fur again.

*sniff* Sorry, the waterworks are coming again. I have to stop now. I cannot continue this post . . . I will talk to you on Tuesday.


  1. I've been a cat lover all my life. Sometimes they're the only people you can rely on.

  2. I have allergies (hayfever) and still love cats! What amazes me are the people who say they don't like cats as pets because they are too independent.

    Independent? I call that personality.

  3. Tuesday?

    What a sweet looking cat. You had him for a long time! I have owned cats, and I'm allergic to them too Michelle. But as I grow older I think I need animals that will alert me to things that might go wrong with me or my home. Cats aren't so noisy in that department.

    Some of my best memories are about pets that I've owned, or should I say... that have owned me. :)

  4. Sandra,

    I said Tuesday because I didn't know how upset I would still be after doing Sunday's post. So I wasn't sure I would be answering anyone's questions until then.

    True, cats are quiet and stealthy, so when it comes to home protection they might not be the best pet. Although, Rabbit did love to pounce on me unexpectedly...

  5. What a sweet post! I just wrote about my cat Butthead (well... a couple of posts ago.) Same thing. The little fellow really hung in there and never acted up much. Cats are the best.

  6. Hello, Chris! Thanks for stopping by.

    I really did have Rabbit for a while. I don't know why I got so choked up about writing this post. I guess, in my mind, I kept thinking I could have done more to prolong his life. I should just concentrate on remembering the good times...

  7. Always have loved cats, always will. People who want unconditional love own dogs. People who don't mind earning love own cats.

    You've been tagged, by the way. Come on over.

  8. My sister owned a ferret. I suppose that just qualifies as stinky love.

  9. My wife and I have a Manx cat by the name of Kallie (a patch tabby bumpy) and she is indeed a loyal creature, much like your Manx. I understand how hard it is to write about pets whom has passed on, having lost my first cat several years ago, and having lost 5 ferrets in 3 years. But the good memories are worth any and all pain.

  10. True. It's the memories that get us through the pain.


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