Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Remembering Thunder Cat

Thunder Cat

Thunder Cat had gray, luxuriant hair. He was stalwart, regal, a king of a cat.
He was Larry’s first cat. In the mid-1990s, Larry lived in Lynchburg a city 20 miles north of Altavista. He didn’t have any pets when he moved into his neighborhood.
One night, as Larry sat out on his front steps, a neighbor’s cat, Thunder Cat, walked right up to him and rubbed against his leg. Larry was surprised because he didn’t really consider himself to be a cat person.
But later that night, he went to the grocery store and bought some treats to give him when he visited.
When Thunder’s original family moved, they asked Larry if he’d like to take in Thunder. Larry jumped at the chance.
When Larry and I started dating and I met Thunder, I was a little afraid. He was a grouchy cat and didn’t like to be touched except on his very limited terms. He would bite if he didn’t want to be touched—not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to hurt.
When Larry moved to Altavista, everything was different. Larry kept him inside all the time, and the new environment seemed good for him.
He calmed down and would even sit on our laps for short periods of time.

Here are some things I remember about Thunder:
*He could leap long distances. One day Larry was playing with him and was lying on the floor with his knees bent. Thunder jumped over Larry’s entire length. Larry looked up and saw only a blur of gray fur.
*I loved watching Thunder. When I sat in our living room reading, I had a view of the kitchen and the hallway leading to the bedrooms and the litter boxes.
Sometimes I’d look up and see Thunder quietly walking by, his paw steps mere puffs of sound, winding his way back to the litter boxes.
After he used the litter box, he would run back by me, his paws pounding the floor, hurrying back to his domain, the den.
*Thunder loved my shoes. When I took them off, he would stick his nose in them, then wrap his front legs around them and lie on them.
At night, he would usually stay in the den, not coming into the bedroom. Sometimes he would cry in the night. If I went and got him and brought him into the bedroom, he wouldn’t stay. But I could take him one of my shoes, and it would calm him.
*Just as Waddles helped me overcome a lot of my OCD and the fear of responsibility I had, so did Thunder. I loved being his mother and taking care of him. I embraced the responsibility.

We lost Thunder Cat to kidney failure on Feb. 12, 2009. I can’t put in words how devastated Larry and I were and how much we miss him.
We still feel his gray presence.

Is there a pet or other animal that you have admired?

36 comments:

  1. Isn't is amazing what pets do for us? I've always felt that rather than us taking care of them, they actually take care of US...in ways we don't even know.

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    1. You're so right, Keith--they take care of us in so many ways. They are our friends, companions, listeners, etc.

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  2. We have had a number of cats over the years and it was always sad when one of them died. But I hurt the most when my very first kitty died, Poemie. I got her when I was only six years old and she had to be put to sleep when I was 10 because she was very ill. My heart was broken and I remember crying for days.

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    1. Klaaske, I can imagine that losing Poemie was hard. We love our pets so much, it tears the heart out to lose them.

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  3. What a wonderful tribute to Thunder Cat on the anniversary of his death. All of my cats (I've had seven throughout my life) were special in their own way and I think of them often. They always make me smile. Thanks for sharing your memories!

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    1. Thank you, Janet. We think of our Thunder Cat and Waddles very often, too, and we have lots of sweet memories.

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  4. For years I had only cats...then my previous husband and I moved into a house, and two Springer Spaniels promptly moved into the back yard! They were starving, matted, and had heartworms. I didn't like them much at first, but they won me over the night they sensed a potential house fire.

    A few years after they came on the scene, I became very ill for a long time. They were my constant, loving companions during the long recovery process and through other difficult life experiences that followed. I felt as though God sent them to me to help me survive.

    They are long gone now. Lucy died in 2004 and Rosie in 2005 -- but I miss them every day. In my "safe place" visualizations that I do for anxiety, they are always there, running around, healthy, young, and playful.

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    1. Nadine, it does sound like God sent you those sweet dogs to help take care of you. That's wonderful that you had them.

      When I do visualization to help my anxiety, I imagine all four of our cats with us. We're all in the sunshine on our porch, all together.

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  5. He's so beautiful, and he sounds like he had a great personality too.

    I lost a cat to kidney failure in 1998 and I still miss him. It's hard to watch them go through that.

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    1. Lisa, thank you. He did have a great personality--it was wonderful having him. I'm sorry you lost a cat to kidney failure, too. I wish there was more that could be done for it.

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  6. A beautiful tribute to Thunder Cat. I feel your pain…I love animals, but by far my favorite was the first cat my husband Shep and I got together. We adopted her from a shelter; she had been returned once already because she was very timid and fearful and didn't take to her new family's children. Shep liked her right away because he likes solid black cats, but I wasn't sure. She soon won me over, though, and I quickly bonded with her very strongly and came to love her probably too much - like a child.

    I think what I admired about her most was how unfailingly good-natured she was. When we first brought her home, she had ear mites. The vet prescribed drops that had to be kept in the fridge. Every night, Shep would hold her down and I'd squeeze the icy drops into her ears. She'd yell in protest, but then when we let her up, she'd shake her head, look disgruntled for a moment, then immediately come to us for treats and love. She never ran off and hid afterwards, like many cats would do.

    We called her Sadie. She followed me so constantly that Shep called her my "little parade." She used to play with Shep, lying on the back of the couch behind him and slapping his head while he watched TV! He'd shout at her, and she'd immediately turn her head upside down in that "aren't I cute?" pose – you know the way cats do. Then when he'd turn around, she'd wait a bit and do it again. If he forgot to lock her out of the room when he was doing his morning pushups, she'd give a funny little happy gurgle and run over to him and position herself under his chest so that he couldn't complete the pushup. He'd yell at her, but she'd just do that thing with her head again.

    We had to have her put down right before we moved. It was awful…she became crippled in her front legs from an old injury to her spine the vet found on an X-ray, and her liver started to fail. I was so upset I could no accompany her to the vet…I was also afraid my distress would scare her, so Shep took her and stayed with her when they put her down. He brought me her collar afterwards, and arranged to have her cremated so we could bring the ashes with us and bury her at our new home.

    I've loved many animals and I expect I'll love a good many more, but I doubt I'll ever feel again as deeply as I did for Sadie.

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    1. Jean, thank you. I love your description of Sadie. She sounds like such a playful and wonderful cat. We grow so attached to them, don't we? It's so hard to lose them

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  7. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories of Thunder. I never owned a pet, but I was a pet sitter to five dogs for a few years, and I tell you, they really use to lift my spirits. No matter what kind of day I was having or if I was feeling down, the minute I saw them my mood changed, I felt better, happier and energetic.

    Madison

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    1. Thank you, Madison. I love dogs, too. I bet that was a busy job, pet sitting 5 of them! Animals lift my spirits, too.

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  8. Aw, Thunder Cat was such a beautiful boy. I'm sorry he's gone. I'm glad though, that you have such sweet memories of him. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Sunny. We do have such good memories of him, and we talk of him often.

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  9. Gorgeous. Ha, my cat Max used to run up the stairs and around the house after using the litter box. It cracked me up.

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    1. Thank you, Ann. Cats can be so funny, and so fun to watch.

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  10. Pets are not only furry members of a family, they are often the most therapeutic members of a family. I've had cats (with an occasional dog thrown in here and there) and I can not count the number of times it was one of the cats that comforted me or recognized when I needed some TLC while the rest of the family plodded on with their business.

    I enjoyed my visit from the BMB Party and hope to stop by again.

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    1. Thank you, Nicki, for visiting from the BMB party! And thank you for your comment. Our cats have been a great comfort to us. They do seem to realize when we need that extra care and attention.

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  11. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for participating in the Boost My Blog party :-) I hope you have lots of folks come by!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! Lots of blogs to check out--I'm excited!

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  12. hey, i hopped over from Boost-My-Blog Party! nice to meet ya. have a great <3 Day!! big hugs. ( :

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  13. Oh I am so sorry about ThunderCat he was very handsome. Visiting from Boost my Blog Party. Take care HUGS B

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    1. Thank you, Buttons. I appreciate it. Thanks for visiting!

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  14. I love cats and have had several. They are quite therapeutic. I'm sure dogs are too, but I am not a dog lover.
    Thanks for coming by my blog today and leaving a comment. I hope you have a wonderful evening!

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    1. Anne, thank you for visiting! Cats have been very therapeutic for me, and a true joy.

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  15. awww, what a cute cat and a beautiful image!! i am allergic to cats but have always found them to be wonderful pets for my friends & family!!

    visiting from the boost my blog party.thanks for stopping by it's all about purple and leaving such a kind comment!!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. Cats are wonderful pets! Thank you for stopping by and commenting and joining.

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  16. Every pet has or did have a special place in our hearts. They are the most loyal of friends.


    Thanks so much for joining us at the BMB party. :)

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    1. Nancy, they are indeed loyal friends. I enjoyed the BMB party--thanks to you and Lisa for hosting!

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  17. I adore my furry friends. I am especially connected with my little Corgi, Sophie.
    Visiting from the BMB party- I hope you have a wonderful evening!

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  18. Thunder is a gorgeous cat! I can see why you miss him. We lost our garden kitty last year. After 15 years she finally passed away. Sometimes I feel like I can still hear her roaming the garden only now she's invisible.

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    1. Grace, thank you. I'm sorry about your cat. Perhaps she is roaming your garden still.

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