On a hot Friday afternoon in July, my wife Kimberly and I were cleaning up our patio after cooking and eating BBQed chicken, when an orange and white kitten walked up onto our patio as if he owned the place. He sat beside our patio door as if to say “I found my home. Open that patio door and let me move in!” I answered as I tried to move closer without scaring the kitten.
He looked so cute and was so affectionate that we couldn’t say no.
Later that evening, I announced “Before we can keep this kitten we must see if he belongs to someone.” I began making some signs on my computer that Kimberly helped post them around our neighborhood.
The next day two little girls came to our front door and claimed the kitten. I fought back tears as I handed the little orange and white kitten to the girls and closed the door.
My Dad was visiting when the girls picked up the kitten. Dad commented “You were attached to the cat.”
I wiped away a tear and tried to explain “the tears were more because it was a very emotional moment and since my stroke I have had trouble keeping my emotions in check.” But no one was understating.
That afternoon my father had found where those two little girls live. My Dad talked to their father and the girl’s father told my dad that one of the girls is allergic to cats. He also told my father that the cat would have to live outdoors and he wasn’t thrilled that the girls had the cat.
I did not know any of that until my father stopped by my house and surprised me with the little orange and white kitten.
The next order of business was to name the cat.
The kitten had so much personality that an ordinary name (like Jack – which we did consider briefly) would not just do. So, I started to observe his characteristics to find a name for him.
He liked popcorn so I thought about the name “Popcorn” but that didn’t seem to fit.
He also liked Cheese-to’s and that name was in the running until my Dd said that it sounded like a TV show “Cheese-tos and the man” so we dropped that name.
While we continued to search for the perfect name, we called the little orange cat “Kitty-Cat”. until I looked at Kimberly and said, “Let’s call him K C”
Little did I know how much that name would match his personality.
One of the first mornings he lived with us, I did not wake up to the familiar sounds of my alarm clock radio. Instead I was awoken by K C licking the lower half of my body! I did not realize it at the time, but he loved to lick people. Although we told him countless times to stop licking us, that a cat’s tongue is rough and not comfortable for humans, he kept licking us. He would lick our arms, face, legs – any part of our body that was not covered was fair game to him.
Licking us was not the only thing he liked to lick.
One evening, while watching a ballgame on TV with a Cheeze-it in my hand, out of nowhere K C jumped onto my lap and licked the Cheeze-it that was in my hand! I looked at him and the look on his face said, “My bad, did you want that Cheeze-it daddy?”
I couldn’t yell at him. Instead I smiled and gave him the Cheeze-it.
Not only did KC love Cheeze-it’s, but he loved water. I don’t mean he liked getting wet, he loved fresh water.
Whenever we were in the bathroom, he would hop up on the sink and either meowed or liked the faucet until we turned on the water so he could get a drink.
He was almost tall enough, when he stood on his back legs, to reach the water and ice maker on our refrigerator.
KC ran our home. When Kimberly came home from work he would meow at her as if he was telling her all about his day.
When you could see the smallest of potions of the bottom of the food dish, KC would not leave us alone until we pulled down more food for him.
K C loved being the center of attention. (in hindsight, he could have been named COTU – Center Of The Universe). When he wanted your attention, he didn’t sit and meow. He would jump on you and curl up on your face!
KC also had a few addictions. He was addicted to ribbon, drawstrings (hoodies and bag), cloth bag handles and his favorite – adhesive. He couldn’t stop himself around thee items. He would eat them then get sick and toss them back out. Since he could not control himself we had to police our home to keep him safe from his addictions.
KC also was envious of technology. Whenever either myself or Kimberly had a cellphone in our hand or we were reading our tablets., he would hop up on us and get right between our eyeballs and whatever device we were trying to read. He wouldn’t leave us alone until we put down the technology and focused in only on him.
KC did not like us traveling. When we started to pack he would get into to suitcase in hopes of us taking him with us.
While we were gone we have been told he constantly walked around the house meowing loudly until we returned home.
When we returned home he would shun us, to get even with us for leaving him. His shunning didn’t last long, within fifteen minutes he was purring and craving our attention.
Ten years have passed since KC first walked up onto our patio and made himself at home. Last week KC was in kidney failure and yesterday we had to put him down. It was a very difficult day for me. KC had been my companion during all those lonely days I was stuck at home and Kimberly was working.
At the end of the day I realized that ten years is a long time for a cat, but not long enough for me.