Sunday, January 4, 2009


Our sweet cat Tachikara, seventeen and a half years old, died this afternoon. She was preceded in death by her brother Mizuno. A better pair of cats would be hard to come by.

Tachi has been a part of my wife's and my relationship almost from the start. As a matter of fact, it was the purchase of the siblings that led us to our engagement. It certainly wasn't my charm. She brought them home and I told her we'd have to stay together for the sake of the kitties. A year and a half later we were married.

She -- Tachi that is -- had an adventurous youth, once disappearing for three days in the woods of northwestern Wisconsin. (Or was it longer? It seemed like three weeks.) Mizuno and I had already returned to the Twin Cities but we were duly summoned to help conduct the search. She was not to be found by us, in spite of Mizuno's best tracking efforts and our "Lost Cat" posters, but reappeared, on her own, in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. I heard a faint "maow" from outside and there she was at the door. She never did tell us where she had been.

She was much more mature as she aged and, over time, we began to trust her again with outdoor privileges. She always came back.

I think she led a good life and was mostly content. She was certainly loved -- by the wife and me, and by each of our three children. The arrival of each of these babies was obviously not something that filled her with enthusiasm, but she grew to tolerate each of them. The one addition she never did accept was our third cat, Spalding. She was too old and he was always much too young, much too rambunctious.

We are going to miss this cat, more than I can express, more than I care to admit to myself right now. It is a sad day. Bye, Tachi-scratchy.

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