We arrived in Floyd and our new home in 2004 with two loved ones in tow: AC, our black alpha male cat (whose initials stood for “Anti-Christ) and Trouble, a more laid back grey and white model who could be sneaky.
Both were several years old. Amy found AC as a kitten crying in the rain in a ditch in Belleville, Illinois, while getting her late mother’s house on the market and Trouble was an alley cat found by a coworker in Washington, DC, who asked us to take him because her landlord didn’t allow animals.
Then my sister needed a new home for a young cat that her boyfriend didn’t like so an orange tabby joined our circle shortly after arriving. He was at least a year old, we think, and didn’t care for the other cats. He sat purring in my lap on our drive home but laid his ears back and screamed at AC and Trouble.
So we named him Jekyll, short for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Turned out is was a perfect name.
Shortly after joining our family, I stumbled downstairs on a Saturday morning to make coffee and while the Bunn was brewing, I headed to the bathroom by the kitchen for usual morning business.
The look that greeted me from the sink of the bathroom said: “Buzz off, I’m trying to sleep here.”
I took a photo of him and his favorite sleeping spot. it is my favorite shot of him.
He had a habit of turning up where you least expect him and wasn’t always happy being interrupted.
But he was a loving cat and purred loudly in our arms. He could meow loudly and, if that didn’t work, scream at the top of his lungs for attention.
We wasn’t screaming when Amy had him in her arms Tuesday. He took his last breath and died. We knew the time was near. His hearing was gone and his eyesight was failing. The two cats who came to Floyd with us in 2012 are gone. AC died in 2017 and Trouble succumbed to failing health in 2016.
We had three cats for most of our 23 years in the Washington, DC, area. The oldest, named Asterisk, came with us from Illinois with in 1981 and died in Arlington nearly 20 years later. The three remaining cats now include CoCo and Puffer, two sisters rescued with help from the Floyd Humane Society and Bootsie, an alpha male who arrived unannounced at our house and checked us out from outside for a couple of months until he decided we were worthy of his companionship and is now the surviving alpha male.
They will spend the next few weeks searching the house for Jekyll. Puffer licked him and tried to make him comfortable as the end approached Tuesday afternoon. She will miss him.
So will we.
Farewell old friend. It was a pleasure to have you as part of our family.