Passed on July 18, 2012
Zeekie was my tuxie cat. He was mostly black, with a little white snip that came out of his right nostril, continued down his chin, neck, and spread out to his chest spot. His toes were mostly white, but he had both black and pinky toe pads. One foot looks like he stepped in white paint, but the other three feet had white toes only. Someone once said I should have named him “Snot”, and I was very taken with that name, but it came too late.
I first saw Zeekie when he was only a few days old. His mother was a lovely petite medium hair tortie named Coco, who owned my good friend and former college roommate Patsy. His momma was not neutered for a very long time, thus, Zeekie has a lot of half-brothers and half-sisters in St. Paul. I picked Zeek up to look at him, and my friend was aghast that I’d touched him: she said she never picked up new kittens, as she was afraid Coco would freak out or something. It’s no wonder that all the kittens Coco had were half wild. Coco would find better hiding places for her litters all the time, and sometimes Pats wouldn’t find the babies for days. I wrote down his birthday at the time, thank goodness, because I’d never remember it otherwise. He was born on June 25, 1997, at 2:45 am.
At that time, my old kitty, Rumpelteazer, was getting elderly, and I thought that I’d get this baby to hopefully give her a new interest in life, and to ease my pain at her passing. Well, he gave her a new interest in finding places to hide from him!
When Zeekie was ready to leave his momma, I brought him home in a carrier with a shirt of Patsy’s in it. I remember having to chase him all over her tiny railroad house to catch him! I brought my friend Juju with me, in order to introduce Zeekie to Rumpel by the method outlined in “The Natural Cat”, which we followed to the letter, but of course, neither of the cats cooperated. Juju finally tipped him out of the carrier on my deck, and he nearly ran off, but she caught him. I had been planning on calling my new kitten Grizabella, as Patsy had been convinced he was a she. Juju is a vet tech, and she very helpfully pointed out his penis to me, so Zeekie he became. After Juju left, I lost track of Zeekie and finally found him hiding, crammed into the space between my flamingo pink corner chair and the wall.
Zeekie’s main role in life was to terrorize poor, arthritic Rumpel. It is very easy to say that she DETESTED him. Zeekie was outgoing, friendly, and demonic to her. I think Rumpel got more exercise in the last few years of her life than she had in the first years. It got to the point where she lived on top of the bathroom cabinet. I even had her food and water up there for her, and a cat bed. She had me trained very well – she’d meow, and I’d go to the bathroom, climb on top of the toilet, onto the sink, and wait for her to get on my shoulders, then I’d climb down and she’d hop off onto the sink.
When Zeekie was about a year old, I discovered he had asthma. I had heard one of the cats coughing in the night, and I remember yelling “Throw up that furball, already!” I think I had decided that he had a cold, so, for a few nights I took him into the bathroom with me and ran the shower until the whole room was filled with steam, and he seemed to breathe easier. When he refused to eat one night I knew that something was very wrong. That was a Saturday night, and I took him to the Emergency Vet on University Ave. where they performed some tests and decided he had allergies and told me to take him to his regular vet.
The regular vet performed some blood tests on him, and we found out he’s asthmatic. I remember the message from his vet was that his eosiniphils were sky high. He’s been taking methylprednisilone ever since, and it really does help him. He still coughs a little if there is dust stirred up or if it’s spring.
When Rumpelteazer passed on, Zeekie looked for her for a long time. He looked for her on top of the bathroom cabinet right up until shortly before he died.
A couple of months later, I was ready to be adopted by a second kitty. I thoroughly researched Petfinder on line, determined to be adopted by a black kitty. I went to Petco in Highland Park with a good friend, Connie. I discovered that the black kitten I had found online had already found his or her forever home. I described Zeekie’s personality to the volunteer, and she promptly suggested I check out Ruffles, a medium haired ginger tabby. I remember saying I didn’t want a) a long haired cat, b) a declawed cat, or c) an orange cat. My protestations were futile. I was “forced” to walk around the Petsmart with this cat in my arms, and he adopted me.
Back to Zeekie. The volunteer sent a cage home with me, as I live in a condo and was unable to isolate the new cat, so he lived in the cage for the first week I had him. Zeek went insane.
He was NOT pleased with this new cat, stalked him continually throughout the week, hissed, yowled, and batted his new brother. One day, Zeek’s gramma Patsy visited and Zeek promptly bit her, then me. I was appalled, as he’d never done anything like that before! We both ended up getting antibiotics, as we both had our legs swell up like sausages. Eventually the new cat was released from his isolation and they have slowly gotten to be cordial, if not pals.
I had seen Star Wars, Episode 1 shortly before the new cat adopted me, so I tried out Obiwan as his new name, and he approved. He had never really warmed to “Ruffles”
There was a huge milestone celebrated when Zeek stayed on the bed when Obiwan jumped up. Obiwan is determined that he and Zeek will cuddle some day, and has gotten close to it, but Zeek always woke up and would have nothing to do with it.
Zeekie has lost a bit of weight this year, so I took him to our vet, who ran the gamut of tests on him, only to find out everything was normal. I was convinced his many years taking a steroid had resulted in him having diabetes, but that didn’t happen. He appeared to have turned the corner, and I think his bad teeth were the problem, coupled with his tendency to let Obiwan eat his food. Obiwan is the kitten, so Zeek lets him. The two of them fought continually, and I regularly came home to small tufts of black and orange hair scattered all over the floor.
Sadly, Zeekie passed away on July 18, 2012. His last day was filled with cuddles and kisses and compliments. I sang to him regularly, so I sang to him that day. “You are My Sunshine’ and “Zeekie Beekie Bo Beekie, etc”. He liked to be sung to, unlike some cats that freak out. He would look and look at me.
I found him in one of his favorite napping places, in the middle of the floor between my bedroom and the bathroom. He died in his sleep, and looked very peaceful. He was 16 years old. My only nephew, Aric, and he were very close to the same age, as Aric’s birthday is July 8.
He was a smart cat. He knew the words “hungry”, “food”, and came when I called his name. He would play fetch indefinitely, bringing either a qtip or rabbits foot to me to throw and he’d bring it back over and over, until he ran out of breath. His favorite thing was to bring me his “victim” to me when I was in the tub, get up on the rim, and drop the “victim” in the water. He didn’t like it if I tried to catch it before it landed in the water. He’d then race away, prancing with anticipation till I squeezed it out and bounced it off the door. His first collar was a tiny blue suede one, he had one that was black with rhinestones, and his last one was the skulls head one that he wore up until the last day of his life. He found a treat he loved in the last year, and would open cabinets and turn over trash to get the empty bag and gnaw on it. Zeekie would also sleep on my head and knead his paws in my hair and purr purr purr. I loved this, and called it “Kitty Massage”. I miss him and his idiosyncratic ways. He had a sense of humor, and loved to have me chase him. He liked to pop out of nowhere and bat at my legs and run off.