The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

To Hobbes, With Love

People can often be divided into two groups: Cat People and Non Cat People. I am firmly on the side of Cat People. I’ve loved cats all my life and have been blessed with having the best cats (excluding SZ’s awesome horde, of course) in the whole world.

I’ve believed that what have set my cats apart from the rest, is that even Non Cat People like them. They’ve all had “personality plus”, whether it was their general demeanor, their playfulness, or their exquisite feline dignity. Non cat people have often said to me, “You know, I don’t generally like cats, but your cats are cool”. And, being the cat lover I am, I believe them.

Especially when it came to Hobbes.

When Hobbes Met MaryC

It was in my second year of teaching Kindergarten when one fine spring day, an adorable young cat (not a kitten, but not that far off from the kitten age) waltzed into the open door of my classroom. Immediately, my students shrieked with delight, “Can we keep it?!!”, as though all I needed was a cat-sized habitrail and we had a brand new classroom pet (our hamster, Gizmo had passed that January).

“No,we can’t keep a cat in the classroom!” and I picked the long haired kitty up and proceeded to shove him out the first story window. I returned to my language arts lesson when–you guessed it–the cat came back, it wouldn’t stay away. I picked it up, and it hugged me. Literally. Both paws on my shoulders, holding me close and purring loudly. Suddenly, I had a cat.

I didn’t want a cat. My beloved “Kitty”(yeah, yeah, I know. Blame my mom. She trained my cat to come to “Kitty”. I had picked an elvish name from LOTR, good geek that I was…) had died that last december of old age, and I swore no other cat would ever take her place in my heart. But, there was this cat, hugging me and purring. And refusing to go away. And so, I had a new cat.

Hobbes and Maryc

This cat was all mine. No mom to name it something goofy, so I was determined to choose a cool name. Unfortunately, the cat was determined to ignore any name I chose. Even when I tried to bribe it with treats. I would call it by my latest chosen name (I think I tried Val Jean at one point, having seen the B’way musical that winter), but he wouldn’t have it. It wasn’t until one night, while I was reading a Xmas gift from my brother–a Calvin and Hobbes collection, that I thought, “Hobbes is a good name for a cat”. So I looked over at where he was dozing and said, “Hobbes?”, and he looked right at me. “So you’re name is Hobbes?”, he padded over to me and jumped in my lap. He not only chose his owner, he chose his own damn name. How very “Hobbes” of him.

Hobbes was everything you could want in a cat: dignified, playful and almost obscenely affectionate. He was the best friend I could ever ask for. What’s more, he was willing to share me. First with my boyfriend, and then (almost 4 years later) with a new little kitten (who also decided I was her owner) we named Riley.

March 21, 2007

On Wednesday, March 21, I took Hobbes to our vet, who verified my recent fears for Hobbes: he had lymphoma. It had spread to his heart and his liver. There was no treatment that would cure him.
They brought my boy into the room. Scott and I took turns holding him, saying good-by. Scott thanked him for sharing me for the past 10 years, and I told him how much I loved him and how I’d never forget how he came into my life, and as I whispered and stroked him, he gently, softly, and lovingly went to rest.

In his later years, Hobbes was our “punk”(always getting up on the couch and clawing the bejeebers out of it), our “Mr. Stinky”(whom Riley always covered for) and our “Poopsmith” (his droppings became legend). But no matter what nickname we came up for him, he was always, and will forever be, Hobbes–The best and coolest cat a human could ever hope for.

Profound sympathy.
I’m a sucker for that aura of rumbled dignity, in the first photograph.
I’m so sorry… what a beautiful tribute.
I’m sure you provided Hobbes with the best, most loving life anyone could. So sorry for your loss.
So sorry for your loss. Sounds like you gave Hobbes a good life.
Oh… sorry sounds stupid, but it’s all I have. What a beautiful kitty, and what a smart one–sometimes they just know who they want and there’s nothing you can do to resist it, even if you wanted to.
Take care of yourselves. Hug Riley till he gets annoyed and squirms away.
aw, that’s uncannily like how I was adopted by Pyewacket.
I’m sorry. She went at 13 and I was completely bereft.
Sorry for your loss. I wish I had more to say.
“No, Heaven will not ever Heaven be,
Unless my cats are there to welcome me.”
An epitaph from a pet cemetary.
So sorry for the loss of Hobbes.
As a cat person all I can say is I feel your pain.
My handle is a tribute to my pal-cat. Willy only meowed once in his whole life: When he desperately wanted out so he could get that damn squirrel that always raided our bird feeder.
My deepest condolences, Mary. Thank you for writing this lovely tribute.
I just want to say: Kitty!
He’ll be joining a very large group of well thought of kitties in heaven.
What a sweet tribute to a wonderful cat.”Kitty” reminded me of how embarrassed I was by the name I had come up with for my first cat, Tootsie (way long before the movie). I couldn’t help it, it was her name and it stuck. She didn’t seem to mind.
How lucky you and Hobbes were to have had each other, and what a wonderful tribute to him. He looks a lot like my Daphne who left a cat-sized hole in my life when I lost her. I’m so sorry you lost Hobbes.
Wonderful tribute. You have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your beautiful, furry friend.
Life is one long string of pets, and they all seem to come and go the same way. It’s always awful when they pass away, and you’re certain that THIS cat or THAT dog would be your last and that nothing could replace it.
Of course, nothing ever does, but in time you do get a new cat with a new personality who you’ll grow to love too.
Mad condolences, yo.
Yeah, sorry’s all the rest of us have. I have to stop and count how many times losing a friend left a hole in me that took forever to fill, and I don’t really want to think back on them all. But in time the hurt stops, and in time they aren’t really absent anymore. We’re thinking good thoughts of you all here.
So very sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my oldest (who also picked me, not vice versa) just two months ago, so I share your grief.
And, no, Kitty isn’t a bad name. When I was a teenager, we adopted a stray who we called “Kitty”. Of course, after a bit of time with a real home and steady meals (plus the occasional bird), he became somewhat too large to be “Kitty” — so we changed his name to “Big Kitty”, and that’s who he was for the rest of his life.
Sorry about Hobbes. I lost my Merlin a few years ago and I still miss him. I’ve got my other kitties but it’s not the same without him. I’m sure it will be that way with Hobbes, it sounds like he was really special.
I’m very sorry about your nice cat, Hobbes.
I only hope that he was a Christian and knew Jesus before he died.
Hobbes has made your life that much richer. He’s waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.
Thanks for sharing his life with us.
Sorry to hear about Hobbes. If it cheers you up at all, I used to work with a somewhat annoying colleague who “owned” a cat called Hobbes (as much as anyone can own an animal that eschews ownership). The problem was that she pronounced the name as “Hobes” (rhyming with “robes”). I asked one day why it was called “Hobes” to which she replied, “You know, like the tiger in the cartoon ‘Calvin and Hobes’.” When I informed her that it was pronounced “Hobbes”, after the 17th century philospher, she argued briefly and then fell into a stoney embarrassed silence.
Ever since that day, I imagined her calling out for her cat with the knowledge that she was mispronouncing his name.
Personally, I felt sorry for the cat who was doubtless much smarter than she was and would’ve been irked at her mutilation of his name.
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I have tears in my eyes. I lost one of my kitties 3 years ago and I still miss him so much.
Bon Voyage, Hobbes. I know you’re in the light on the other side. My boy Draggie cat and all my other kitties who have crossed over are there with you to keep you company.
let me add my condolences on your loss
You loved him — he was happy.
R.I.P. Hobbes
I loved my Petunia — a beautiful, elegant tortoiseshell.
Your note about Hobbes made me cry. I lost my Josie last year under similar circumstances. I even made a short video tribute to her. If you should want to see it, you can download it here:
Best wishes, Rick
Oh, MaryC, honey, I am so sorry. What a beautiful story about a bright and noble animal.
(And if it’s okay, I’d like to kneecap that asshole who made the “Jeebus” remark above. SO fucking tacky.)
Uma the homicidal hamster, and Biddy & Boy my fat spoiled chirren all send their furry love.
It’s so spooky — last night, when I was putting out the traps to capture & neuter the ferals, I saw a kitty who looked a lot like your Hobbes. Not exactly, but enough to make me wonder. There is no creature as curious or wondrous as a cat, and I’m sure that Hobbes felt privileged and grateful to have been in your life.
You just described Petey and Gus. Now I am so depressed, I will lay down and cry. Thanks a lot.
Oh, I’m really sorry about your baby, I know how bad it hurts.
When you’re ready a new cat will choose you. meanwhile, I am so sorry about your loss. I have a friend who just lost his long time kitty companion and he’s having panic attacks now. Cats are furry valium — no, they’re better than that.
Wonderful post. Terrible to lose a good friend.
I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have lost a number of cats, but the memories of the affections we shared always make me smile. It is the reason I keep adapting them.
A friend says:
“Cats are angels on Earth.”
If I may commiserate from the other side of the fence, I just lost my beloved dog Cassie the other day.
Cassie was a dog that radiated joy, walking down the street people would say, “What a happy dog.” She brought joy to my life, as I’m sure Hobbes did to yours.
If you want to look at some pics of an angel in canine form, you can see them at my site, along with less joyful bloviating.
MaryC, I’m so sorry you lost your beloved friend. Even just by looking at the pictures I get a sense of what a wonderful cat he was.
Dick, you have my sympathies, too. I’m not a dog person, but the DNA of our friends doesn’t much matter when you love them, nor when you miss them. My younger cat is, to be frank, really stupid, but incredibly good-natured in that same way, and when she goes our home will be a lot darker. There’s a lot to be said for good-natured joyousness. They’re beautiful and it hurts. They’re worth the hurt, but it can take a very long time to realize that again just because it hurts so damned much.
The rest of you, please do yourselves a favor and don’t click over to Edward’s page. It’s particularly inappropriate at the moment.
En el paradiso del gatos:
The mice are as fast or as slow as joo could want.
The dogs all run around weeth serving trays brimming weeth keety-treats, and:
All the pipples that hated gatos here on earth are put to work cleaning the solid gold, heated and perfumed litter-boxes.
Es verdad.
D., I just wanted you to know that no actual cats were harmed at my blog in the making of my posts. Or even any fictional ones.
“edward,” I get the distinct impression that nobody gives a fuck.
El Gato Negro, that’s going on a sampler. My two are getting older, and I’d like to be able to imagine that. Plus, one of those cat-haters is my current housemate, who’s been encroaching on the cats’ territory for two years now. If anyone deserves to clean their litterboxes…
It’s been a year since I’ve had a loss in the family, but I still feel it. The circumstances were such that I was there for the final death rattle (and yes, cats circle themselves then lie down), and nothing, nothing will ever erase that look my cat gave me as he took his last breath: the fear, the confusion.
I’ve since replaced him with my little ThumbPer (posts at my blog under “Friday Kitten Blogging”) who has his own quirks and personality, and is a delight, but I still miss the big pissy vomitous lug.
I’m so happy for the life you had with your friend. I lost mine in December.
“Love wants eternity.”
(Nietzsche, I think)
de los gatos.
heh, the fur, she hides the blushes.
stormy Sat. morning. catching up on my favorite blogs. now the hubby’s gonna wonder why i have tears running down my face.
“i know how you feel” just doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s all i got.
Opie, be nice to Hobbes…he’s new in the ‘hood.

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