A tribute to a very special cat
Editor’s note: We received this story from Donna in December and it was supposed to run then but it was misplaced and it never ran. We regret the error.
It is a very sad day today; we received the news that our neighborhood cat, Yoda, had passed away during the night.
This just isn’t the story of a cat that roamed the neighborhood, which you might see once in a while. This is the story of Yoda, a beautiful Siamese cat with large double paws. I remember the day my neighbor called to say, “Come over, I have a surprise for my wife for Chirstmas.” The four of us went over and he greeted us with this tiny little creature named Yoda. He immediately climbed into my 5-year-old’s lap, curled into a ball and proceeded to go to sleep. This is when the bond began.
Yoda was like the mayor of our neighborhood; everyone knew him or of him. He stood out in a crowd due to his calmness and large size. He had a very good life. My husband and I would often say Yoda was like a human who had won the lottery. We live on a dead end street, so we do not see many cars. There are woods behind us, so he would often spend his days hunting mice and birds in the woods, gazing out at the water, and often visit the neighbors and walk down to the marina. He was a frequent guest at our house; you could even say he shared two families – us and our neighbors. Yoda loved people; whenever we had company, he would always come over. My entire family, along with friends, all knew Yoda. He visited with all the guests; he never missed a party. His favorite food was shrimp, of course!
He and I had a very special bond, along with his owner. He was very attached to his “mother” and would often sit on her lap if she were at the computer. He was so big and rough looking, but always wanted to sit on his mother’s lap. He would know what time I would come home every day. He could be in a sound sleep, resting at home, and then at about 5 p.m., arise, want to go out and head for my mailbox. I stopped every night to get my mail before going home. He would wait for me; I would arrive, open the door, let him in the van and he would proceed to the passenger side to look out the window. Occasionally we would take a ride around the block. Back at my house, he would wait for his treat, the low sodium turkey breast that I would wait in line for at the deli, no matter how long the line, for $9.99 per pound. My husband wasn’t too happy about the price, but oh well! I would often say, “Don’t eat all the turkey – it is for Yoda!”
Yoda did not like it when were not home, or the unthinkable – go on vacation. One time his owner became concerned because he started turning gray. She brought him to the doctor and they said there is nothing physically wrong with him; it appears to be caused by stress. They asked if he was experiencing any stress? “Yes,” she replied, “my neighbors are on vacation!”
He would, of course, sometimes get himself into trouble. He was very nosy and always had to know what was going on. One day, while driving down the street, I noticed a moving van in front of a neighbor’s house. I happened to glance into the truck and there is Yoda curled up in a ball. “Yoda,” I would yell, “get out of there!” He would just look at me disgusted, get up very slowly and walk over to me as slow as possible. There was also the time he got locked into our shed overnight. As I was driving out of the driveway the next morning, I happened to look over at the shed and there is Yoda peering out of the window! He also got locked in my van one evening until his owner came looking for him and spotted him sitting in the driver’s seat waiting for someone to rescue him.
Yoda’s routine would be to get let out around 6 in the morning, and then make his way over to my house for his breakfast. He would be waiting on the back deck for me to let him in and provide his turkey. He would sit on the stool in the kitchen, waiting for the turkey to arrive. When he finished, he would run upstairs to my daughter’s room. He would never jump in bed without asking permission. He would meow until she said it was OK. He would then join her for a snooze. He was a part of our family, even though he wasn’t our cat. To me, though, he was. My neighbor got a small dog, which Yoda, at first, was not fond of. However, they grew to become very good friends. In the evening, you would spot Scooter going out for his walk, and who was right there beside them? Yoda. They were not going for their walk without him!
This coming summer will be difficult without our furry friend. I was never alone outside. If I were on the deck, he would join me in his favorite deck chair. If I were gardening, I would look over and he would be sprawled out under the pine trees catching the breeze. He was always around, a permanent fixture on Ship Street for the past 11 years. The old neighborhood will seem awful quiet to us and lonely without our faithful and devoted friend. Somehow, though, I think he will be watching over us!
I wanted to say a special thank you for my dear neighbors for allowing us to share so deeply in the life of Yoda. I went over to say goodbye to him on his last night, something that was very difficult for me to do. As he lay in the kitchen chair, breathing so heavily, he looked up at me with his beautiful blue eyes, and I knew he knew I was there with him. I am very grateful that I got to say goodbye to him. Yoda (Boo Boo), we will never forget you and all the love you bestowed upon all of us!