March 14, 2006

You might recall reading about my friend Nigel, who I also referred to as Director of Aquatics. He's a silly looking cat, with a squat fat body and a stub of a tail, making him look like a little black bear.

Last Thursday morning, Nigel wasn't in bed when we woke, and he wasn't there to supervise the morning bathroom usage. He had been hit by a car in the early morning traffic.

3925 Claycut has had a good number of cats grace its hallways in the 10 years we've been there. But Nigel was a special one. He arrived as a kitten when Lily was a puppy, and they became and they stayed quick friends. Nigel would suckle her nipples while she growled in her sleep, Lily would drag him around the house by his little neck.

He was curious and bright and friendly. He wanted to meet everyone who came over -- from humans, to stray cats passing through, to crazy Tasmanian-devil whirling slobbering dogs. I never saw him hiss or fluff up his fur.

Nigel grapples with his buddy one recent morning.

Nigel loved my wife, and she loved him. He liked to start his morning by biting the chin and nose of the female human in the bed. Even if I was wide awake and offering to provide a pet, he would prefer to disturb her lie on her neck, bite her face, and purr his happy rumble.

I will like to remember last Wednesday. Before we left for work, Nigel nuzzled and licked his dog, and they curled up on the bed for a long nap while the humans were at work. When I came home at lunch time, they were still curled together, apparently having failed to move over the course of the morning. He was a happy cat.

Rest in Peace, little friend. Until we're together again.