Pat the Cat (later to evolve into Toot, Tu-Tu, Pootin)
came to us a starving, homeless kitten,
hungry enough to ravage a watermelon rind. Over the
course of his life with us he turned into the
swaggering, fully man-skirted Prince of Couches
you see napping happily below.
If Pat was a man, he’d have been the marrying kind,
the steady-Freddy, solid, dependable, home-at-five
every-night kind a guy that lives for his family. Of our
three cats, Pat ruled the interior of the house.
His brother could have everything outdoors, and his
sister owned the porch but inside, that was Pat’s domain.
So we wondered when he didn’t show up for breakfast Saturday.
By noon we were worried and after the sun went down and
still no sight of him, we were pretty certain Pat was gone.
We came home Sunday after being out all day, hoping
to find him in his usual spot on the bed, but nope. Not to be.
He never strayed far enough for a coyote to pick him off, and
for five years he lived with the foxes that nightly visit the pond,
so we suspect he may have been dinner for the great-horned owl
that perches on the power pole near the top of the steps where
Toot loved sitting in sunny contemplation of the great outdoors
without actually getting down into it. We miss his little body
curled into us at night and his rough-tongue cleanings, but his
spirit is here, and when I come up the steps cut into the hill
I go around the top step because I know Tootin is sitting there.