Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Butch

I got a phone call from my dad Sunday morning. It was business as usual (What did you do last night? Who did you do it with?) until he hit me with some pretty sad news.
"The kitty cat passed away last night."
I can only recall my dad calling our family cat, Butch, once and that was in a moment of frustration when he ran out of the house late at night.
The news of his death caught me by surprise because that cat had plenty of close calls in his life and was always knocking on death's door but that was due to his own general stupidity.

We got Butch in the year 2001, around the time of my younger sister's birthday. She picked him out and helped bring him home. I don't remember much about him at that time except he sneezed quite a bit. My dad wasn't impressed with the name Butch; he has this thing about giving animals names that men his age have: Dennis, Louie, Amil and Lyle (He likes that name for Aaron and Katelynn's dog). But Butch he was and it seemed to suit him as a name.
"Meow."

The first problem we had with him was that he was always trying to escape outside the house. And when we first got him he was fast. You'd open the door and he would bolt before you even knew what was happening. Of course we always caught him (We figured out his usual route and blocked off a part of the fence he liked to climb through) but it took a lot of coaxing and sometimes vanilla ice cream or watermelon.

Yeah, Butch liked watermelon. It was strange because we just fed it to him as a bit of a joke but he really liked it. From that moment on whenever he smelt my mom cutting it up he would move towards the counter and stretch his long body and legs to try and grab any bit of it he could. If that didn't work he would give my mom's leg a massage and quickly get a quick slice.
He also ate most of a banana once. My neighbor's grandson fed it to him and we watched as he licked/chewed on it for quite a while. Yet for some reason he wasn't a big fan of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Whenever he came by and smelt one he would try and bury it.


"Where the watermelon be at?"

Butch was probably the most spoiled cat that didn't belong to a rich family. My younger sister got him into this stupid pattern that whenever he came back inside (We kept him on a harness attached to a leash) he would get a treat. However as time went on, Butch would get his treat and then beg to go outside again only to want to come back in a few minutes later. He wasn't as dumb as we thought.
Also every morning he would get a special breakfast from my mom. She would mix up a little bit of wet cat food with hot water and he thought this was the greatest meal ever. He would sit by the kettle while the water boiled and lick that shit up the the point where he was moving the bowl just with his tongue.
He got this every morning but on the few occasions my mom slept in, he would do his best to get her out of bed. If nuzzling her face didn't work, jumping onto my dad's dresser and knocking over all his medicine bottles would do the trick.

But as much as he liked to eat, he also liked to play. I don't know who started it but whenever I was going up the stairs from the basement, Butch would chase me and swat at my ankles. It's probably not wise to speak ill of the dead, but I think the little kitty bastard was trying to kill me. He knew I was the cute one and that if I was out of the picture, then he'd be the cute one.
So in retaliation I would rough him up a little bit. Have him try and out wrestle my hand and then chase him around the house like I was going to kill him. That cat could run but when he made a leaping jump off the stairs you could hear the impact all throughout the house.

He had a little lamb that he liked to play with. It was about half his size and he fucked it up. Ripped one of it's eyes out and tore some of it's skin. But he also liked to play with other animals. My neighbour's had a bunny rabbit named Blossom and if Butch saw him he went crazy. He'd meow and meow, trying to get the rabbit's attention but Blossom couldn't care less. Every once in a while he would come up to the fence and Butch would just give him a tap on the head, trying to get a reaction. Blossom would just blink and hop away. And I'm pretty sure Butch studied that hop and taught himself how to do it.
He also tried to get the attention of their cat too but Tigger couldn't care less about Butch. Granted I saw Butch give him a tap on the face and Tigger let out a big hiss like he was ready to replace the U in Butch with an I.
"Stop teasing me about my harness, Tigger!"

After I moved out my parents started to let Butch go out on his own, no harness, with the idea that he knew where home was and he knew that he got fed there. There had been some scary nights when he was out for a while but he always came back. Some time last year I was talking to my dad on the phone when all of a sudden he stops the conversation to scream, "Oh, Puss, you're favouring your right paw."
Dad hated the name Butch and would usually call him Puss, Pusser, Puss-Puss and Shithead.
After the injury, they kept him back on the harness for a while. He would like to go out at night and come back in just before going to bed. My dad said that in the last little while that he was sleeping a lot for a cat. It's his idea that Butch knew his time was short.

I like to think that too. I know it sounds stupid but maybe he thought he had a bit more time and decided to go outside for one last little adventure. He was found not too far from our backdoor and he hadn't been gone long because he was still warm. I get the feeling he probably wanted to make it to my parent's bedroom and sleep on his special towel at the end of the bed on my mom's side...but it was too late.

I haven't shed a tear over his passing but that doesn't mean I'm not sad. I'm going to miss not hearing him meow at late hours looking for someone to play with; watching him chase his own tail like a stupid dog or watching him get excited when he sits by the window and chirps at birds he hopes to eat. I'll miss hearing him meow and purr at the same time whenever he gets his special breakfast and those little massages he would give out at the oddest times.

However one thing I won't miss about him was his warped sense of humour in thinking that taking a massive dump on brand new sheets for my bed was a riot. Hadn't even gotten a chance to sleep in them and he's already defiled them with his stench. It was so bad my dad had my sister handle the sheets.

But there were plenty of more good times than bad with Butch and those are the times I'll remember best. I miss my kitty and I always will.

Butch Schweitzer: 2001-December 17, 2011

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