Rhymes With Fuchsia

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ed (1987-2007)

My former boss called me on a wet April afternoon, to tell me that a friend of a friend had found a kitten in the middle of the road, soaked and shivering, and couldn't keep it because her daughters were deathly allergic. She couldn't take it, she said, because she had eight cats already (this being a not-so-subtle allusion to my having thrust one upon her not that long ago), and it was my turn.

We had just lost our beloved Heidi, who used to walk up and down the bed purring and yowling when Grant got home from work, demanding that he lie down so she could nuzzle his chin, and we didn't feel ready for another cat. Besides, we might be moving soon. Still, I said, we could at least take this poor critter until we could find someone who really wanted it.

The kitten was tiny, orange and fuzzy, with weird bare patches on his back, but, after all, he'd had a hard life so far. I walked into our kitchen cupping him in one hand at waist level, and Grant greeted us with "What the hell is that?"
"It's a kitten," I said, "what does it look like?"
"You're not keeping it."
"No, no, I had to take it for now, but we'll find it a good home."

We went into the living room to watch TV, and the kitten followed us and scaled the sofa kitten-fashion, using his claws as crampons. "Sir Edmund Fuzzball," said Grant.

That, of course, was the beginning of the end. Next thing I knew Grant suggested taking him to the vet; we couldn't foist a kitten on someone else without making sure he had a clean bill of health, after all. The bald spots turned out to be ringworm, nicely complemented by fleas and ear mites. The vet told us the parasites should be easy to get rid of: all we needed to do was bathe him and apply ointment daily for a month. To add insult to injury, our other cat, Calcutta, already being endlessly chased around our apartment by this miniature yellow demon, would need weekly bathing as a precaution.

I can't remember how many baths it took for us to realize that Ed had wormed himself (as it were) into the household on a permanent basis, but it wasn't too many. He moved with us to our first house that summer, and he grew big and handsome, regaining the fur lost to ringworm and then some.

He was the sweetest cat we ever knew, snuggly and purry and drapey.

His patience was legendary (unless you happened to be a dog or Fluffy, the one cat he could never abide). With humans of all shapes and sizes, he would tolerate more than we had any right to expect of a cat.

Grant called him the world's oldest kitten. He remained game for kitty toys, including the ones he commandeered himself from the Christmas tree, right up until his sight failed.

And, of course, he discharged all his feline rights and responsibilities, such as providing knitting assistance whenever possible.

Now and then he displayed a talent for camouflage.

He died in his sleep not long before Christmas, some three months before he would have turned 21. Ave atque vale, Ed. May the sun always be warm and the catnip sweet, wherever you may roam.


  • I am so sorry. I know how you all treasured him.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM  

  • It's a beautiful tribute you have written. I'm sorry for your loss.

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 1:48 PM  

  • I'm not even a cat fan, and I'm in love with Ed! THinking of you! I would have given you a hug when I saw you if I'd known.

    On a totally other note - I'm not going to go to spinning tonight - I need to go work out some frustration at the gym, and then go take care of Aaron. Who still has a headache.

    By Blogger Cece, at 1:50 PM  

  • After all these years I never knew Ed's full name!

    What a lovely tribute.

    By Blogger Ruth, at 2:08 PM  

  • oh i'm so sorry about ed. what a wonderful kitty.

    By Blogger maryse, at 2:22 PM  

  • I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like he had a wonderful twenty-one years with you.

    By Blogger Jena the yarn harpy, at 2:36 PM  

  • Oh, Lucia, I'm so sorry to hear about Ed's passing. This is a beautiful tribute, and wonderful photos, too. I've lost a kitty after 20 years, too, and life just isn't the same.

    By Anonymous Dave Daniels, at 4:08 PM  

  • Wow, you totally can't beat that, though -- a good, long, loved life, and died in his sleep. Mwah.

    By Blogger Norma, at 4:38 PM  

  • Oh, so sorry to hear this. Goodbye Ed. He sounds like he was a wonderful fellow and had quite a life with you. I've thought of him often and wondered how he was doing.

    By Anonymous Martha in Kansas, at 5:00 PM  

  • Ed sounds like a well-loved cat. He was a lucky dude to find a family like yours.

    By Blogger Danielle, at 5:24 PM  

  • What a beautiful baby and lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss, but happy to know Ed had a long and happy life with such a loving family.

    By Blogger Cookie, at 5:26 PM  

  • I'm so sorry, Lucia.

    By Anonymous JessaLu, at 9:20 PM  

  • ah, nuts. So sorry; he was a gentleman cat, indeed.

    By Blogger Liz, at 12:51 AM  

  • Yes, beautiful - he was one lucky cat or as a buddhist friend of mine would say - you are one lucky family, a cat like that won't choose just anyone.

    By Blogger J., at 8:19 AM  

  • You and Norma, you're breaking my heart here. What a splendid eulogy for Ed. I know people who haven't lived as well. Wasshail and Godspeed, thou great and well-loved cat.

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:55 AM  

  • God bless you and yours.
    AND, Ed.
    Beautiful tribute to a great kitty.

    By Blogger christine, at 12:34 PM  

  • Oh dear. I just finished reading about Norma's Vincent, and now this...

    I'm really sorry for your loss. But glad that he had such a long and magnificent life (amongst people who appreciated him.)

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 4:44 PM  

  • You all gave Ed a great life... Glad he went quietly. Sorry he's gone.

    By Blogger knitnzu, at 7:44 PM  

  • Oh Lucia. I'm so sorry for your loss. I didn't know until today. That was a lovely tribute to him.

    By Blogger Manise, at 9:27 PM  

  • Ruth, you don't know the half of it. Literally.

    "Sir Edmund Fuzzball" was only his starter name. The full name, which was revealed to us only after we had spent enough time with him to fully understand and appreciate all the facets of his character, was:

    His Most Serene Puffiness, Crown Prince Edmund Edward of the House of Fuzzball, Duke of Damage.

    No lie.

    Of course, his deep and inscrutable singular Name will remain forever a mystery.

    By Anonymous Grant, at 11:30 PM  

  • Perry P and I had a good cry over Sir Edmund's story. Please accept our sympathy and know there's another cat out there waiting for you. Vacuums like Ed left demand to be filled.

    By Blogger Leslie, at 6:24 AM  

  • Oh, what a wonderful kitty. I am so sorry, Lucia -- Ed sounds like the cat of your family's heart.

    By Anonymous Erica, at 9:50 AM  

  • Oh, Lucia, I'm so sorry to hear about Ed. He sounds like an amazing kitty - I'm glad you had so many years together!

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:53 AM  

  • So sorry about Ed. Pets hold such a special place in our hearts. It is always hard to let one go, even when it is time.

    I won't close with my standard sign off, "blessings!"

    Sounds like you've already been blessed for 21 years...

    By Blogger Susan Pandorf, at 2:10 PM  

  • I've been neglecting my bloglines so I missed this. I'm so sorry for your loss. Nearly 21 years is some feat... longer than most marriages. So, I'm thinking of you and yours. Again, so sorry for your loss.

    By Blogger Annie, at 3:27 PM  

  • Aw Hill, I'm so very sorry. A 21 year old Ed makes you awesome people.

    By Blogger Carol, at 9:17 PM  

  • Ed was a beautiful cat. And clearly had a lot of personality. So glad you got to have him in your life for so long.

    Thinking of you.

    By Blogger Lene Andersen, at 7:37 PM  

  • Oh, Lucia, I'm so sorry to hear about Ed. He was a beautiful cat. The best kind, one that started out tough and enjoyed his life immensely!
    hugs to you!
    Here's to Sir Edmund Fuzzball!

    By Blogger Sandy, at 8:44 AM  

  • A wonderful tribute to a dear friend, member of the family.

    By Blogger Laurie, at 9:27 AM  

  • Oh, Lucia, I'm so sorry about Ed's passing. I know he was very woven into the fabric of your life and there will be difficult days without him. I wish you and your family lots of love at this difficult time.

    By Blogger Susan, at 8:19 PM  

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