I’m oh, so sad, today. One of the Geezer’s and my friends has left us. Mr. B, one of our family, passed away last night. I know that we dogs are supposed to be at odds with our feline cousins, but as with almost all forms of contrasting life, an accord can be reached, and, as in our case, genuine love and respect can flourish.
Watching Mr. B the last few weeks has been difficult. If there ever was a feisty cat, one with no fear, capable of amazing athletic feats, it was my old buddy. Seeing him decline has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. He used to chase me at random times for random reasons in an unending game of seniority tag. By his reckoning, I’m a short time resident in the Gator home. My 2 1/2 years pales to his 20 plus. Certainly, I’ll miss him, but the Geezer and Mrs. Gator will much, much more. Those two love us animals with deep uncompromising affection.
Mr. B spent every night, up to the last ones, curled up in the Gator’s bed next to Mrs. G’s chest. He was better than an alarm clock, waking her each morning promptly at 5. Mr. B would see she was propped up in bed, pillows stacked behind her, waiting for the Geezer’s cup of coffee which the old man serves her in bed each morning. Every day she gave Mr. B his after breakfast “ride,” a stroll around the house perched on her shoulder, a perk he enjoyed and guarded jealously. When she arrived home each evening, he’d climb up on her chest and gaze lovingly into her eyes, asking no more than that he be allowed to stay.
As much as Mrs. Gator will grieve her loss of Mr B, the Geezer’s feelings will equal or exceed hers. There was a special bond between those two. B was the Geezer’s writing companion before I came to fill part of that responsibility. Often we’d share that joy, Mr. B draped over the Geezer’s right shoulder while I’d rest my head on the top of the Geezer’s left thigh. We’d stay at our posts for hours at a time, waiting for the Geezer’s words of appreciation and the petting that always followed. Mr. B’s favorite spot was sitting on the old boy’s shoulders. Close seconds were the Geezer’s lap and on the recliner above the Geezer’s head.
Mr. B was there for the Gators when Hurricane Charley destroyed their house, when they moved to new jobs, when reverses occurred in their lives, and he helped them celebrate those victories, large and small, for which humans strive. He was so loyal. In his last few desperate days, he refused to die without having the opportunity to say “goodbye” to the Geezer who was away at a writers conference. He clung to that thread with uncompromising tenacity until his friend returned home. In turn, the Geezer was with him at 1:30 when…
Mr. B, I can only say to you these words that are the highest compliment that any of we living beings can achieve. “You are dearly loved. You’ll be severely missed.” In memory of my friend, Mr. B – October, 1988 to August, 2009.
There are tears on the keyboard.