Yesterday (1/3/19), my friend Reiver said goodbye to this sweet boy; Keroppi.
I adopted Keroppi in 2010 from my cousin. She often fostered kittens for the local animal rescue. I was visiting, checking out her latest kitten bunch when this orange fluffy kitten came bounding at me at full speed.
I picked him up and snuggled his little face and instantly fell in love.
Keroppi was more than your typical average house cat. He had huge snow paws, a very soft, thick, fluffy coat of fur, with the sweetest personality. He charmed the hearts of many, drawing them in with his big golden eyes, and his high pitched meow.
I used to Skype my friend Reiver, back before he moved to WA. One day, while I stepped away from the laptop for a sec, I heard Reiver meowing into the mic. When I walked back into my room, I found Keroppi sitting next to my laptop meowing back.
Just one of many of the fond memories I have of this fluffy little guy.
2011, the year I officially adopted Keroppi, was a year full of life altering experiences, some of which I still have yet to fully heal from. So looking back at that time always came with a cold bite. But these kitten pictures of Keroppi always softened the sting a bit. Anyway, I was going through a lot. From 2011 to 2013 I had a rough time getting my sh*t together.
One day, I was rushing home after spending the night out to shower before my work shift. I sat down for a few moments to catch my breath, check my phone. In that brief moment of respite, Keroppi jumped up onto my lap and made himself comfy. I dropped everything I was doing to pet him. It wasn't until after a few moments I realized I was smiling. A few tears slid down my cheeks as I continued to run my fingers through his thick orange coat. Then I leaned down to wrap my arms around him in an embrace, thanking him for the cat hug he just gave me. That usually makes a cat leave, but he wouldn't. So, I risked being late to work just to get a few more pets from him.
Later, at work, I would recount the story to a co-worker. She was so insightful, I always loved sharing with her and listening to her wisdom. She told me, "maybe that's just life's way of telling you that you need to slow down."
That hit me real deep.
Now, to this day, whenever one of my cats jumps into my lap, I always take a moment to breathe, relax, and focus on petting them.
I only had Keroppi from August of 2011 to about January of 2013. Long story short, he and Yoshi weren't getting a long anymore. I can't say whether this dominant behavior was just his personality or stress induced from the lack of a healthy environment, (like I said, I have some past baggage that is hard to let go from that time period...) but I kept finding cat bites all over Yoshi's back legs, and tail. I had seen Keroppi aggressively fight Yoshi, and I could only assume. (Keroppi also didn't bury his poop in the litter box which is the trait of a dominant cat so that was just another sign.)
Some crazy stuff happened. Keroppi got dumped in a parking lot across down by someone who didn't like him, I was furious, someone found him and took care of him. My sister found a craigslist ad for Found Cat with Keroppi's photos, we got him back, I tried to find a new home for him since him and Yoshi weren't getting along...it was a mess.
I was a mess.
That's why I think that Reiver, Keroppi's current human, is a hero.
He told me he'd keep him. And I am so very thankful he did!
For six years, Keroppi and Reiver would live together in that apartment. And during that time, I got to see him!
I babysat Keroppi while Reiver went on vacation, or when he'd do a full apartment clean and would need Keroppi to stay somewhere. And I got to see all the pictures of him as he grew!
And later I realized, he was never my cat.
He was always meant for Reiver.
Rest In Peace, Keroppi
Keroppi was a one-of-a-kind cat. He was the kind of cat that snuggled up to you on the couch. He drooled when he was happy. He stretched out his legs straight up behind him to sleep on the floor. He was a hard sleeper. He blessed people when they sneezed by meowing at them. And he never held a grudge. But he's the kind of cat that was more than a cat. He was a friend. And his legacy deserves to be preserved, forever. He taught me important life lessons I carry with me today.
He will never be forgotten.
He will be dearly missed.