November 20, 2008

Remembering Junior.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:57 pm


When Dave mentioned Junior in a comment to a recent post, I thought it was time I said a word or two about ol’ Junior, the cat that was NOT our cat.

As I detailed here (including the basis for his name), from a very young age Junior managed to work his way into the House by the Parkway for two gourmet (thanks to Mrs. Parkway) meals per day and a long comfy nap after each one. Sometimes, he’d hang around until late in the evening when he would meow to let us know that it was time for him to go out and work the night shift.

He clearly didn’t live here. Rather this was his comfort station when he needed something to eat and a break from being a wandering bum an “outside cat.” He showed up like clockwork, including one or two times when living the wild life got him pretty well beaten up.


Here’s how he looked last Christmas after having been pretty badly banged up somewhere, somehow. He was a resilient sumbitch. He knew that there was always good eats here and that it was cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The House by the Parkway also served as a place where he could kick back after a long night of carousing.

When we returned from our cruise in August, ol’ Junior was waiting for us in the driveway. He looked a bit thin from having to fend for himself for a week. We saw him for two or three days, and then he stopped showing up. We figured he probably was on a major tear somewhere, or that he managed to work his way into the house of a neighbor. We convinced ourselves that he would return, being the regular beggar that he was.

After about ten days had passed without seeing Junior, we asked our neighbor whose grown son was the person who claimed title to the cat (even though he never exercised dominion and control over him), what was up. The neighbor replied that he didn’t know, as they had never let the cat into their house. He opined that his son, who moved out to live with his girlfriend, may have taken Junior with him. I satisfied myself with that explanation until about a month ago when I saw the son while he was visiting his parents. I asked if he had taken the cat with him, and he replied that he had not.

So, the conclusion became at once inescapable: after having been a regular around here for more than a year, ol’ Junior was gone, really gone. I assume he tangled ass with a moving car and the car won, or that he got a fatal ass kicking from another animal.

I hope he didn’t suffer.

We’ve since given the gourmet cat food (wet and dry) and all his toys (Oh yeah, there were toys) to a relative who has cats. We speak of him now and then, and we always end up smiling, at least on the outside.

Even though he was never really our cat, I miss his sorry ass.


  1. Don’t count Junior out yet. I had a cat who disappeared for seven months one time. When she came back, she was dragging a busted rear leg and looked like hell.

    Comment by Ken Adams — November 20, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

  2. Aw – I’m sorry to hear Junior has left the neighborhood. *sigh* I’ll miss the stories about him.

    Comment by Teresa — November 20, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  3. Sorry to hear that Junior seems to have gone to the big cathouse in the sky. Even though he wasn’t your cat, it’s pretty clear he had a home in the House by the Parkway.

    Comment by DMerriman — November 21, 2008 @ 12:00 am

  4. Even though Junior could never be replaced you might head down to the pound and see if he’s there, maybe even pick up your next cat…

    Comment by Mike R. — November 21, 2008 @ 12:10 am

  5. All cats are bad. Our current boy, Billy, is living up to his name (with which Jimbo is familiar). But that just makes you appreciate them more. They’re smaller than we are, but smarter.

    Comment by Cousin Jack — November 21, 2008 @ 12:30 am

  6. I’m really sad to hear about Junior’s likely demise.

    Comment by RT — November 21, 2008 @ 12:33 am

  7. I am so sorry to hear about Junior. I think he was an admirable cat, who found a soft haven. and moved into your turf (and your hearts). I do hope you find peace, knowing that you gave him a loving, safe place.

    Comment by Mary — November 21, 2008 @ 1:17 am

  8. Want another one? It even looks like Junior.

    Comment by Jerry — November 21, 2008 @ 2:10 am

  9. Sorry to hear he’s wandered off the reservation (maybe temporarily, ya never know). You guys were so nice to him and I’m sure he appreciated it.

    Comment by dogette — November 21, 2008 @ 9:35 am

  10. Why is Junior such a great name for a cat? Gonna miss hearing about him.

    Perhaps he’s been adopted against his will by some old cat-lady and is now living the life of Reilly.

    Comment by Joan of Argghh! — November 21, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  11. hmmmm, he might have got lead poisoning while eating someone’s canary…

    Comment by GUYK — November 21, 2008 @ 10:45 am

  12. Cats are strange creatures….

    Sorry to here that Junior is missing & presumed to have used up all nine lives……It is true cats sometime`s disappear for a long time & mysteriously reappear.

    When still a lad , my mother had a cat named “Gootch” very similar in appearance to Junior who disappeared at about the age of eight & reappeared the following summer as if nothing had happened,just showed up at dinner like old times. He stayed a couple of days reclaiming his favorite perch on the sofa & vanished once more this time for good.

    A more recent resident here was a white angora cat named “Fluffy” courtesy of my daughter who asked us to keep the cat temporarily…..9 year`s. This cat idolized my wife & hated me, when she passed my wife was thrilled & I was the only one who mourned her passing…Go figure,anyway I buried her next to the deck outside the window she kept track of the bird`s & chipmunk`s from.

    Comment by dudley1 — November 21, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  13. Oh jeez – I’m sorry. I hope that Junior is in a happy place…

    Comment by Richmond — November 21, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  14. Around 1977, on a cold snowy night, my wife and I came home from a party when we heard the mournful cry of a cat. There, walking up our snow covered driveway, was a little black and white shorthair. Turned out he had belonged to a couple down the street who sold their house and moved the day before, leaving the cat to fend for himself. My wife had worked with the husband and knew the cat’s name was ‘killer’. We took him inside and he quickly made himself at home, even making “friends” with our two indoor cats. He would go outside everyday, but would return at night for his daily meal and pampering. He used to curl up in our beanbag chair (remember THOSE?) and fall asleep. He became, in short, part of the clan. Then, in August of that year, I had to go to work on a rainy Saturday and I saw him sitting under the overhang of our house, attempting to stay dry. I tried to get him to go into the garage, but he wouldn’t budge. The next morning, he was nowhere to be found. I searched and searched, only to find his lifeless body on my neighbor’s front lawn, a victim of a run-in with a car. I wrapped him in plastic and, crying the whole time, I dug a grave in our back yard and laid him to rest. My wife and I found a large, round rock, painted it black and lettered it with his name…’Killer’ in white letters. Every few years I repaint his marker and repaint his name so he won’t be forgotten. Even though we’ve had a house full of Maine Coons through the years, ‘Killer’ still occupies a special place in my heart.

    Jim, I’m sure Junior appreciated, in a cat sort of way, that you cared enough to allow him into your life at The House By The Parkway.

    Comment by JerryK — November 21, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

  15. I had a cat like that once. Strange that the ones that aren’t really yours are sometimes the ones you miss the most.

    Comment by John — November 21, 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  16. Hard to think of what to say. I don’t take the idea of Junior’s being squooshed by a car, or mauled by a creature bigger than himself (a bear?) lightly, nor do I deal particularly well, emotionally, with the loss of any cat, period.

    I was pretty lit at the time, but I have a fuzzy recollection of you telling me your suspicions about Junior in Eric’s garage and I kept meaning to ask you if it was for real, or something I just dreamed up. Part of me was afraid to bring it up because I really didn’t want to know.

    A kind of personal thing I hope you don’t mind my stating, for the public record, which I may have told you already in yet another one of my drunken stupors: You had sent me the most thoughtful email the day you found out my parent’s cat Maya died, and included in it the photo of Junior scrunched up on your comfy chair, which you had trouble posting to your blog because of some WP upgrade. So you figured you’d share it with me and I’m glad you did.

    I cannot delete it, and look at it from time to time because it’s so sweetly written, and I love the photo, too. You are as good and as decent as peeps get, Hairboy…I hope Junior turns up on your front walk, in decent health, one of these days. It’ll definitely serve to remind me that not all is wrong with the world.

    Wherever he is, I hope it’s a good place.

    Comment by Erica — November 21, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  17. You never know, Junior may well turn up again. Even if not, he knew and you knew that he had a home, love, and comfort when he wanted it. Those gifts, given by each, are special and should be savored for the rare and wonderful thing they are. Good thoughts to all of you on this.


    Comment by Laughing Wolf — November 22, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  18. Beautiful post, Dad. He will be missed.

    Comment by TJ — November 22, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  19. They were created for a purpose. The ones that are “free” have work to do and that work is to keep balance in the universe. For they are the Catalist
    of universal harmony. In simple english,they rule.

    Comment by Bob B — November 22, 2008 @ 10:43 pm

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