by Colleen Moody
(Lancaster, MA, USA)
Figaro. Summer 2001 - Summer 2015. He walked into my house and into my heart. He will always be a part of my soul.
Figaro, named after the cat in the book Pinocchio, came into our lives in October 2001.
He and his brother Frisky were picked out by my children when a coworker of my husband's said she had kittens to give away. We had lost our beloved Tiger a month before at the ripe old age of 18.
I was very surprised because my husband had never been a cat person but the sadness on his children's faces melted his heart. Figaro was a tiny little ball of fur. His black and white markings made him what you would call a tuxedo cat.
It wasn't long before we realized that Figaro had become Dad's baby. His antics and sweet loveable nature were the epitome of a Maine Coone. He talked, followed us everywhere, and even sat at the table at dinner in his own chair with his two front paws placed on the table. And he expected to get whatever we were eating.
And he was Big. Visitors were often taken aback with his size. Very long and very heavy, about 22 pounds. But he was all muscle, and hair. His long hair was so beautiful and shiny.
It had become a ritual that whenever I went into the bathroom, all three of my cats had to join me or they scratched at the door until I let them in. They knew if they got in, it was time for a good brushing. If I didn't, they would use their paws to kick the brush to my feet! And both my "boys" as I referred to them, would sit quietly whenever I trimmed their claws. I really only cut them because their paws would get stuck to the rugs or blankets and I would have to unhook them.
Figaro truly thought he was human and he could sense whenever I was not feeling well (I have cancer). He would jump up on the bed, come over to me and butt his head to mine. I learned that is how cats show affection to you. And he loved to snuggle. He was not happy until you wrapped your arms around him and held him close.
He had a funny ritual every night. When my husband got in bed, Figaro would jump up and snuggle into his left arm. He would lay there getting his head scratched for about 20-25 minutes and then he was done and would go off exploring.
He also had a habit that was very odd and most of the time funny. I always sleep on my stomach or lay on the bed on my stomach reading or watching TV. Every time he jumped on or off the bed, he used my butt as a landing or launching pad. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would be woken up with him standing, all four paws, on my back talking to me.
I could go on and on about my boy, I loved him so much. He wasn't just a pet, he was my friend. The end came quickly and very unexpectedly. My son woke us up and said he was lying at the bottom of the stairs in the den and was crying.
My husband rushed to him, picked him up and wrapped a blanket around him and just held him and talked to him til he took his last breath, maybe 20 minutes or so. But he wasn't alone and he knew he was loved. Rest in peace my boy and I will see you on the other side.