The Furry Bambinos graciously let me post today in honor of Clyde, one of the kitties who came before Padre, Panda Bear, and Meerkat.
One year ago today, Clyde went to the Rainbow Bridge. He was struggling with lung cancer, and he decided that it was his time to go.
David and I adopted Clyde as a tiny kitten in May 1992.
At the time, I spent long days away from home at work. So I thought that our 1 1/2 year old cat Mohawk wanted a companion.
Clyde was about 8 weeks old when he came into our lives, through an acquaintance named Barbara. Barbara ran a popular card store in downtown Cleveland. I frequently shopped there on my way home from work. One day I mentioned to Barbara that I was thinking of adopting a kitten as a companion to my cat Mohawk. Barbara said that her neighbor’s cat had recently had kittens, and they were ready to be adopted.
David and I picked up Clyde on Saturday, May 2, 1992 at Barbara’s house. Barbara told us that one of her own cats was a sibling of Clyde’s from a former litter. Barbara said that this mother cat’s kittens often grew up to be very large cats. It was hard to imagine at that point, since Clyde was small enough to fit inside your hand.
I had spoken to Mohawk’s veterinarian the evening before about adopting Clyde. Because I did not know Clyde’s feline leukemia status, Dr. D. recommended keeping Clyde and Mohawk separated until Clyde could be tested.
At the time, I lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Cleveland Heights. The only places I could close off were the bedroom and bathroom, and neither of those would work. The bedroom was out because of my allergies to cat litter. The bathroom was out because that’s where Mohawk’s litter box was.
Desperate, I finally settled on keeping Clyde in (this is going to sound terrible, but let me explain), ahem, the living room closet.
My apartment had a huge living room closet that contained both an overhead light and a window. The closet was about 5 feet long by 3 feet deep, and the ceiling was about 10 feet high. Much bigger than a cage in a shelter, for sure.
I set up a feeding area, play area, sleeping area, and a litter box in the closet. And Clyde was so tiny at that point. He could fit inside your hand (or a Kleenex box)!
Luckily, after a few days of living in the closet, Clyde’s feline leukemia test results came back negative. Clyde was able “to come out of the closet”! 🙂
Although Clyde sometimes got on Mohawk’s nerves, he mostly just wanted to have a friend to play with. Eventually Mohawk and Clyde came to an understanding, and often napped, played, and hunted bugs together.
Clyde loved Mohawk, and tried to imitate him. Mohawk was very adept at balancing on the sink to drink from the faucet. Clyde grew to be much bigger than Mohawk, and therefore needed to adjust the technique used for getting a drinkie from the sinkie. Often, Clyde ended up with a wet head, but he was not deterred.
One of Clyde’s many nicknames was “Little One” since he was so tiny when we first adopted him.
Clyde and David shared a special bond. As a kitten, Clyde liked to stand on David’s shoulders.
When Clyde grew too big to stand just on a shoulder, Clyde would stand on David’s back.
Well, “Little One” eventually grew into a full-size cat weighing 19 pounds! And he was not obese, just a really long, big mancat. Clyde could stand on the floor on his hind legs and see over the dining room table. Here is a photo of me holding Clyde:
See how long he was? However, even though he was a physically big cat, he was a scared little kitten when it came to things like new people and new homes. Clyde HATED HATED HATED to ride in the car. He meowed frantically the whole drive anywhere in the car, barely stopping to breathe in-between meows.
Clyde was very sweet. After David and I were married and moved in together, we noticed that if one of us left to go to work, run an errand, etc., Clyde would roam around the apartment looking for the missing person. Clyde YODELED the whole time, while carrying his favorite blue and pink furry ball in his mouth. Clyde would leave the ball at the spot where he last saw us, near one of the doors.
Clyde really enjoyed helping us make dinner, especially if tuna was involved. He loved tuna juice, tuna, salmon, chicken, and turkey. Clyde could also tell time. At precisely 11:00 am on the weekends, Clyde would sing and carry on for one of his favorite treats: chicken or turkey baby food.
Clyde also helped me when I baked. He loved to lick the lid from the sweetened condensed milk can. He liked to beg for people food. We used to call him “The Great Grey Shark” becuase Clyde used to do laps around the dining room table as a hint that he should be fed what we were eating.
To read Clyde’s obituary that we sent to family and friends, please see “the humans’ blog“.
There are also other stories about Clyde on the humans’ blog.
While we miss Clyde very much, we are grateful for the almost 15 wonderful years we spent with him. He lives on in our memories.