Today is National Cat Day, and since I happen to be on a two-week vacation away from my own furry best friend it is the perfect opportunity to wax a little poetic about my little orange buddy.
First, allow me to give you a bit of history. I adopted Ernie a little over nine years ago to be a companion for my first cat Walter, who sadly passed away shortly after. Ernie was a tiny little kitten with big ears and an even bigger personality. He was curious and outgoing and spent a lot of time in my lap. We bonded immediately.
A few months after we lost Walter, I adopted a companion for Ernie, and Miss Franklynn pranced into our lives. After a brief initial awkwardness in sharing his home, Ernie learned to love the beautiful calico Franklynn. They became the best of friends and were never far apart. I often teased Ernie that he was a bit smitten with the pretty Franklin, with her eyes that seemed to be rimmed in dark kohl eyeliner and her demure way.
After only a few short years with Franklynn in our lives, she developed a kidney disease and also passed away. Ernie spent a few weeks looking for her and moping around the house, but seemed to move on. He and I had a large orange cat named Juice in our home for a while, but after I was forced to find Juice a new home due to severe allergies, it is now just Ernie and I.
I know that people say that dogs are man’s best friend, but in my adult life, Ernie has been mine. At the expense of sounding like a crazy cat lady, he is my feline soul mate. He has been through love found and lost, death and birth, and every personal joy and heartbreak.
We have moved from a small apartment in a bad part of town to our very first town house and now we have downsized back to living with my dad. Through it all Ernie has been a good sport and always finds his way. In his new environment, it is a bit of a dichotomy seeing my adult-life pet in my childhood home, but it brings a smile to my face. Growing up in that home I never had a pet, and Ernie fits in nicely. Together we are making our own space and finding our place in the house.
Ernie has the most adorable mannerisms that never fail to bring a smile to my face and an “aw” to my lips. One is that no matter where we are together, he has to have his little orange paw stretched out and touching me in some way. (I think it is just so that he feels like he can nap and still know if I have left the room). It is endearing and sweet, and something that I will remember long after he is no longer with me in this world.
So, on this National Cat Day I would like to thank my buddy Ernie for being such an amazing part of my life. Here’s to many more years of memories!