Flop: 1997 – 2014
We had to put our cat Flop down today. He was seventeen years old, the last of the three kittens I got back in 1997 before starting grad school.
He got his name because he tended to hold his head tilted to one side when he was younger. I don’t know if there was a neurological problem, but if so, it didn’t slow him down. He was very much the alpha cat. He wouldn’t fight much, but every once in a while if the other two cats got too obnoxious, he’d thump ’em once, just enough to remind them who was really in charge.
I’m pretty sure he’s the one who taught Pod how to shred paper. I came home once to find both of them sprawled out in the living room, surrounded by shredded toilet paper and napkins and anything else they’d managed to find.
He started out as my cat, but I think he really became my daughter’s. Or maybe she was his kitten, I’m not sure. When she was little, he’d go upstairs every night to check on her and help tuck her in at bedtime. They’d snuggle together while she was going to sleep.
He’d come curl up with her when she was older, too.
I remember a night when she was little, and she’d woken up and started fussing. Flop jumped up on the table where we had the baby monitor set up, and he started yowling at it, then at us. You could almost see him thinking, “The little girl has gotten trapped in this tiny white box! Come fix it, hairless monkeys!”
I used to joke that he was autistic. Like my son, he would run laps through the house, literally bouncing off of the walls at times. Like my son, he hated change, and tended to freak out when overstimulated by too many people or too much noise or whatever.
He was quite patient with my son too, as you can see.
He’d developed some arthritis over the past few years, and lost a bit of weight. Mostly he just wanted to curl up in a warm lap, and if he couldn’t find one, he’d stake out a spot in front of the heat vent.
I’m really going to miss that cat.
December 28, 2014 @ 3:09 pm
What a great cat! Thanks for sharing him with us. I’m sorry for the empty spot [[hug]]
Mary Robinette Kowal
December 28, 2014 @ 3:12 pm
You have my sincerest sympathies on your loss.
December 28, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
Sorry for your loss, Jim. My ex-wife is still in the custody of Ahjahzel, the black cat that was a stray that we adopted back in 1995 or so. Ahjah was estimated as about 1.5 to 2 years old at that time. She sleeps a lot, now, and prefers her sunbeam or the heat vent. Julie has promised to let me say goodbye when the time comes.
December 28, 2014 @ 3:32 pm
It’s always hard. I’m glad your hairless kittens had such a good cat-dad.
December 28, 2014 @ 4:11 pm
So sorry about Flop. I remember how hard it was when the cat that had raised me (also black, very much like your Flop) had to be put to sleep during my senior year of high school (she was 20, I was 18). She was my mom’s cat, but adopted me as her “kitten” also. These little creatures really do leave gigantic holes in our hearts when they go. I hope your many loving memories bring you and your family comfort.
Mason T. Matchak
December 28, 2014 @ 4:52 pm
Gah. >_< My condolences to you and your family; it's never easy to let go of a pet.
December 28, 2014 @ 5:10 pm
My condolences – Flop sounds like a wonderful companion and furrogate parent.
Lisa M. Collins
December 28, 2014 @ 5:24 pm
That is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend. Y’all are in my thoughts.
December 28, 2014 @ 5:45 pm
I am so sorry, Jim, what a loving wonderful cat!
December 28, 2014 @ 6:31 pm
I am sorry for your loss. Those furry companions put some kind of invisible claw into our hearts…
December 28, 2014 @ 7:03 pm
Condolences to you and your family on the loss. 🙁
December 28, 2014 @ 8:46 pm
What a lovely tribute to a fine, noble cat. My sympathies. It hurts when our fur-babies leave us. *hugs* to you and your family.
December 28, 2014 @ 10:10 pm
Condolences on your loss.
December 29, 2014 @ 1:07 am
Simply having read this, I miss him. So I can’t imagine what it’d of been to have truly known him for all these years. But I’m glad you had that time together, and that he found such a warm family to be a part of.
December 29, 2014 @ 8:33 am
What a marvelous story Jim. Leave it to you to write something so creative! By the sound of it Flop had a wonderful long loving happy life as part of your family. You all have many fond memories to hold onto and that is the best blessing any of us can have with our pet/family members.
Pat Sayre McCoy
December 29, 2014 @ 9:07 am
My sympathies to you and your family on the loss of the furry member of the family. I’m sure you all have wonderful memories and Flop surely had a long life full of love and care. Keep his memories close and he’ll never be far away.
December 29, 2014 @ 10:55 am
Flop sounds like an amazing cat, and an adorable pet! My sincere condolences for you and your family, Jim.
December 29, 2014 @ 1:02 pm
You’ve written a beautiful tribute to Flop, may he rest in peace. My condolences to you & your family; it’s always tough when our furbabies leave us.
December 29, 2014 @ 2:08 pm
Sorry to hear that Jim. You have my condolences.
December 29, 2014 @ 3:49 pm
Flop sounds like a beautiful sweet cat. I’m so sorry for your loss. *hugs* It sounds like he brought many happy memories to you and your family.
December 29, 2014 @ 4:31 pm
Sorry for your loss. Lovely also that you took in a black cat — they have a harder time getting adopted. Flop was beautiful.
December 29, 2014 @ 5:19 pm
My cats are fifteen years old, and getting health problems, and I’m wondering how I’ll deal with it when their time will come, and how I’ll know.
And they’re both mostly black, just a bit of white.
So sorry for your loss, but happy you have the good memories.
December 29, 2014 @ 5:45 pm
I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thinking good thoughts for all of you, especially your kids. That’s so hard.
December 30, 2014 @ 6:59 am
I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing his story with us.
December 30, 2014 @ 9:55 am
So sorry to hear of your loss…I was a complete mess for at least a week after our furbaby unexpectedly passed last summer. Internet hugs to you and your family.
December 30, 2014 @ 3:23 pm
So sorry for your loss. He sounds like a lovely, loving family member.
January 2, 2015 @ 3:02 pm
Again, no words can really help at this time! He looks much like my beloved Brisco – what a joy to get 17 years of companionship!
January 4, 2015 @ 6:22 am
I’m sorry to hear about your loss. My mother had to put our family cat Napsi down on the 22nd of December because he had a very aggressive form of cancer under his tongue. He originally was my grandmothers cat and he moved in with my family after she died. He gave her a lot of comfort in her last years, curled up beside her when she was bedridden. When he lived with us, he never got along with one of our other family cats, but he loved staying with us nevertheless, because he could cuddle with all of us now. That made losing him during the holidays extra-hard – but he had some really great years with us and with my grandmother before that. That’s what counts in the end and it sounds like Flop had a really great life!
January 5, 2015 @ 7:19 pm
So sorry for your loss, Jim. Flop sounds like a wonderful cat. It’s so hard to lose our furry friends.