Flop: 1997 – 2014

Flop 1We 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.

Flop 2

He’d come curl up with her when she was older, too.

Flop 3

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.

Flop 4

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.