Aby-a-Day – June 6: The cats who came before – Part 3 (Friday Flashback)

1997 was a pretty big year for me.

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Harri turned 6, and Sigrid turned 9. Harri was a little too playful for our older lady.

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So I added Patrick, to be Harri’s friend and wrassle partner. And then, a month later, I moved into my own apartment with all three Siamese. Sigrid, however, was in love with my ex-boyfriend, and became depressed. So, she ended up going back to live with him. I was sad and I missed her terribly…but she was so much happier with him (and, I think, without the two boisterous boys).

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Harri and Patrick became fast friends. They didn’t seem to miss Sigrid at all, even if I did. A year later, we all moved all the way across the country from San Francisco to Atlanta.

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It was a pretty huge move, but my boys took it in stride.

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The house we lived in had a deck, which both Harri and Patrick enjoyed to its fullest.

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Atlanta and I did not agree, so after almost two years, we all moved again, to Boston. Harri and I flew first; my ex brought Patrick a week later.

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Harri always loved hotel rooms.

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My new apartment was on the third floor of a typical Sommerville triple-decker, and it had a sunroof over the landing. I made this into a sort of patio for the boys to enjoy.

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Harri and Patrick were the best of friends. Harri was still bonded to me, but Patrick was bonded to Harri. He actually got more upset if Harri was gone overnight than if I was.

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This is one of my favourite photos of Harri. I took this at the vet.

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And this is one of my favourite photos of Patrick. Patrick was actually a registered TICA Siamese and his name was Sugarhills Twinkletoes. I got him from a breeder of Devon Rexes and Sphynxes; Patrick was their “pet” but he was twice the size of the dainty Rexes and delicate Spynxes and played too roughly with them. I found him on the Retired Friends website. Yes, in 1997 I found a cat on the internet! In 2005, I would find Tessie on the same website.

I had to rename Patrick; there was no way I was going to have a cat called “Twinkie.” But his nickname was “Tricky,” which sounds similar. He never had a problem with the name change. He was named after Patrick Roy…but his full name was Patrick Tinglatårna (Twinkletoes, in Swedish).

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Patrick had bad teeth. Really bad teeth. He had about half of them removed over the course of his life. One of these was a canine so he ended up with this sort of sneer when his lip would get caught on the tooth that was left.

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Harri and Patrick at the vet. When I lived in Somerville, I went to Porter Square Veterinary, which was about five blocks from my apartment. I used to walk with both boys – in their bags – for appointments.

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They always did everything together.

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Except when Harri had to go in the back for bloodwork. Harri had hypothyroid starting when he turned 13, and had to get bloodwork done every 6 months.

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Patrick was quite a character, though. He was always doing really goofy things.

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Like this.

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Or sitting in front of the fan and meowing into it to hear the sound of his voice.

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He also loved cereal. Not the milk…the actual cereal.

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Even though Harri had Patrick, he was always my boy.

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I still took him out and about, albeit not as much as when we were active in the SCA. But he did go to Boston Common.

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On his 10th birthday, we went to Long Island.

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Sun, sand and surf. Except it was April, and still kind of chilly.

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That was a fun weekend, though.

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Harri may have been 10, but he still loved to explore.

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He was the only cat I’ve ever had that I trusted to be off-leash. He would panic if I was out of his sight, so I knew he’d never wander off. (Patrick, on the other hand…yeah, not so much.)

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Although there was this one time when we had a blizzard in Boston…

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Harri wanted nothing – I mean, nothing to do with the snow. He took one look at it and ran back up three flights of stairs. But Patrick had to check it out.

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I’m not sure if he regretted his decision or not…but he did make the best of it.

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Harri also really loved Christmas. It may have been because of his trips to see Santa, but I have a video of him trying to open his own presents, and one year he tried really hard to pull down his stocking. And he knew which one was his.

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Harri loved to sit near the tree, and watch the lights. Patrick…well, Patrick liked to sit next to Harri.

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Harri and Patrick were the best of friends for 9 years. This photo was taken the Sunday before Harri died.

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Poor Harri had such bad arthritis in his last couple of years. I gave him Cosequin, but he was still in pain. He was my loyal protector right to the end, though. These two photos were taken just before we went to the vet for the last time.

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After Harri died, Patrick was so bereft. Gun-Hee’s arrival four months later helped a lot (as you will see next week), but Patrick was always kind of lost after Harri left us.

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After Gun-Hee died, Patrick really got depressed. He never really bonded with any of the girls, despite having known them longer than he knew Gun-Hee. It turns out, Patrick really preferred to be around boycats. So, I took Patrick to live with my mom, and my sister’s two boys, Madison and Baxter.

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This is Patrick and Madison the weekend I brought Patrick to my mom’s house. The same weekend, and he’s already sharing a bed!

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Patrick and Madison became fast friends. I wonder if Madison being a bluepoint and white Siamese mix had anything to do with it?

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I went back to visit Tricky in June, 2010. He’d been living with my mom for almost two years at that point, and he was so happy. He died that November, on Thanksgiving weekend, a month after his 16th birthday. He was luckier than Harri; he may have had bad teeth, but he didn’t have the hypothyroid problems or the crippling arthritis that Harri did. My mom said he was fine up until his last week, when his liver and kidneys just suddenly gave out.

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Harri and Patrick are together again, now, forever. I got these urns made by Alex in Welderland, and they helped me so much. They have hooks to hold their tags, and their names are on the backs. Harri’s has a candleholder, and Patrick’s urn has a crooked smile and stripes on the tail.

I miss those two boys so much…but it was because Harri – my bonded heart cat – left me that I finally got my first Abyssinian.

Aby-a-Day – June 5: Searching High and Low

As a general rule, when you are looking for Jacoby, you look up.

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That is, unless he’s busy rolling around on the floor with a catnip teabag. The corollary to this rule is when you’re looking for Angel, look down.

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That is, unless she’s up on the wall watching Jake roll around on the floor.