He was the cutest thing I'd ever seen - a little ball of wiry gray fuzz, white paws, and the most beautiful amber-colored eyes. He was a little skittish, even as he perched on the arm of a chair and very diligently began clawing it. Somehow, I just knew...
That was August, 1989. Edmond was six weeks old and he was the one who stole my heart. He reminded me of a little Brillo pad, but a Brillo pad with an attitude as he did the sideways arch and pounce that kittens do when they think they're being as intimidating as hell.
We drove home that night - me and my boyfriend at the time, with Edmond perched on his shoulder as he drove. Little guy sure could hang on. He settled in quickly, though it took a few shots before he mastered the stairs. He'd get up three and fall down two. Finally, I picked him up and brought him upstairs.
Time wore on and the little gray Brillo pad grew into a less-wiry cat. His fur was beautiful - pearly gray - and instead of the usual pss-pss to get a cat's attention, he responded to "shh...shh". Do that, and he'd come over, thrust his head into your hand, and rub up against you, purring like crazy. At night, he'd sleep on my feet, or curled up next to me.
He was a chatty sort - calling, "maa....maa..." when he wanted attention. He loved to lay in the bathroom sink. It didn't matter what you might be trying to do there, you had to do it around Edmond. When he grew tired of lying in the sink, he'd sit on the edge, reaching down with a white paw that looked more like a cotton ball, and swat at the water. If you shared Edmond's bathroom, you'd better let that water trickle from the faucet.
When I'd go to shower, he'd come in and sit by the tub. Peekaboo was a favorite game - he'd wait for me to pop my head out at one end, I'd move to the other, and there he'd be, blinking those amber eyes wide as if to say, "Just who do you think you're fooling?"
When I'd take off my jeans to get ready for bed, he would creep up to the waist, tap it with a paw to make sure the jean gremlins wouldn't get him, and then he'd crawl down into the leg and just lay there. Sometime he stopped halfway, sometimes he'd go all the way to the cuff, blinking those amber eyes wide as if to say, "Ain't I just the cutest thing?"
When I got married and moved, I took him with me. Unfortunately, I'd also taken in another homeless cat - Casey. Casey, we think, is actually the spawn of Satan, and she took great delight in doing her best to kill Edmond. He literally spent a week living under the bed. I had no choice but to let him go back to live with my mother.
He survived two bouts of urinary crystallizaton, which should have killed him both times. He tore a knee ligament a few years ago. At one point, that tiny little Brillo pad weight almost twenty pounds. He rarely bit and almost never scratched. He loved having his face rubbed - would shove his face right into your palm. He loved belly rubs. He did not like having his paws touched, though. He also hated being combed, but being as chubby as he was at one point, combing was absolutely necessary to keep his skin from getting all funky. He'd growl and try to bite the brush, but would rarely try to get the hand that held it.
He only began slowing down a few weeks ago. His eyesight wasn't as sharp and it seemed like his hearing was going a little as well. But this was Edmond-cat. He'd survived everything else.
He died today at 7:00 PM, EDT.
I miss him.
Rest in peace, Edmond cat. Puck, Bear, and Hobo are all waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge.
Tell them I said hi.