My furry little buddy has passed away.  Behemoth, how I will miss you.

I know that you haven’t been well for awhile, and we did all that we could without going to invasive, painful extremes.  You put up with me shoving that syringe full of medicine down your throat twice a day when you weighed only 4 pounds.  You impressed everyone at the vet’s office with your spunk and spirit – no one was willing to count you out or give up on you and they all knew who you were.  We all knew that your body was fragile, but your spirit was huge.  And no one more so than Bogart…

You raised Bogart from puppyhood – made him into a cat-loving (and respecting) dog.  I will always be grateful for your input into his education.  And I will never forget one of the funniest things that I have ever seen in my life – when Bogart was about 3 months old and you were trying to teach him some lesson with your mighty paw, which got stuck in his mighty moustache and then seeing the two of you run at top speed through the apartment.  You meowing like crazy as you were pulled along, claws caught in the ‘stache, him barking and running in all directions.  I’m sure you didn’t think it was as hilarious as Klaus and I did, but I thank you for that incredible laugh.

And I thank you for your calmness, your kindness, and your willingness to greet any and everyone who entered the door of anyplace we have lived.   The way you would sleep on my hip after Klaus passed away.  Your insistence on a certain brand of indoor dry cat food.  The way you could jump straight up in the air with the greatest of ease.  That incredibly long, soft tail.

It was an agonizing time in your last few days – but I think we are all happy that you were allowed to pass away at home.  You left us while we were asleep, I hope that you just went to sleep too.  Bogart kissed you and tried to nudge you awake after you were gone, and then he wouldn’t let me put you into the box to take you to be cremated.  He barked and barked and guarded you.  The other kitties and he all got a chance to kiss you goodbye – and they all knew.

Many people who didn’t know you assumed that you must be a giant, fat cat with a name like Behemoth.  But of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  You were not named for your size but more for your attitude, after the character in the novel, The Master and Margarita:

An enormous (said to be as large as a hog) black cat, capable of standing on two legs and talking. He has a penchant for chess, vodka and pistols. In Russian, “Begemot”. The word itself means hippopotamus in Russian as well as the Biblical creature. A demon in disguise, able to take human form for short time. (from Wikipedia)

Yes, you were not a black cat, but a grey puss in white boots.  A gutsy street cat, you wandered into our lives as a kitten with teeth like a hillbilly vampire and every type of worm that a cat can have (and probably some that cats really, really shouldn’t have).  A tail as long and sinuous as a whip.  And the insistence that an entire slice of pizza is a fitting meal for a cat.

You were Klaus’ favorite - he always said, “This is my cat”.  And you know he didn’t like cats (on the outside).  Many hot afternoons were spent in Los Angeles with Klaus sleeping on the couch on his side and you draped over his hip like a kilt, front paws fully akimbo, both of you snoring.

We will miss you tremendously. Sleep well, sweet boy.



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