You may have noticed the image, above, right there. That’s my dearest De Fluffibus Superbus, the Grumpelstiltskin. Mostly he was Fluffy to his friends and enemies. We met not long after I moved into my apartment. First time living on my own. It was very new and exciting and one night, as my front door was closing this MASSIVE BLACK THING came bolting through. He scared me – I scared him. We bonded.
It seemed my new neighbours in the block of flats fed the local semi-feral felines from ice-cream containers filled with water and with the cat dry-food equivalent of junk food. They called him Fluffy, as he was the biggest, hungriest, fluffiest black cat that hung around.
Fluffy was of indeterminate adult age, scarred and over-weight and except for the dry-food, seemingly uncared for but also mysteriously desexed. He visited me often, to sleep on my lounge and beg for food.
The turning point in our relationship was when he became ill with Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Luckily, he was successfully treated and I was $300 the poorer. I don’t know his original owners and how he came to be on the street, but the night he lay near death on my bedroom floor, I knew he was my responsibility. When I moved, Fluffy agreed he was better off with me than fighting for an existence near the flats, so he made the move too.
We had many more adventures over the years: he begrudgingly became socialised to other cats (including housemate cats) and took to my human housemate as well. He was diagnosed with arthritis. He learned about dieting and playing with cat toys. Fluffy loved being brushed and took to being washed with equanimity. He remained on nodding terms with the white terrier-thing Bouncer next door and occasionally stole food from cats down the street. Eventually, for his safety and diet, he retired indoors unless supervised and once again adapted to a harness for walks.
After a good nine years together my beautiful, complainy, arthritic, perverse darling suddenly got quieter and then one day refused food, something he’d NEVER done. That day he was diagnosed with anaemia. Fluffy did his best for a week, but then an infection took hold and he could no longer walk. It was thus with many tears and much love, my dedicated and compassionate vet helped him to have a dignified death. As is typical for my boy, his stout heart kept beating for longer than normal, as he drifted quietly to the end in my arms with the help of the Green Dream. He was, perhaps, 15 years old.
I will forever love and miss my Grumpy De Fluffibus, the cat with the most memorable weird meow ever. I still expect him to be waiting at the door when I get home from work. And I will always cherish the lessons he taught me. Forever will I appreciate the love and trust Fluffy exhibited towards me, for as much as I saved him, he saved me. I hope I deserved him.
This is for him.
His pleading child’s eyes
(flashing green-gold like an astronomical phenomenon)
do their job.
Let out, he stretches, yawns and then.
Awake. Without a care.
He darts into his silvered dominion, pawfully nosing the air.
He spills onto the street,
a puddle of shadow,
his coat swallowing moonlight.
A silhouette now squirms
– a-bliss in pewtered dust.
Mica starring his fur;
thus adorned he promenades.
Finally, after offering one wistful glance
back on the dark, bright night,
he swaggers through the screen door
to promptly curl up
and fall into dreams
humans can never know.