Quincy Cat

When Champoo arrived from Thailand, the nursery compound was home to an orange cat named Harold, a once-skittish stray turned lord-of-the-manor by noted animal whisperer, Sister Tracie. When Tracie decided to move out west and take Harold along, a new kitten arrived which Champoo named Quincy. Quincy eventually was given a surname, Cat. 

The Bergeson bunch has long been cynical about the anthropomorphizing of pets. However, Tracie's gifts with animals as well as the importation of a Thai love for pets through Kae and Champoo softened the rest of us a great deal.

Harold's influence on our family became apparent two Christmases ago when Lance sneezed at Mom and Dad's house. 

"Oh, its the cat dander," I said. 

"Cat?" Mom said. "We don't have a cat!"  

"What about Harold?" I said. 

"Oh!" Mom said. "I guess he is a cat."

Alas, Harold did not adjust to his new environs in Idaho Falls. His love for all cars drew him out into the street where he was hit by a car and killed. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, kitten Quincy Cat grew into adulthood in a few short months, underwent a difficult spaying, and had worked his way into the family. Quincy learned to scratch on doors to get the to open. She eventually took it one step farther, standing on the back of a precarious lawn chair to paw at the window of the office when she wanted in.

Champoo and Quincy were buddies. When Joe, Kae and Champoo went to Minneapolis for a weekend, Champoo charmed us all by presenting Grandpa with a long, detailed list of Quincy-related chores to perform in her absence. Her list was particularly rich given Grandpa's propensity for leaving long, detailed lists of chores when he leaves.

Grandpa performed his duties to a tee, of course. 

Quincy Cat passed the acid test of acceptance as a nursery cat when she showed an ability to resist bedding down on soft petunia seedlings--a practice which can kill 2,000 tiny plants in one night. Failing that test has proven fatal to prospective nursery cats in decades previous. 

But alas, last night when Lance and I were eating supper in town, a text message arrived from Kae: 

"Quincy die!"

Very sad. I called. Kae couldn't talk and handed the phone to Joe, who reported that Quincy was hit by a car on the highway. They had just buried her in the back yard. 

Poor Champoo! And poor Kae. The rest of us are sad, too. But the real sadness for me is to see a nine-year-old lose a good buddy.