Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pablo Bob

Bob's grandma, Smokey, belonged (or belongs still maybe) to a girl I went to high school with. For whatever reason her family elected to not get Smokey spayed and to let her be an indoor/outdoor cat.

Shortly after, my best friend in high school adopted two of Smokey's kittens, one for herself and one for her sister. She named her kitten Ash and her sister's was christened Thomasina. Thomasina was indoor only, but Ash came and went, in and out, as she pleased. Just like her mom before her, she wasn't spayed.

Jared and Pablo Bob
 Ash was very young when she got pregnant, less than a year old, and on the third day after her kittens were born she started going into convulsions. She and her kittens were taken into the vet where they stayed until everything was progressing normally again. As one of the kittens was going to be mine, it was a traumatizing couple of days.

I had picked out my kitten the day after they were born, having told my parents I was taking one. (Ooo, look at me testing my boundaries!) When the kittens were old enough, I brought my tiny guy home, where my youngest brother and I ended up naming him Pablo Bob, after a hamster we knew. (Not my brother's hamster though, every hamster he ever had was named Jac Haudenschild after the sprint car driver.)

Bob joined our house in August '00 as the 4th and only male cat. Belle was still young, spry and beautiful, then there was Fluffy, my mom's cat, and Patches, who belonged to the family. I remember very little about the introduction of Bob to the household, so it must have gone smoothly.

As kids, the older of my two younger brothers and I were supposed to take turns cleaning the litter boxes. Mind you, everything we did when it came to litter boxes in my childhood home was pretty much just wrong, including the frequency and dedication Jason and I had to keeping them clean. Consequently, our family wasn't a stranger to improper elimination. Bob's unique way of letting us know the litter boxes were too dirty was to poop on the top of the fridge. Every now and again there'd be a yell from the kitchen and then my mom would be there, ordering me to clean up "the surprise" Bob had left for us. Looking back I find it rather amusing and, for the record, Bob hasn't pooped on top of the fridge in over nine years.

The Bobster loves listening to Tom Waits and giving head butts. His head butts can be messy if you have a beverage, he likes to head butt the bottom of whatever you're drinking and then you end up with liquid all down your front. The first time he heard the Tom Waits song "Alice" he settled in to a sitting position, slowly closed his eyes, and swayed — just slightly — back and forth. He's so handsome with his grey and white suit that my friend Michaela has always said he needs to wear a bow tie.

Bobby, circa 2004
Unfortunately, the older he gets, the less handsome he looks. Even though he's only 11, he is riddled with health problems. At the age of seven, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and he also gets awful mouth ulcers. Between the thyroid problems and the ulcers, Bob has gotten incredibly skinny and his fur isn't beautifully well kept like it used to be. Some days, when his ulcers flair up really bad, he drools uncontrollably. Over the last month his ulcers have started causing a lot of problems again, but we are making progress towards getting them under control, which I will write more about later.

In the meantime, on days when he feels pretty good, he comes out, pretends to scratch on his favorite scratching post (my teenage rebellion stopped at getting him home, I didn't win the no-declawing battle with my parents), hangs out on top of the cupboards or perches himself on the couch arm and accepts some assistance in grooming himself, provided by me or another cat. He's getting to be a little old man, but he's my little old man, so I'm just going to continue doing whatever I can to help him age gracefully.

1 comment:

  1. So sad that Bob is getting older! He always had such a cool, suffisticated, suave persona. I always saw Bob as the "Heart Throb" of the group, if that makes any sense. I love Bob so much and I hope he starts feeling better he's such a great cuddler and a miss him SO much!