Today we buried Apollo. He was one of our seven cats. All loved. None purposefully acquired. You know how that happens. First we took in two brothers who having just been neutered for Feline Hope were riding with the vet when he came to treat our sick cat, Willie. They were the last of the litter. “We’ll take them both,” Donny told the vet. “They shouldn’t be separated.” Both solid black. They came with names, Huey & Henry.
“Mom, you were almost free of cats,” Emily laughed. It was her Willie, who had come to live with us after he lost his way to the litter box one too many times, that was sick and would not survive.
The next two to arrive were actually Lewis’ cats. One being Apollo. Gray & white Ares came first. A gift. Lewis decided to name his cats after Greek gods. When a beach goer found a wandering kitten on the beach and could not keep him, Lewis, lifeguarding at the time, stepped up. “Mom,” he phoned, “there’s this kitten…”
“Bring him home.” And so Apollo joined the consortium.
Next my sister had rescued a litter from under a trailer and when we stopped on our way back from California to visit her, she asked if we wanted the last two, Blaze & Pumpkin. “We’ve got enough already,” we told her. She understood. A few days later I called to say we’d take them if she still had not found them homes. They shouldn’t be separated either. Sucker for the family connection.
Lastly is Remus. This time a friend of a friend of Hilarey’s had found a cat while pool cleaning and could not keep him. He became Donny’s Father’s Day present. Hilarey told her dad that Remus was his Father’s Day present too, not being presented with a kitten. We called him the Kitten That Lived Under the Couch because he did and was so tiny and grey that no one could find him.
But this story is about Apollo. It’s just that they are a consortium and operate as a group, most of the time. Apollo liked to think that he was in charge. And he was unless Ares, the wanderer, was around. Apollo with the squinty eyes could fool his brothers into thinking he wasn’t paying any attention and then smack them into doing whatever it was that he deemed important at the time. He was first to meals and pushed everyone out of the way to get to the best bowl. He was lovable. He purred louder than any of the others and would offer you a wet kiss anytime you asked.
He stopped showing up for meals this past week. At first I thought he had just found something better. They all live outside. On a covered porch. With a custom built condominium. But when he kept hanging out in unit 102, the one with the heat light, Lewis decided that maybe he needed to come inside. We brought him in. The next day I messaged the vet. They were in Vegas at a continuing education seminar. She advised me what to do and arranged for some meds. We kept him inside in a quiet room. I checked on him a lot. Yesterday I decided that he was lonely and carried him around like a baby all wrapped up most of the day. He helped me win a lot of on line games of Dominion. He still wasn’t eating but he seemed better. He watched Justified with us last night. He told Lewis goodnight and as it turns out goodbye. When I looked in to check on him this morning he was in the same spot where I had put him down. I don’t think he moved, just drifted away to the ethereal cat consortium.
Goodbye Apollo. We’ll miss you.