My friend and favorite feline, Rudy, went to kitty heaven on August 29th, 2013. I first started working on this post almost a month ago, but it made me sad and I procrastinated on finishing it. I didn’t want to just throw something together haphazardly, but I really wanted to make a tribute to a great cat. I’m sure all you pet lovers can appreciate that and I hope that’s what you find below. Here it goes…
I met Rudy on a hot day in August 2002 (ok, I don’t really remember the weather, but August in Nashville is always hot). My high school friend, Crystal, and her new husband had adopted Rudy from the humane society. According to them, he was named after Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show. He was a wild orange and white kitten who bit my toes while I was sleeping in their living room that weekend. I did not consider myself a cat person and the toe biting did not help.
Baby Rudy (fortunately my photography skills have improved slightly since that summer)
Crystal had suggested I move to Nashville that summer and my well thought out response was, ‘well, I don’t really have anything else to do. Ok.’ Moving day came in late August and by September I had settled in with my new roommates, Jamie & Tracy. We rented a magical (read cheap) apartment with a lovely brownish red stain in the living room in the same complex where Crystal, Brian and Rudy lived. I saw Rudy a lot those first 6 months. He slowly became less crazy and more fun. The real turning point in our relationship happened when Brian found a kitten outside his office and brought him home. He was small and a little odd looking, but they decided to keep him and named him Corky.
Rudy & Corky
Corky being around made Rudy look like a well behaved genius cat. After Rudy learned to play fetch I determined he was a dog-like cat and our friendship was sealed. Throughout that year Crystal had been sick off and on for weeks, going on months. An allergy panel confirmed that she was extremely allergic to cats and her never ending illnesses were mostly being caused by Rudy & Corky. At this point my roommate/friend, Tracy, had moved back to PA. Jamie & I stayed in the three bedroom apartment and turned Tracy’s room into a parlor. Crystal approached Jamie (who is a big fan of cats) about taking them. My initial reaction was that we could/would take Rudy, but not Corky. I wasn’t interested in going from never living with a cat to a two for one deal. Then Rudy sent me a message on Friendster (remember MySpace – think social media before that) addressing the situation. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.
If you have any sort of heart how do you argue with that? You don’t. Rudy & Corky moved on up from Gazebo Building A to Building Z to live with us in September 2003. We had a lot of adventures there including Rudy throwing away my camera (he said it was an accident), finding a big black lab the cats hated, sitting on the dining room table and hiding in bags around the apartment. He loved to touch the ceiling and for me to hug him tightly or maybe we liked him to do those things? Tim and I started dating during this time and adopted Ellie who mainly lived with Tim, but would come visit us at the Gazebo. Ellie loved Rudy and Corky, but they did not feel the same and tried to avoid her as much as possible.
In 2005, we all moved on up to a duplex where the cats (and Jamie) had their own floor. They loved to hide in our new home, frequently in my closet. Ellie came to stay with us for a week which caused Corky to go into hiding on the second floor and Rudy to devise devious plans to assault Ellie. Rudy loved to hide just out of her sight and swipe his claw laden paw out at her when she walked by. Watching him shimmy himself under the couch for this move was very entertaining. She suffered a few facial injuries that week, but was determined he wanted to play with her. While I was at work during the day Ellie would stay in an airline dog crate in my room. I shut the bedroom door, but apparently Rudy opened it. When I got home he was sitting right in front of the crate door where she could see him, but not reach him. We had a lot of fun and I loved living with Rudy minus the occasional unexpected attack on my legs.
In the summer of 2006, Tim & I got married. We bought a house and moved in with the Ellie girl. I missed Rudy and I know he missed he as he called my cell phone a couple weeks later and left me a 5 minute message. Jamie, Rudy and Corky moved to a deluxe apartment in the sky (also known as Brentwood). I saw them frequently and was lucky enough to cat sit once or twice. In 2007, Jamie adopted a kitten her brother’s roommate found and named her Bellatrix. Rudy was an excellent Mother (Father?) cat. He trained Bella in the ways of the Brentwood apartment world.
In early 2010 Corky died from kidney failure. It was a sad time. Rudy briefly moved to Florida to deal with his grief (or because Jamie made him), but returned to the Volunteer state just in time for me to practice my kitty picture taking skills on him. He was a good model playing with his stuffed duck, spilling a glass of water and lounging in front of the window.
The next year Rudy got a new kitty brother named Amos Moses who looked like his tiny twin. Again Rudy went about his job to teach Amos all the things baby kittens need to know. Rudy had been sick some this year with possible heart problems and had to see the kitty cardiologist.
Unfortunately, since Rudy had moved to the other side of town I hadn’t seen him nearly as often as I would have liked which was my fault since he didn’t drive. I scheduled a time to take photos of him and his cat siblings in March of this year. They were featured in the Project 52 post Textures. I’m so glad I did as that was the last time I saw Rudy. He was a little grumpy that day, but still handsome as ever.
This will always be one of my favorite memories of Rudy…
Rest well my friend ♥