Quinn was a compact cat. His silky fur and bushy tail made him look larger than he was and often drew compliments. I was partial to his sharp, jade eyes. His nickname was black paws for the dark fur that covered them.
He passed away almost a year ago, succumbing to cancer. With us for about twelve years, he was a refugee from another house on the street. He’d come in during a cold and windy night when I was out calling my felines. We fed him and put him up. I put out posters. He was identified, and his people came and got him, but he kept coming back to ours until the people gave up and moved away without him. I’m flattered that he chose us.
A strong-willed feline, he prompted me to write about him numerous times. My favorite was just called “Quinn”, which I posted just over four years ago.
Life’s a rush,
When you’re Quinn.
If he’s out,
He wants in.
If he’s in,
He wants out.
And to find a way,
He’ll rush about.
He was also my inspiration for one of my favorite posts, “The Catfood”, from a few years ago. He was always a picky eater, forcing me to procure new offerings. Hence I found myself in a Walmart store contemplating chicken and waffle cat food.
I’m thinking about him today with fondness. My wife is harvesting the last of her cherry tomatoes. Plucking them from the vine, she sets them in bowls in the kitchen to ripen.
Today, she’s talking about using some of the ripe ones in an arugula-pasta-cherry tomato salad. One of our favorite dishes, it’s healthy and easy to make. Sorting tomatoes that could be use, she dropped a green one onto the floor where it disappeared from our sight.
That’s where Quinn would’ve come in. He was terrific at finding things on the floor, and then batting them around. Most frequently, blueberries were involved. We’ve picked blueberries almost every year since we’ve lived here. After picking, we set some aside for immediate use, and then freeze the rest. Freezing them meant spreading them on trays and then placing the tray in the freezer. Once they’re frozen on the tray, they’re transferred to plastic storage containers. We’d need to do that multiple times. Inevitably, blueberries would hit the floor.
Quinn would immediately rush to them and sniff the dropped berry. From the look that jumped into his face, he hated their smell. So offensive was it to him, he’d immediately start angrily whacking the blueberry around until a human interceded and took it away.
Such a fun sweetheart, he was also a bit of a slut. More than once, I saw people passing by notice him and say something. He’d hurry up to them for love and attention.
But he always returned to us, and slept snuggled up against me. I could’ve used him during this week, when tension from the combination of pandemic life and presidential elections is higher than the moon. Besides, he would find that cherry tomato that was dropped.
As it is now, we probably won’t find it until one of us steps on it or we move away.