Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Nov 19, 2013
Cats. Half of the internet is taken up with cats and there is a reason for that. I love dogs more than anything, but you don’t often see pictures of dogs, for example, trapped in vertical blinds, yet trying to act like they are totally ok with it. Cats always want to seem in control. Even when they are in an utterly ridiculous situation, the cat is looking at you with a confident face, telling you not to worry, everything is fine, and there is nothing to see here. My cat, Pius was the epitome of a cool, calm, and collected animal, self-determined to the very end.
I adopted Pius from someone who found him. They had postered for him and called around, but he remained unclaimed. Pi was about 8 months when I met him and we had an instant connection. He had a crooked milk mustache, and demanding yowl, and loved to be held and babied. I couldn’t say no to such a playful sweet face and took him home that day.
Pius made himself quite comfortable in my apartment, sleeping on top of cupboards and climbing to the top of my closet and pretty much taking over every aspect of my life in the way only a cat can. If I was asleep and he wanted me to wake up, he would sit on my head and wash my hair. If the loving approach didn’t work, he would hop onto my dresser and knock things off, one item at a time. If I was standing around doing something, he would leap up onto my shoulders and ride around. Pius got whatever he wanted, but he did so in such a charming way, that I never denied him. In return for my constant attention, I had a friend who followed me around the apartment, often mewing and chirping chattily, laying in the sink when I took a shower and curling behind my knees when I slept. He was healthy, easy to take care of, he never had fleas, and had one of the softest coats I ever touched. His entire body felt like mink.
Eventually, we had to move out of our apartment where I lived alone and moved in with roommates as I was trying to finish school and the apartment I lived in was too expensive. Pius had other cats to contend with, and they fought often. Pius also kept escaping to the outside, and was gone for days at a time. We lived in a city, I grew nervous he was going to be injured or worse killed.
He made it through his adventures without incident though, and he always came home eventually. One day I saw him on the sidewalk and picked him up and was carrying him home. A woman stopped me and said “Is that your cat?” I acknowledged that he was. “Oh,” she said. “He comes over all the time. He’ll hang out all day. We weren’t sure if he had a home.” She gave me her address, only a few blocks away from me on the same street. “If you can’t find him,” she told me, “Come check with us.”
As summer waned on, Pius came home less and less, and I would collect him from the woman’s house more and more. Eventually one day I went over to see him cuddling on the back step with her daughter, while she read him a book, purring loudly, looking content. I watched for a moment, my heart in my mouth, and then I went inside, and asked the woman if they wanted a cat.
I loved Pius and it hurt me to give him up, but really, he had very clearly chosen at that point. Pius needed a lot of one on one attention, and needed to be the only cat in the house. Moving for myself wasn’t an option; I needed to stay in this apartment so I could work less while in school, so Pius decided to move on without me.
I sometimes wonder if that is what happened when I found him. Maybe he had had a life before me with another family when he came to me. Maybe he did that to the family he ended up with down the street when he left me. I never found out. I saw him from time to time, but ended up leaving the city not long after that, due to circumstance. I never knew what became of Pius, but I do know whatever it was, he probably chose it with all the love and intensity he possessed. Pius had to much love to give, I can only hope I adopt another cat in the future with the same large heart and a sense of self