In Memoriam: T.C.

February 9, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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June, 1990 – February 8, 2008

For the first time in seventeen and a half years, I am unable to claim ownership by a cat. T.C. finally began suffering the effects of chronic renal failure, and so I made the decision to have him put to sleep.

T.C. - May 31, 2007


T.C. and John
Photo Credit: Carol Stanley, Faith and Danger Photography,

Surely I could own no sweeter cat, no more affectionate cat, no more forgiving cat. And perhaps no tougher cat. Tests done earlier in the day revealed levels of BUN and creatinine much much higher than normal, and much higher than cats generally tolerate.

I adopted T.C. from a coworker’s pet store as a kitten, in July or August of 1990, between my first and second years at Indiana University. He lived long enough to see me finally graduate college, in August of 2007.

T.C. also saw me get married, moved with us to St. Louis, moved with us to Austin, saw the purchase of our first home, and the birth of our daughter. In fact, save my parents, I have lived in the company of no living being longer.

One of my favorite memories is the time I came home to find he’d knocked a bag of flour off a pantry shelf. The kitchen floor, and his black fur, were covered in flour. How could I be angry; it was so cute! Then there was the time he decided he didn’t like eggs, so he dragged the shirt I’d dropped on the floor, over the plate which formerly held the eggs, which I’d also put on the floor.

He had, until his later years, a compulsion to hide in empty boxes, and empty bags.

He liked to sleep beside me in bed, until Ellington usurped his place. He started sleeping beside me again a few months before he succumbed.

He would greet me with a chirp when I entered the room. Woke me up reliably around 4:00am if he had eaten all his food. Remained playful until nearly the very end.

Groomed my beard, my hair, my arms – sometimes to the point of causing discomfort.

Insanely protective of his turf, he once took a chunk out of my face when I interrupted his warning caterwauling at a feline interloper on the other side of the apartment door.

Ever a cat of sensible intuition, I knew to head for cover if he sought a safe place during severe weather.

He enjoyed sitting on the papers on which one was working, and sitting on one’s lap, even if the timing was inopportune. I even found him, in his last few months, curled up on our laptop computer keyboards.

He liked head butting, sometimes fairly forcefully, and rubbing cheeks. I’m no fool. I know he was marking me as “his.”

He also answered to “Goof” and “buddy.”

T.C. was preceded in death by Ellington, an intruder who he generally tolerated fairly well. But – not always. Ellington was supposed to be a companion for play to help keep T.C. trim. T.C. instead taught Ellington how to be chunky.

T.C., you too, will be missed, sweet boy.