Friday Five: The Farewell-to-Lebowski Edition

On Wednesday, July 10, we said goodbye to Lebowski. We adopted The Dude (known as “Harry” on his adoption papers) from the Dumb Friends League in November of 2004. I went to the shelter with the intent of adopting another female cat (I’d had two females before, Diva and Isis), and instead ended up with the friendliest (male) cat I’d ever met.

Lebowski would run ahead of us and flop down on the floor, inviting us to rub his tummy. At which time, he’d purr in the loudest tones. Writhing in ecstasy.Lebowski 027Making that constant contactWhen people came to the house, he’d hang back a minute or two but then stroll out to make introductions. Lebowski viewed everyone as potential friends and ear-scratchers.Batman and Lebowski 002He had a good relationship with Coco (pictured below) and Zoey, the two shelter dogs we adopted in the year after he joined us. He tolerated their sniffing and nuzzling, and he repaid them with friendly swats on their heads from where he perched atop their crates.Dogs and Cat 026This summer was The Gift of Lebowski. Expectations were that he’d die in May but he stayed with us for almost another ten weeks. I spent most of the summer with him. Lots of time on the bed or couch, but increasingly either on the deck, the patio, or wandering the backyard. He had quality of life as he watched (and sometimes chased) the butterflies and stalked beetles. In the final days, he was happy to curl up beneath the yarrow and valerian where he could observe everything around him. Lebowski 004I like to say that Lebowski won the lottery when we brought him home because for the rest of his life he had four devoted friends who loved on him and satisfied his hedonism. But that lottery feeling went both ways. I’m forever grateful the female cat I’d picked out to meet/adopt didn’t want anything to do with me and that the shelter volunteer then said, “You know who’s a really nice cat you should meet . . .”

Words can’t do him justice.

15 thoughts on “Friday Five: The Farewell-to-Lebowski Edition

  1. So glad you guys had one another for this time! I hope that provides some comfort. Thanks for sharing this.

    • The weeks we had together most definitely provide comfort; all that time was a gift that I can savor for a long time. Doesn’t mean I don’t still wish he was here with me, though.

      Thank you much for sharing in the memories with me, Jenn.

  2. Oh, no. I’m so sorry. I wish he’d had another 9×9 lives to spend with you. But what joy he brought to you all. Lots of hugs.

    • I wish we’d had more time, too, but know we were very fortunate in having this summer together. I sure do miss him, though. Thank you for the hugs, Barb.

    • Thank you, Jeannine. There are so many times in the day when I think I hear him coming or wait for him by the open door or reach out to feel him next to me…

  3. Aw Tracy, what a sweet kitty. I always loved it when you wrote about him–he sort of reminded me of our long-ago cat, Cosmo. You must miss him so much, but what a wonderful time you shared with each other. I’m sending hugs and love to you and all your sweet ones.

    • Lorraine, that makes me so happy that you enjoyed my posts about Lebowski. Thank you for telling me that and for sending the love and hugs. Maybe he and Cosmo are enjoying some catnip somewhere together…

  4. Oh, Tracy, I’m so sorry. A companion like that is hard to lose. I’d like to think my own favorite cat is off sharing that catnip with him, too. And I’m glad he had you and you had him while he was here.

    • Amy, I’m way late in responding to your comment but wanted to let you know I love the idea of Lebowski and your kitty sharing catnip. Thank you much for your kind words.

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