Mr. Bugs was discovered by a friend of mine working at a new pet store out in Forest Grove. He was dropped off; he had been found on the street. I had previously shared with her my excuse for not wanting a cat (because I wanted a Maine Coon and they are expensive). Mr. Bugs was on discount and he sucked up to me when I met him. He was a handsome guy too and he got a lot of attention from everyone. He was very good at tolerating people for about five or ten minutes (which is about the time it took me to decide on Mr. Bugs — why have all my pets been total snap judgments? I guess love at first sight…). Soon I discovered I could pet Mr. Bugs about twice before he took offense with his teeth and claws. He was good looking and he was a Maine Coon and he also came with a guarantee with that friend that she would serve as a backup parent (I had to travel with a new job, etc.). I had a new fuzzy friend; just like that.
The night howling finally got to me (and the fact I was still extremely naive about the cats that I had always loved since a small child); I found him a pet. About 18 months into life with Mr. Bugs what I thought he needed was his own pet. I happened on Bunny Rabbit Kitty; about a five-ounce kitten who I found in her cage with her brothers at a pet store in a strip mall where I infrequently occasioned. Her five brothers were all asleep and she was above them pestering them one by one (they were all black and she was a seal point and stood out in more ways than one). I thought Bunny was spirited enough to deal one Mr. Bugs. It was kind of scary bringing her home to Mr. Bugs when he was sitting at about 18 pounds attached to claws and teeth. He was surprisingly great with her; but, Bunny was a Princess and Queen and was not always a sport about Mr. Bugs. I was so glad to have Bunny too (a kitty I could actually pet). Mr. Bugs came with some other peculiarities. For one, I brought him home and he immediately drank too much water and threw up water all over the place (not that I had had a lot of cats but, that was really odd behavior). Mr. Bugs threw up more than normal from day one. Mr. Bugs would eat until the bottom of his dish (no matter what). Mr. Bugs plotted an escape (any time he was awake). One time, Mr. Bugs had been neglecting to get out of bed during a change of season and it was two days before I realized he was missing (not in the house). I put up flyers and he was just sitting on someone’s porch about five doors away (who knows how far and wide he had traveled; but, it was the first time that he voluntarily got into his cage). He had previously gotten out and jumped over the fence. Later I found him crying in my neighbors back yard (obviously the street portion of Mr. Bugs had started waning). He would leave out the door and immediately headed the same way (so, how many times I had to chase him like this is countless). Ugh, Mr. Bugs. Mr. Bugs liked to eat; he liked to sleep; he liked to take care of us (he would “attend” to either Bunny or I if we were sick or injured). Even when Bunny faked being killed (which is what it sounds like if you ever pick her up; Mr. Bugs was right there expressing his concern).
Mr. Bugs I later figured out was an Alpha cat; he maintained his authority and demeanor at all costs. He saw the vet all the time and rarely did the vet recommend any treatments for Mr. Bugs. As he got older he had his teeth cleaned, then he had a lump (he had some surgery for non-malignant venous tumors). He had a tooth extraction. His big issue for years was his hairdo. He was regularly shaved down and he was happiest in this state of marine cut hair; his tail would waive held high. I later figured out the reason Mr. Bugs dragged his tail around like Eeyore was because this was dominant cat behavior (he did not need to please anyone because he was large and in charge).
Mr. Bugs was a humongous presence in the house. He was really, really well loved and will always be missed. His Bunny Rabbit Kitty was beside herself during his short downhill spiral. His mom cried a couple times in 25 years (divorce and having to put Mr. Bugs down (I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably). I had a rough time; but, what made it harder was observing the behavior of Mr. Bug’s pet, Bunny. She tore her eyes up; she pulled the hair out around her eyes. I realized that her Mr. Bugs would always groom her head and face for her. She slept in that last bed I had set up where they both slept the last few days of his life. Six months later Bunny had recovered and adjusted to her new mail homeless cat friend Bailee (who happened on the scene prior to Mr. Bugs downward spiral). Bailee just happened too. Mr. Bugs expressed a full range of emotions and I think he secretly would have preferred I get another male cat for him to rough house with instead of the girl Bunny Rabbit Kitty that would have a snit if not in the mood for it. It was not such a secret his disapproval of the addition of the previously homeless orange cat with stripes and rings in all the right places. This was not a secret (at all).
As a senior cat he would crawl up on my chest and sprawl across and lounge on me (if Mr. Bugs can lighten up anyone can).
Mr. Bugs went to sleep on June 3rd and I am writing this right before Christmas. Watching the light go out of his eyes was one of the most profound experiences I have ever had (and at my age I have a lot of experience). I was grateful to my new Vets (Bethany Family Pet Clinic) because first of all the owner took the time to take me aside and explain every number on Mr. Bugs blood work results and secondly the process they had set up for when that inevitable time came as well as the fact that I know my two remaining cats are receiving the best sincere and genuine care (from cradle to grave). I do not feel like my vet clinic is a science lab with only the cursory amount of caring to maintain a patient load. I have seen the difference and you can tell when your vet really and truly cares about each animal (that is amazing when you find it).
Mr. Bugs currently sits on my end table in the front room; he needs to be transferred to a new big urn he has on the fireplace mantel. I bought one big enough for Mr. Bugs, my other two cats and myself. I already have a friend who is ready to mix my ashes with my cats and send them out in a prescribed area via drone. This is also a good friend that will do this for you… 🙂
I could write a book; but, I’m going to stop now. Rest in Peace my beautiful Mr. Bugs!
A donation was made in Mr. Bugs's memory and the memorial was created on December 18, 2017.