Abbie The Cat Has A Posse
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
In Memoriam

April 30, 1997 - July 23, 2013
He was a Good Cat.

Monday, July 22, 2013
Dear readers and friends of Abbie the Cat,

It is with a heavy and desolate heart that I write to inform you that Abbie the Cat is dying.

He has terminal pancreatic cancer which has spread to his chest, making it terribly hard for him to breathe. We had no idea and he wasn't sharing any of his pain with us. Things suddenly flared up a week ago Saturday, when he started breathing too shallow and too rapidly to be healthy. The emergency vet we took him to drained his chest of a large amount of fluid which had been restricting his lungs, and ran some tests. There were three possible diagnoses, none of them good; the worst was cancer. An ultrasound taken on Friday revealed the worst.

At the present, he is currently lying down in a cool living room, hunkered down in one of his favorite boxes, close to the hanging catnip plant which once used to dangle far too low for its own good. He has stopped eating; he had been taking baby food up until yesterday. Not even salmon would get his attention--and for the biggest mooch I've ever known to turn down fish, that is a bit of a shock. He has kept drinking all this time, and we've swapped out his water for Pedialyte so that he gets as much nutrients as he can while he can. Still, he has lost his strength. He is tired. He has lost so much weight. But he is home, where there are people who love him, and this is where he will stay. It is now just a matter of time.

The living room is now a Cat Hospice. It even says so on the door. I will not be taking him in for any further vet visits or invasive treatments. I cannot in good conscience let a 16-year-old cat undergo chemotherapy. And while I may have to make the decision to ease his suffering if it becomes too much, I would prefer him to take his leave as he's always left a room: when he's ready. I want to give him that chance. He deserves it, and I trust his judgement.

It is so hard to say goodbye to a friend of sixteen whole years. I am not one who considers myself Dad to the cat, but I often marveled that I'd gone and raised a teenager. Abbie and his sister Martha helped me through some very rough times, and I nursed them through some rough patches. If you've ever had a cat watch over you as you fall into a troubled sleep, then curl up and sleep beside you, then you know how reassuring and comforting they can be. Aggravations and frustration are temporary; love and companionship are constants. Abbie had the kindest heart I've ever known in a cat. He never knew malice or hate. He never lashed out in aggression. He may have said the occasional cat cuss word, but who hasn't? He knew the sound of my footsteps and, upon my arrival home, would rush to the top of the foyer stairs to meet me and complain all about the injustices which had been heaped upon him that day and maybe also what he ate. (He would not rush to meet other housemates. I hope they did not take it personally.)

I started this blog twelve years ago on a whim. I have always been very fond of Don Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel as well as Diane Duane's wonderful Book of Night with Moon series, and I often wondered what Abbie and his sister Martha were doing exactly while I was away each day at work. Judging from the condition of the apartment sometimes when I returned, it wasn't sleep. Over time, Abbie found a voice, and people found him. I don't know how you did it, but I am glad you did. Martha found her voice too, and then her calling as a pirate; she enjoyed riding around on my shoulder like a parrot enough that she decided to see who else parrots rode around on. And when she passed away nearly eight years ago, half Abbie's current age, there was a tremendous outpouring of love and support from friends and strangers alike. Her final story was one of the hardest things to write, but it was all so very real and powerful that Abbie and I had to get it all out. I still think of her quite frequently, and I know others do. Her farewell post has comments from people who have come back to it time and again as a touchstone; others have come back to read it after losing a cat of their own. It gladdens me to know she could touch so many people, offering comfort and solace in a dark time.

Abbie's fame, while not enormous enough to warrant a television option or anything like that, grew well beyond what I thought would be. When he got out of the house in 2008 and was gone for two weeks, friends from all over helped in the search. Some even looked in different time zones and continents, just to be sure. Turned out he was just over in the neighbor's garage. They discovered him when they returned from vacation. Friends came over from as far away as the Czech Republic to visit the cat. Maybe me, too. Every now and then I would hear that someone I admired had read his stories; he was once even quoted by Wonkette on, of all things, the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I don't know how these things happen. It is the Internet.

Most importantly to me, several years ago I heard from folks who had found Abbie from a link on Diane Duane's sidebar. To think that one of the people who inspired his stories and mythos had read him and thought enough to recommend him to others. It is one of the highest compliments I have ever recieved.

And all because of this cat. This Cat. This fellow whom I adopted when he was six weeks old, and who has traveled with me through nearly half my life. This overly expressive and affectionate curmudgeon, this gourmand of all things People Food, this boon companion and loyal pal, this cat. A good cat. My buddy. And a buddy to a lot of other people, too.

HarryCat, Scout, Zippy, Sadie and Speedy, Scamp, Annie from Tasmania, Weezer the Amazing Tubcat, Shelley, Anne, Barb, Coriander, T.R., all those who have stopped by to say hello and the lurkers alike, whether you are still with us or have Gone Before, thank you. Because of Abbie and because of you, my life has been so much richer and warmer. We love you. Please keep in touch.

I did not think it right to announce Abbie's condition in character. I hope, however, that he has a draft of something saved somewhere that I can find and post. He always was a little messy on the computer. It is not in his nature to say goodbye, however, so I must for him.

Many years ago I read James Herriot's series of veterinarian memoirs and I read them again and again. One passage stands out for me in particular, from an essay I think included in All Creatures Great and Small. It is a conversation Herriot had with an elderly woman whose cats he cared for. You may be familiar with it. The widow confides in him her deepest fear, and Herriot responds with one of the wisest and most comforting philosophies I have ever taken to heart.
"It's the dogs and cats, Mr. Herriot. I'm afraid I might never see them when I'm gone which worries me so. You see, I know I'll be reunited with my parents and brothers, but ... but ..." She gazed at the two cats curled up at the end of her bed. 
"Well, why not with your animals?" 
"That's just it." She rocked her head on the pillow and for the first time I saw tears on her cheeks. "They say animals have no souls." 
"Who says?" 
"Oh, I've read it and I know a lot of religious people believe it." 
"Well, I don't believe it." I patted the hand which still grasped mine. "If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. You've nothing to worry about there." 
"Oh, I hope you're right. Sometimes I lie at night thinking about it." 
"I know I'm right, Miss Stubbs, and don't you argue with me. They teach us vets all about animals' souls."  
Abbie is resting in his box. His eyes are still big and expressive. He purrs when I pet him. He turns his head and very gently licks my wrist, something he has done since the day I first met him. I sat on a couch and they put a black-and-white kitten in my lap. When I reached out my hand and scritched his head, he vigorously licked my wrist.

oKAy mister you are now my Guy
and I iwll be your ABBIE
what do you think of That

He lays his head down on his outstretched paws and does his best to breathe. It is frightening, but he is not alone. He is surrounded by the people he has loved and who have loved him for so long. And the cats who have Gone Before are with him. They sit in the shadows and the sun, singing to him a song they have always known. He quietly listens, eyes half closed, and sings along in his head. Soon he will join their song.

And we will miss him dearly.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I wasnt doing much of Anything
jus tsleeping in the clean laundry to be honest
when they said Oh hey Abbie you can slep in the laundry ALL you Want today

sotoday it is my brithday
I am 16 which in cat years is TIME-HONORED
but between you and me
tim enever came up to me and said oh hey abbie we honor you
maybe its just implied
or got lost in the mail

anyway there is not much to tell here
there was some Fish that came from the restaurant for me tonight
abbie the guy siad this is salmon
I knew that I said and ate it
and this is tuna
I ate that too
here is some scallop and fish row
I didnt eat the fish row
but the scalop was Very good
what is row anyway

andso time goes on
dont ask me what 15 means in acat years
I forgot what it meant
I know I didnt write last year about the birthday
last year wasnt all that hot
I got staples for crying oUt loud

Sunday, March 31, 2013
TOday I wrote a New Story
it is a story about the time of year
it is called ABBie the Easter Ham

I mean abbie ANd the Easter Ham
there is an Important distinction to be made there
one day Abbie woke up
oh the story has started by the way
one day ABbie woke up
he went downstairs
oh boy said abbie today is the day where everybody eats HAm
but he lookd and he looked and there was No Ham to be Found

hey said Abbie whats with all this no ham nonsense
so he went to the guy he said HEy guy where is my ham
oh no abbie said the guy There is no ham for you
bushwah said abbie and went to see the lady
hey LAdy he said where is my ham
I dont think there is any ham for cats said the lady especialy cats that are Inconvenient
after ABbie looked up what INconvenient was and how to spel it he got mad
so what if he likes to sit in the dorway
or on the pillow you wanted to use

so he ran away and he found ANother house
they were eating Chicken inside and I think crackers
and someone asked WHy is this night unlike ANy other night
and Abbie said cause there IS NO HAM
uh oh he got shooed out of there quickly
maybe he should have ASked for some Chicken instead

so he came back to the house and noticed while he was gone everybody went out looking for eggs
dont go to the house where they are having chicken said abbie you are too late
but there on the counter was a shiny new ham
hurray said ABbie this must be my easte rham
and he jumped up and ate it all before anyone got back
The End

I like stories with HAppy Endings
especially if they involve Ham

this story was not based on real life but it SHould have been

Monday, January 14, 2013
not all cats hate water
that is what is known as a Myth
I Mysefl quite enjoyit
under the right cirumstances
I have spent many a happy minute drinking water
and dont really mind the tub
just gettnig into the tub and getting out of it thats waht I hate
so you may know that already
maybe some cat you know has tol dyou they like water
I knew a cat who liked the facuet
and who doesnt
its just hard to turn thats all
but what you may not know is
some cats are sailors
with their owin boats and everything
not many ppeople know this
but the thingabout cat boats
theyre not like regular boats
most boats when they go out they have a Map
and a PLan
we are going to sail here
bring cargo there
have a vacation here
get into a Big War with otherb oats over there
cats well they dont care too much for that kind of thing
that s why you havent ever seen a cat sail a boat
cause they are saiilng some place where there arent boats with maps and plans
off thye go and they say see you when I get back
maybe there will be PInapples
you might very well gues this has its hazards
you only go where you know
or you decide that direction looks good and maybe it is and mabye it isnt
its tough and sometiems you get scared
just a little
but there is a secret
the other cat taught me this one a long time ago
see somtimes hwen you are out on your boat
you run itno another cat on their boat
and instead of saying grr hiss get out of my way Im on a boat here
you say hey lets team up
i dont know where i am going and you dont know where you areg oing
lets not know where we are going together
what have we got to lose
I mean maybe you have seen where those shols are which we should Definitely Avoid
and maybe I have seen really graeat harbor full of fish
if we find that again you will eat for days let me tell you
I think its near fiji
so the cat boats follow eachother and boy is it a time
you share sea chantys and othe rsongs which arent about the sea so yo ucant call them chantys
theyre just songs
but then you both get to someplac and its realy nice
and you say well wel lwell
so thats where we were heading all along
it is anothe rMyth that cats dont need anybody else
for exmaple right now i really need someone to FEED ME
im lookin at anyone who knows where the food is
and you know who you are

Thursday, November 22, 2012
I Have been away for so long I forgot I wrote stuff
and then I forgot I had email too
cats dont usally have email you see so if you get some you think it cant be for me I dont have email
well I guess Id o

people were saying Where are you abbie
i get that a lot
sometimes I get where were you abbie when the chicken disappeared
not near the chicken thats for sure
honest abe

well I am alive and sassy
a few months ago in the spring someone said oh the basement got floded again its like a swimming pool down there
well I never heard of a sweimming pool downstairs
this bore Investigation
but the door is always closed
so i waited for a few weeks
until the door was open and went down
wouldnt you know there wasnt a swimming pool down there
I dont get people sometimes
ther ewas just a lot of dirt and boxes
didnt smell so good let me tell you
anyway I explored some more but when I went back up the door was shut
this was No good
I had to find a place to sleep and it was very uncomfortable
and I got scaratched but I wont tell you what by
its pretty embarrassing

eventually SOMEBODY noticed I was not hanging around being hungry as usual
so they all said I wonder where abbie is
and after looking around they said maybe he telaported to the basement through the door
which obviously had been closed all along cause we never keep the door open
well thats where I was and I surely rergret it because there wasnt any food down there
and then they said oh abbie look you scartched yourself and it dont look too good
yeah I said it was a pain
so off we went to the vet
Ishould have just said oh thats just my new tatoo
it only loks like a scaratch
did you know at the vet they have something called stapls
well they did that to my scratch only they called it a wound
they shaved around the scratch and then stapled it
then thye said you have to make sure the wound is clean all the time
and to do that the best way is to wash the cat
so I had to take a bath

I really should have said it was a tatoo
notice the guy has a bandage on his hand
I got him real good when he tried to put me in the tub

oh I should mention I didnt spend all this time in the basement
just one night but that was all it took
the staple came out later

anyway I have just eaten some turkey

Monday, December 12, 2011
heard it again
another ones walked away
still LIngers in the shadows and the sun
good fellow this time too
well most of us are goodonce were gone
the bad parts go away because who Wants to think about them anwyay
others I guess its just good they are gone
and we leave it at that
I never knew any of them personaly

everynow and then I ithink I see the other cat
where she would be
I dont need to tell you where those spots are because you know wherethey are
they are where she Would be
and somet imes when I am just dozing off
I swear I hears it
she says hey sleepyface wake up theres a mouse
practically RUnning upt o you

usualy I get up and the mouse is there
and then it is on
because if I go back to sleep I Probably wouldnt hear the end of it
sheesh look at him just ignorin his duties
someone oughta keelhaul you slacker

I think she is just a litle bit jealous
because I have lived nearly Twice as long as she
well lemme tell you sister it aint ALways been a bed of roses that extra time
some of that EXtra time was spent growing older and slower and crankier
who knew
anwyay I willbe gone some day and then what

Ill tell you what
if she asks me then how I SAPent all my extra time
I am gonna say well you oughta know cause YOu were there bugging me for most o fit
we doze off a lot as a general rule

cats also dont waste too much time as a generaul rule ewither
theres a cat saying
time wasted is still time spent
you cant do anything else with time but spend it
thats all I know about ecomonmics

started typing my stories ten and a HAlf years ago
thats a mighty long time for a cat
some keyboards were easiert o use than others
anyway these stories are MINE
spent my time you see and I got em in return
and if the other saying you cant take it with you is true
then they stya here when I am gone
thats pretty good right
the Internet doesnt do a very good job of forgetting sometimes

but I heard a Story once
he said he heard it from another guy
which was all about a King back in the day
I Mean a long time ago
and this king thought so much of himself that he put up a STatue of hismelf
and it was big
and on it he wrote man OH man look at how big I am
and all of my stuff
only now there wasnt any Stuff to look ata nymore
I tol dyou it had been a long time ago
And the statue well it was pretty much gone But just the legs stayed
also the part he wrote

I htink maybe he carved it instead

anwyay I think I sure do have one up on the king
sure I like to talk about all my stuff
but I already know Ive lost a bit of it
do you think the old king ever figured

some of the stuff I lose ends up under the couch
others just the shadows and the sun

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
well you May be curious to know
I have been learning how to drwaw comibooks
theyre pretty tough to draw to be honest
i am having a time of it with the pen
they dont show you all the parts in the comic book
where they didnt hold the pen right
or they knokced the ink over by accident and it blotched on the Paper
or they acidentally stepped on the paper before the inky dried and put prints all over the place
there is a lot in comic books that can happen by Accident

sofar I have not done a lot with superheros
they are everywhere and anyway my superhero is a ninja and he was not in this story
instead i decided to play a villin
and batman is full of them
so here is part of the comicbook I wrote about batman and me abbie the match he has met
i figure even if i end up not drawrirng it then the instructions will help whoever it is do it

batman has met his match
by ME abbie

panel 1
you see gotham city and all the poeple are sad
the caption says "This is Gotham city and all the people are sad"

panel 2
you see people in gotham city being sad and they are also hungry (you have to draw them being hungry)
the caption says "they are hungry but they have nothing to eat"

panel 3
one of the sad people is saying "who took all the food we were going to eat?"
word bubble: "Who took all the food we were going to eat?"
the word bubble is coming from the sad person

panel 4
this might be a big panel
there is a SHAdowy Figure sitting in a big pile of stolen food. if it is TOo hard to draw you can make it crates labeled "FOOD"
caption: "Who indeed, for hidden away deep is a Shadowy Figure who knows who did it!"
other caption: "Meanwhile, in a secret hidden abandoned warehouse..."
maybe also you could make the shadowy figure saying "ha ha ha!"

panel 5
we are looking at the shadowy figure and he is dramatically walking into a light
he is saying "I know who did it!"
I guess yo uknow where the word bubbles go at this point

panel 6
the shadowy figure is cheering in victory and he is standing in the light and not so shadowy anymore
and it is ME in my super villin outfit
I say "And the reason I know who did it is because I did it! I am THE MOOCH"

and then make big words saying "BEWARE... THE MOOCH"

that's all I got so far in comic book form
but the mooch is a most formidable enemy
he is quick as lightning and can steal your food before you know you even want to eat it
this part I ams aying now by the way doesnt go in the comic
at least not this way
also the batman people have not written me back saying whether or not they will use the mooch in all future batman stories
so for now pretend im not fighting batman
but instead another superhero
and we are not in gotham city anymore we are in um

Sunday, May 01, 2011
QWell would you liook who is the kIng
that is who
because it has been my birthday
and now I am fourteen
that is fourteen yeras
and in cat years that is REGAL

we dont get around much as we used to
we dont write much as we used to
you slow down as you get older
And sometimes thers just nOt much to write about
today I slept
and I woke up
and I Used the LIterbox
do you realy need me to exlaborate on That
caus its pretty straightforward if you ask me
you go in the box
you do your tihing
you clean up and go
it dont become more interesting over time

I Had a fine birthday DInner tonight
they brought fish back form the fish palce
now here is something you mightk not know
when you order fish from the pfish place
you shouldnt say this is for a cats birthday
because they will look at you funny
and say whats the matter is our fish not good enough for people
they are Proud these fishmongers
you order it saying This is for a dinner for people
and Most Definitly not for cats
no those cats will STay aAway
we will make sure of it
now bring out the FrRUITS of the SEA

so this is how the DInner came to be for people but mostlyh for ME ABBIE
and they came back and they ate it
but I had a Sampling of everything
it is called a bufet
here is what I think of some fish

SAlmon is orange and tastes like salmon
but if you look at a picture of a samon you see it is pink
that is strange
but bears lke salmon so its good enough for me
you DOnot want to argue with a bear

tuna is pink and it tastses GOod
but when you look at a tuna you see it is silver
fish ar efull of mystery
also vitamins

then thers yellowtail
i havent seen ap icture of one
but judging from previous experience
i would be Surprised if it actualy had a yellow tail
you cant fool me three times over

all three though were Aplus eats
WOuld eat again
and Should

by the by
I wonderd what actual fish was silver
so I Looked it up
that SIlverfish aint no fish at all
I just wrotethat to save you some time

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
it has come to my Attention that some poeple do not know how to catch mice
this Is ay is a travesty
and I say this as the pre eminent mousecatgcher of his day
I have caught more mice than there are stars in the sky
at least as many stars as I canc ount
its been cloudy a lot

so let me take this oppoprtuntiy to share some iwisdom of the ages
it comes passed down from cat to cat
some cats dont get it though and they dont make good mousecatchers
for instance there was this cat I knew
she didnt care for mice one way or tother
if she sa w one she would let it go
live and let live she owuld say
that mouse has done me no harm
and anyway there are about fifty more improtant Things to do right now
I once told her that was probably not the pIrate way
an d I knew for a fact they did not like mice on their ship
it was Bad LUck
and she just pooh poohed

I sh ould also mention that this cat
this cat would not hesitate to take credit for a mouse I caught
so much for live and let lieve
anyawy that was a long time ago and history has proven me to be the victor
another notch in the collar If you Will
and you SHould

so heare are some rules for micecatching
as given to me from cats who have gone befre
Great Mousers they
first you m uyst figure out where the mice are
this is not as easy as it sounds
but for the sake of not being here all day I should say mice are usually found where there is food
and so am I
very handy you see

next once you See where a mouse is it will oprobably go there again
so you dont have to act right away
it is better not to becaus you want to put them at ease
make them think the house is theirs and they can run around all they awant
else they will just hide where you cant get them
to do ithis you must watch them but
but be VEry still and Quiet
you must gfool them into thinking you are Part of the scenery
the wall or mayhbe the shadow
sometimes it takes a while to wait
but it is Worth it

the rest is prety dstraight forward
you cahase it and y ou catch it
if it gts away then go back to the step where you are very quiet
if you catch it hurray
do as you PLease with it
me I like to keep mine by my food sdish
some cats like toeat their mice but honetstly they dont taste very good
any cat who tells you otherwise is really porbably just folloiwing tradition
Ive eaten a few in my time and only several were really Palatable
it might depend on what they were eating ebeforehand
I ate one once and I only ate half
the REst I was saving for later onlyh it never got later enough for me to want to finihsh it

the next part is hard for acat but bear with me here
if someone gets rid of the mouse for you do not get upset
even if they say sthings like oh a dead mouse how disgusting
get it out of here before the hwole house gets a diseas
listen buddy some VEry Helpful cat just did you a Favor
the least you can do is tell them just ho wwell they did
before tosing the mouse outside or in the trash
or wherevr you put it

that wasnt me being upset
around here people undestrstand the vaulable service I provide
and they say things like welld one ABbie
yhou are a great mousecatcher
here have a treat

Treats taste better than mice amnyway so it is all win win
doesnt matter what treat it is either
so feel free to be Cretative and generous

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