If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll know that we just recently lost our cat, Mini. It was a difficult thing to process as I didn’t grow up with pets and most certainly have never lost one before. The story of how Mini came to be Brad’s pet, first, and then ours, later, is just too good not to tell one last time… especially since you NEED to know how he got his name.
You see, if you never met Mini, you wouldn’t know how not-mini he was. In fact he was huge. I like to compare him to a raccoon. He was a Maine Coon, so that’s close enough, right? He weighed about 20 lbs (or close to it) for most of his life and enjoyed sleeping, eating, and barfing as his leisurely pass times. Yes, barfing. Plants, mostly. The ones we had around our house barricaded so he couldn’t get to them. It never worked – he always prevailed and we were met with mushy piles of leaves that he couldn’t (obviously) digest. But he never once learned.
So Mini… here’s my version of how this cat got his name. I cannot guarantee this is entirely accurate, however, I can guarantee it will make you giggle. This is my version of how Mini came to be.
A while ago (13+ years ago) Brad lived with a roommate somewhere in Southeast Michigan. Said roommate decided he would get a cat. A small one – a kitten to start – but only a small cat even as an adult, and he would name it Mini since it inevitably would be so as an adult. WRONG. Anywho, he chose Mini solely for the fact that he could carry this small kitten/cat around in a backpack in Ann Arbor, MI. If you know Ann Arbor, this will not seem to out of the ordinary to you. So, Mini was purchased, put into the backpack, and trekked downtown.
Now, if you’ve ever had a cat, you’re probably wincing at what a bad idea this is. Of course it didn’t work – what cat likes to be put into a backpack!? So, the original vision for how Mini would live failed and thus the roommate became less and less interested in keeping this quickly-growing-not-so-small animal. The roommate moved out and left the cat to presumably become an alley cat.
Brad, being the large-hearted individual that he is, recognized that you can’t just throw a house cat out on the street. That doesn’t help the world’s stray problem and is also cruel. So Brad took him in… sort of. You see, Mini was most likely meant to live as an outdoor, maybe even alley, cat, regardless. It was hard to keep him inside, but he always came back. So Mini traveled the streets for a few days at a time and came home to rest and eat. When Brad moved away from Mini’s first home, Mini went with Brad, and they became a family.
Fast forward to years later when I came along. Mini LOVED me from the get-go. I’m not sure why… maybe he just liked females better… but we bonded off the bat. Pogo and Mini never became friends. Mini had been hardened by his street-life and Pogo learned early on in the game that this cat did not want to be her friend like her former buddy, Louie. A few claws to the nose and Pogo whimpered for the next 7 years anytime Mini came close.
They did learn to tolerate one another, though. We’d sometimes catch them smelling each other while the other was sleeping. Once or twice we even caught them sleeping close enough that a tail or an ear was touching a paw or a head.
Mini, like many cats was a complete pain in the rear. He scratched up carpet, shed outrageously, ate and barfed up plants, chewed up furniture, climbed on other furniture, destroyed chairs, tables, plants, carpet, clothes, bed frames, you name it. He whined continuously, missed the litter box, ran away, hid under things at the worst times, and basically drove us nutty every day.
And yet we miss him terribly. Even though he contributed a great deal of stress to our lives, he was a part of our family. And when he passed away the immediate things we missed were the litter everywhere, the insistent meowing at 5am, the tearing up of carpet, chewing of the plants, and more. I would have traded anything to have those pains back again in the beginning.
It’s been a few weeks now – maybe even a month – and things are easier, now. Pogo doesn’t look for Mini anymore and she’s started going back to her old self. Even though they never got along, I think she missed his company and even some of his terrible behaviors – much like us. I never imagined it would be so hard to lose a pet and I feel for each and every one of you that has also lost a pet at some point in your life.
We will not be getting another cat to replace Mini. He was one of a kind and we came to love him as our own cat, though by default in the first place. Instead, we will remember him always with photos and stories, and visit him in the backyard when we go back to Michigan. (Thanks, Mom!)
And now… a look at Mini. Oh, look. The original grumpy cat!
If you look closely here, you can see the litter everywhere and the chewed edges of the plant. And this is just in the car – you don’t want to see the house!
I forgot to mention that I’m allergic to cats. Always have been. It’s something in the fur. I touch fur (not dogs, interestingly enough) and then touch my face and BOOM. Like a balloon. Itchy, sneezy, watery, TERRIBLENESS ensues. And that pillow he’s sleeping on? Guess who that belongs to? One guess. And it’s not the guy who isn’t allergic to cats. 😉
Mini always needed to be the center of attention. ALWAYS. Don’t mind the fact that we’re driving cross-country. Pull up a chair, Min. Or a lap. And here, have my straw while you’re at it.
So long, farewell, Mini. We love you always and forever, no matter how many crazy things you did. Our love was always greater. XO.