Archive for August, 2009

Farewell Lance

August 22, 2009

My most constant, reliable, non-judgmental, furry companion since my arrival in Oregon in 1992 passed away on July 28. I am speaking, of course, of Lance the cat, who first darkened my door (more accurately my couch) in Portland in December 1992. I was at a keg party at a friend’s house and at the end of a long night of too much beer, this friendly young cat climbed in my sleeping bag and stayed there all night, purring vigorously.

Lance & Bella 2 (resize)

Lance & Bella in New Orleans

When I learned the next day from my friend Katy that he was a stray who had been hanging around her house and she was trying to find him a home, I snatched him up and hauled ass back to Salem, where I was a first year at law school.

Unfortunately, pets were not allowed in the crappy apartment I was renting, so I asked my friends John, Chris and Paul if Lance could stay at their crowded house with a rural back yard. Lance stayed there for a couple of months until I could find a better place to live so I could take him home.

Lance & Bella

When I spent almost two years in New Orleans in 1998/1999, I added Bella to the mix. She was an amazing little cat who feared everyone but adored me. She was born in a St. Bernard Parish home that was later destroyed by Katrina along with almost every other home and business in Chalmette, Louisiana. She died suddenly a few years ago, which was much more difficult because she was so young and vital.

Lance in Window

Lance in Window

Seventeen years later, in the middle of a terrible heat wave, Lance entered his next life after a long battle against kidney failure. It was really incredibly hard to witness his last couple of days while I tried to determine whether he would expire naturally or need some veterinarian assistance. It soon became obvious he needed to go to the vet. I buried him in the back yard.

When I adopted him, I could neither have guessed he would live with me from the time I was 25 until I was 42, nor the great number of changes I would experience in those years.

Bella Sleeping

Bella Sleeping

I haven’t found time to write about this until now. The only thing I could do at the time was post a poem that a friend sent me while I was in the deepest part of the mourning process.

In September, I am going to dive back in and adopt a couple of kittens from the same litter.