Sunday February 04, 2024
Jellybean Pie Sugar Funny Little Rub-a-Dub
“I called him, depending on the mood, Skip, Old Skip, and Boy. I have learned that when you love somebody, you will address him or her by different names.”
-- Willie Morris, “My Dog Skip”
Cf., Jellybean, Bean, Jelly, Jelly Pie, Pie, Kitten Pie, Kitten, Little One, Little, Sugar Pop, Funny Face, Funny, Rub-A-Dub. Also Jellybean Bradbury or Jellybean Lundegaard, depending on who was speaking. (Usually the opposite of the affixed surname.) I'm sure there were others. Gone two months now.
With shaved leg after the cancer diagnosis in September.
Wednesday December 06, 2023
She came with the name but we came up with the nicknames:
- Jelly Pie
- Little One
- Pretty One
- Funny Face
- Sugar Pop
Mostly she was Jelly or Bean. I don’t know if all these names confused her. Probably not. She was smart; she knew tone. She knew when she was being called and mostly didn’t care—unless she was being called for dinner. Or breakfast. Or a snack. Particularly a snack.
She was food-focused but if she’d written a memoir it would’ve been called “Something to Swat At.” That was her forte. She was a rescue cat, and feisty, and most of her swats were with a soft paw, but not always. One afternoon, more than 10 years ago, a dog we were looking after got too close and she gave him a bloody nose. Patricia was embarrassed—what awful neighbors we were!—but I was filled with pride. “That’s my girl,” I told her as Patricia led the wounded dog away. She was superfast. She liked to play with and be chased by Patricia, and she liked to cuddle with me. She had strong back legs and climbed 6-foot armoires and 7-foot bookcases, and leapt between the kitchen stool and the refrigerator like Evel Knievel. She arrived with a square purple patch of cloth, like a potholder, which she carried in her mouth, mowling, when she was feeling vulnerable. When people commented “What a pretty cat,” I corrected them: “The prettiest cat.” Patricia simply called her the best cat ever.
For some reason she liked me. Because I listened to her? Because I was the softer touch? Both? She didn’t like being picked up except by me, and sometimes not by me. I would hold her body with my left arm and create a platform with my right hand that she could rest her front paws on; and in this manner I’d walk around the apartment and show her things. She loved book shelves. She would nose close, purring. I assume she was looking for a spot to slink into, but we’re book people and there wasn’t a lot of extra room on those shelves. She didn’t seem to mind. She liked the journey. She liked looking out the window onto Cherry Avenue. Early on, she was a hunter, and would make eck-eck-eck noises when she spotted a bird or a bug. Early on, she made low growling noises, like a dog, when strangers came to the front door.
Maybe she liked me because I adhered to the lesson I learned from Willie Morris in his book “My Cat Spit McGee.” Morris, the legendary editor of Harper's in the 1960s, and author of the book “My Dog Skip,” was a dog man until late in life when he married a cat woman, and one of her cats because his cat. It was a dog-like cat, and one afternoon, to the hysterics of the neighborhood children, he tried to teach him to fetch. Skip wasn’t having it. Why isn't he doing it? he asked his wife. “Because it isn’t his idea,” she replied. That’s the lesson. I rarely tried to force a program on Jelly. I let it be her idea.
She came to us in Feb. 2008 when our friend Ward spotted her on PetFinder.com, and it was two years ago that the breathing issues began. Antibiotics helped until they didn’t. This September she was diagnosed with cancer, and we opted, at age 16, not to go the chemotherapy route. Since then, she’s been up and down but on a steady downward trajectory: eating less, sleeping more, her breathing increasingly clogged. Our wake-up calls got later and later: from 5:30 to 6 to 7 to not at all. She could still be curious—exploring the hallway—but other times she’d wake from a nap with a start, like she couldn’t catch a breath, and then stare at me for a long time as if to say: “Can’t you do something about this? Can’t you fix it?” Saturday night, for a time, she seemed not able to breathe, and I worried we’d waited too long; I worried she was suffering too much. After it was done, I worried we hadn’t waited long enough. It’s an awful thing to have to decide.
I thought the trauma of losing my brother two weeks ago might lessen the sorrow of losing Jellybean this week. Apparently it doesn’t work that way.
Friday July 27, 2018
Jellybean, as Filmed by Wes Anderson
“Felis Catus,” as my nephew Jordy said.
Tuesday January 20, 2015
Jellybean Answers the #CatJumpFail Videos
This is one of those #CatJumpFail videos I see from time to time on my Facebook feed:
This is my cat Jellybean. She is part Maine Coon, part domestic longhair:
And this is Jellybean answering those #CatJumpFail videos (there are a few subtitles):
Monday September 09, 2013
Just What the Internet Needs, Erik: A Cute Cat Photo
Whenever Patricia is away and I'm home I send her a photo of Jellybean, our cat, because she misses her. Because look:
Jellybean, in her element.
This is the one from this weekend.
One of P's former coworkers once called Jellybean a fluffy meringue. She was right.
Related: Stephen Colbert on NYC's subway kitten crisis and the one candidate willing to take a stand.
Sunday March 03, 2013
Photo of the Day
Hope you're having a cozy Sunday. Jellybean is.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A Very Jellybean Christmas
This will be our December pic for next year's calendar, “The 12 Months of Jellybean.”
So what'd you get for Christmas? I got “Nixonland” by Rick Perlstein and “11/22/63” by Stephen King and “The Big Screen” by David Thomson and an Ernest Hemingway/For Whom the Bell Tolls T-shirt and a coffee mug from Powell's Books in Portland and an Arc de Triomph pillholder and chocolate. No, but like tons of chocolate. Like so much chocolate you wouldn't believe. Like bars and everthing. Yeah, in the stocking. Plus clothes. So like clothes and books and chocolate. How about you?
Jellybean got a plane. I'm not kidding. But right now she's happy with the wrapping.
Friday November 16, 2012
Jellybean on the Bookshelf
More Jellybean posts here.
Sunday October 30, 2011
The First Guest to Arrive
We had a very nice dinner party last night, with Val, Kim, Mark, Giorgio, and Devon. But one guest arrived early and expected to be fed immediately. You know the type.
Friday October 21, 2011
Photos of the Day: Cat Traps
This was a photo making the rounds on Facebook the other day, which made me laugh out loud, and which, yes, I shared with friends:
It's how we trapped Jellybean, after all. (Photo from Oct. 2010):
Wednesday July 13, 2011
Jellybean's eating corn on the cob...
All previous entries