Saturday, August 3, 2013

Moonie MoonPie: 1996 - 2013

She came with the highly-improbable name of MoonGlow. A six year old tabby cat that was put up for adoption because her owner “traveled too much”. I chose her because she’d been at the shelter the longest of the cats that were there, and she wasn’t too old. 
Thankfully, she didn’t answer to the name MoonGlow, or for that matter, Moon or Glow, Moonie or Glowie, MoonCat or GlowCat, or even Kitty. She didn’t answer to anything that we could think of to call her. We decided on Moonie which became MoonPie, Miss Pie, and more often than not, simply, Pie. Over time, she acquired the ever-so-appropriate name of Bad-Timing Cat, or BTC, because Moonie’s timing was always impeccably bad.
Within the first week of arriving at her new home, Moonie gave us a hint of things to come. As Gregg was stashing  groceries, she walked between him and the pantry just as he got a case of fumble fingers. Knowing that Moonie was going to get hit, Gregg screamed like a girl as he dropped a can and Moonie was bonked with a can of chilies. For years after the “chili incident”, Moonie would scurry from the kitchen every time a person entered it. 
Although Pie has been kicked and stepped-on more than all my other cats combined, Moonie’s bad timing usually evinced itself in less painful ways. She had an innate ability to enter a room just as the occupant was about to leave. She would jump up on the couch for a little lap-time just as one was standing up to go. She would come down the stairs to spend some quality time with us, just as we were getting ready to exit the house. It was uncanny, really, the consistency with which she displayed bad-timing-ness.
It was almost impossible to take a good photo of BTC. For every clear shot there were 10 blurred ones where Moonie had turned at the split second the shutter had clicked. Until she went deaf, trying to sneak into a room to take a photo of her cat-napping was impossible. She would hear a floorboard squeak, lift her head to see who was trying to sneak up on her, and then sprint across the bed, calling out a little mrrrrttt in greeting.
As an extension of her bad-timing, Moonie was an uncomfortable sitter. If she had the good luck to find a person reclining on a couch or with legs tucked up on a chair, Pie would sit awkwardly with her back feet on the reclinee’s ankle or shin-bone or thigh and her front feet on the upholstery. It was usually somewhat painful for the reclinee and made for an uncomfortable-looking Pie, although she seemed perfectly happy to be in such a position. Or she would sit near enough to her chosen person that it was next to impossible to pet her without angling an arm like a bird wing. Or she would sit just far enough way that one’s abs would need to be engaged in the slightest of crunches to pet her. 
Although Moonie liked a good belly rub and would plop over alongside a body at rest, just as often she would display the Moon squat; a half-standing crouch with her Moon butt hovering inches above the sitting surface, purring like a maniac and looking slightly demented, with her big Black Rhino lip drooping. She always appeared as if she was going to leave at a moment’s notice but, in fact, could hold the squat for ages. 
Moonie was the gentlest of cats. She never caught anything live, just dragged her ‘birdie’, (a tuft of feathers on the end of a stick) around the house. Birdie-catching always was accompanied by the madwoman-howl. Lately, her birdie-catching had become more and more frequent, as if she knew her end was near and she needed to get the darn things under control before she was gone. 
Since Hugo’s passing, Moonie’s pacing and wailing had also become more frequent; the wailing always ending in a single, plaintive, heartbreaking, inquiring note. 
We knew that Hugo being gone could affect our old woman and that there was a possibility that she wouldn’t last long without her friend, but there was nothing we could do but wait and see if we were right. 
Unfortunately we were.
Being the BTC, Moonie waited until the day before John, Yuko, and Hannah were due to arrive for a visit; she stopped eating. We waited a day, trying to tempt her with all kinds of different delectable foods, then, yesterday at 5:45, took her to the vet to see what could be done. 
It wasn’t her kidney disease, as we expected, her kidney values were good. It was her liver that was failing and we could expect nothing but a quick, painful decline over the weekend. We chose not to watch our old girl suffer. 
Into the light
The visibly upset vet, who had started her day in same fashion, prepared the injection. We told Moonie to say hello to Hugo for us and told her that she would be ok. 
Then, for the second time in less than a month, we said goodbye to a treasured friend. 


  1. Oh, Jean, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I know the pain and the broken hearts in your family.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about thoughts are with you and your family.

    Take care,

  3. Oh for goodness sake. Too much heartbreak all at once. I am so sorry, she was such a character. You have my utmost sympathies. But she is free now, and Hugo has her back. Now come and meet Conor.....and the others. Hugs.

  4. Lynn (in Louisiana)August 3, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    What a beautiful tribute you've written for your "treasured friend". My condolences to you, Gregg and Ray.

  5. So sorry for your loss! It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. I know she had a good life with ya'll and is glad to be with Hugo again!

  6. I am ticking hahaha because any from-the-heart tribute, such as this so clearly is, will evoke the fond memories and warmth despite the immediate loss & sadness. What a unique companion Moonie has been and a stoical one at that. I am so sorry you & Gregg have lost her and especially so close to Hugo and yet I am glad she is at peace. I feel very privileged to have been welcomed as an honorary Moonpieman despite blunderbussing into her calm sanctuary and I sincerely hope Ray is bearing up x

    1. ... to clarify, I am ticking [hahaha] *in addition to* [awww] and [love it] x

  7. Oh this is just so sad. We're sorry for your loss. Poor Moonie. Run free little mate. Run to your Hugo. Thanks for sharing Moonie's story. We had to smile at some of her antics. Our old girl Penny is 14 and does similar things (but not getting canned with Chilies!). Take care. Gentle hugs to you all.
    No worries, and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)

  8. This is just too much - so, so sorry! But this is a beautiful tribute to a unique soul. Jez is right - sad for Ray, too :( Godspeed, little Moon Pie.

  9. All I can say is "I so sorry". If my math is correct, she was 17?

  10. I'm just catching up on my blog reading - I'm so sorry that you lost Moonie - especially so close to having just lost Hugo!

    Your recap of her life made me smile and laugh and also cry. I'm sure she and Hugo are frolicking like little kittens right about now.

    Hugs to you both and Ray. :(