Mocha

This is our chocolate point Siamese cat, Mocha.

Mocha died Friday overnight. He was 14, and we had him for more than 13 years.

We purchased him from a pet store that used to be in downtown Ripon. He was sort of a factory second in that he had white spots on his paws, which Siamese are not supposed to have. (Of course, we’re all factory seconds.)

Mocha liked to pick on our first cat, Fatcat, though I don’t recall him interacting with Nick, our second Welsh Springer Spaniel, who was much bigger than he was, but didn’t care much about Mocha. (Nick and Puzzle found Fatcat much more interesting, because she’d fight back when they would, for instance, stop her from running by placing a front paw on the center of her back, making her go splat, though her ability to retaliate without front claws was rather limited.)

The past couple of months with our new somewhat-Basenji, Max, have been interesting to watch. Leo and Mocha didn’t always get along, but it was as if they had a common enemy, though an enemy much larger than they are.

Among other characteristics, Siamese are very verbal. At any time of the day, regardless of whether or not you want to hear them be verbal. They will also make you pet them, perhaps by head-butting you. Mocha also would occasionally lick our ears, which was a strange sensation.

I am typing this on my laptop. If Mocha were still alive, any second now he would jump up on my lap and lie down, spiking me with his back claws and making it harder to type over him. He, of course, would not care. I would take a nap on the living room couch and be joined in minutes by Mocha, finding a spot on my chest, often sticking his butt and tail in my face. He would also wedge himself between me and the dining table.

Most nights, he would find his way upstairs, and sleep on a warm spot in the bed. That often would result in mysterious morning backaches for the people in the bed.

Mocha had an amazing ability to find people who really didn’t care for cats. He would find anyone allergic to cats who would walk into the house. My friend “Uncle” Frank didn’t like cats, but whenever he would sit down, Mocha would sit on his lap, uninvited.

The thing about losing pets is that you notice their absence. In the three years between dogs, someone would drop food on the floor, and we’d have to clean it up ourselves, since there was no dog to clean it up. (We have since rectified that situation.) I made fruit salad for our church’s annual meeting Saturday night. As I opened cans Mocha didn’t run out expecting to find tuna, meowing loudly.

For whatever reason, I have noticed a lot of people losing their pets on Facebook. They all grieve over their loss. That may make non-pet people why you’d get a pet knowing that between 10 and 20 years later that pet will die on you. That, however, is close to the reason. Those without children can come home to their pets, and even though cats are not as enthusiastic about your coming home as dogs, they still miss your absence. (Some wit wrote that dogs think you’re God, while cats think they’re God. Note, however, that cats cannot feed themselves indefinitely.) Pets’ lives are short, but our own lives are short.

Mocha joins Fatcat, who is bopping Puzzle and Nick on the side of their heads with her clawless paws, leaving them mystified as to whether that was supposed to hurt, on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

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