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Requiem for a Cat

We adopted Archer back in 2002, I think, when we were living uptown. Actually we didn’t so much adopt her as take over feeding her when some guys down the street abandoned her. I’m not sure how old she was at that time, but she was already full grown.

When we bought our house in Mid-City she came with us, but remained an outdoor cat. She lived in various places, but her favorite seemed to be in the attic of the house next door.

Other strays came and went but Archer hung around. We even took her up to Indiana when we evacuated. She was never particularly friendly with me. She and Xy shared more of bond, but as a rule she preferred to keep her distance from people. She gobbled down her food with the nervous air of an animal that doesn’t know where it will get its next meal. She packed on a few pounds.

Here are some pictures of Archer which I took over the years.

Sleepy Archer

Archer on Craig's Roof

Archer's Got a Mouse

Down & Out in the Morning

Archer Jumps

Thanksgiving Archer


Come and Lay on My Rug!

When we moved to our new house, Archer came inside for a while. She never fully adjusted to domestic life, though. For example, every night she pooped on a certain rug rather than the litter box.

Then, a month or two ago, Xy took her outside and she bolted. We’d catch glimpses of her every now and then on the perimeter of our property. But she seemed intent on staying outdoors.

On Friday, the same day Nicky died, Archer turned back up. Xy found her lying in the sun, covered with fleas. She took her in, cleaned her up, and began squirting water down her throat. But it seemed clear she would not be long for this world.

Last night, Xy slept on the couch with her, and some time in the wee hours of the morning Archer passed away in her arms.

She will be missed.

Published inAilurophiliaPix


  1. Day Day

    What a horrible pet week! I’m sorry to hear it – Jorge, Oscar and Annabelle send their regrets…

  2. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    jeez yall.

    so sorry for your rough ass week.

    when mess comes in waves it can make you shakey in the knees , gut , and head.

    yall are gonna be allright.

    hang in there man.

  3. BrenyB BrenyB

    RIP Archer & Nicky. You & Xy gave both of them really good lives while they were with you. I’m so sorry you have had to deal with so much loss in such a short period of time.

  4. Jack Schick Jack Schick

    I am a critter baby-talk pubby and keety lover.
    You guys are great.
    B., your sharing of all this stuff is really valuable.
    But I now need to be the ornery old public-health Crab.
    Out here in the high desert, we know that we have:
    1. Bubonic Plague…lots of carriers, some that are cute little
    peanut-beggars in Park campgrounds and such…
    2. Hanta virus…fortunately appears to be a limited deer-mouse vector,
    but we have learned you should REALLY protect your breathing
    if you go into old barns, sheds, and, most scarily for our neighborhood,
    when you go under a pinyon tree for shade on a hot day, and you
    sit down in the mess of the “middens” or pack-rat nests, you are in
    the midst of the scat and urine leavings of these generations of mice
    or rats or whatever. They say it is directly the dust of the old urine
    but I’m not up on the latest info. Kids love to go play in abandoned
    old buldings–etc. etc.
    3. Rabies–
    I personally got to witness that weird behavior we call “crazy like a fox”,
    about twenty feet away out the back door. They are about the worst
    carrier of rabies.
    4. Ticks, fleas, lice, etc.–you-all of course have the buggs way over us
    desert high-chaparral types….did you ever catch head-lice? yuck!
    5. Etc.
    The POINT being, we all huggy-kissy-lovey-dovey with our purry keety
    sometimes directly after they have come from a kill of a bird or rodent
    from whose warm bloody carcasse they have received new passenger
    organisms such as–etc. etc. I love to hug my KEETY!!!!
    ? Hey B….? Remember “The Wall” Pink Floyd movie??
    –He picks up a dying old Rat and puts it in a nice box, and then gets
    a life-threatening FEVER. Is that enough said? I don’t know.
    some people are so Fastidious and clean-freaks that they immobilize themselves…but we really protect ourselves seriously about plague and
    Hanta and any old scat and pack-rat nests, and the possibility of what
    you breathe and rub-in-your-eyes….hear that you spectacle-wearers,
    always reaching up and rubbing your fingers in your eyes? those moist
    warm little folds are a great place to introduce micro-organisms.
    It’s a balance between: constant immunization from day-to-day exposure
    versus that sad disease-state from which you may not recover.
    There is a lot of intentional bio-warfare shit floating around these days, also.
    The community tribal immunity is shared often by the fact that people will
    kissy-licky-face with the family dogs, where they would never do that kissy
    face with their fellow tribe members! So folks share that common bond and communicate disease-or-immunity…

  5. Sally Sally

    My condolences to you. Christy, I surely hope Ben and Clancy are holding me in their arms when it’s my turn.

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