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As some of you saw on Facebook, I had to put down one of our cats on Friday night.

Pod was the last of the three kittens my mother got for me back in 1997. The advantage to having a mother who works for a vet is that there are plenty of potential pets to rescue. The caveat is that these pets are sometimes … broken.

Pod’s rear leg was a mess. When he sat down, it would swivel out at an odd angle. My friend Emily was the one who pointed out that it looked like Pod was flipping you off. (If you scratched under his chin, he’d shake that leg to flip you off more emphatically.)

You can see him below hanging out with Flop, the slightly cross-eyed one, who is now the last of those three cats still with us.

When he was old enough, the vet amputated his bad leg (which happened to be the only spot on his body with white fur). It didn’t slow him down.

Pod grew up to be the punk of the family. He’s the one who would jump up on the couch for head scratchings, and would gently bat at you with his paw if you dared to stop paying attention to him. He was persistent, too. It didn’t matter how many times you removed him, he’d leap right back up.

If you scratched his chin just right, he would sometimes start to drool. When he was older, he’d steal the dogs’ beds and growl at them if they tried to take them back. He’d also growl if they dared to walk too close to one of his nests. Just to remind them who was boss.

For such a scraggly-looking kitten, he grew up to be a gorgeous cat, with a big old mane. He also developed a shoe fetish. For a while there, we’d always find him stretched out with his front paws in my wife’s sandals or my daughter’s shoes.

When we put in the bookshelves in our living room, he claimed one of the bottom shelves as his own personal cave. He developed chronic congestion troubles in his old age, meaning when he came onto the couch for petting, not only would he bat you with his paw, he was also likely to sneeze on you. That cat could shoot some impressive snot rockets on occasion.

Pod made it into my books, too. He was the ship’s cat in The Mermaid’s Madness [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. I believe he may have popped up in at least one other book in that series.

We knew he was having trouble when he stopped growling at the dogs.

I’ll leave you with one last pic, which I think sums up Pod pretty well.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 12th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. He looks like a wonderful cat.
Jan. 12th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
My condolences. He sounds like a real cat, and I'm glad you had him for so many years. Good wishes to you for fond memories more than tears.
Jan. 12th, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
So very sorry to hear this. All us four and two footed are sending hugs.
Jan. 12th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
My condolences on your loss.
Jan. 12th, 2014 02:59 pm (UTC)
i am sorry for your loss - he looks beautiful!
Jan. 12th, 2014 03:51 pm (UTC)
It's never easy to lose a pet, especially one with as much personality as that one.
Jan. 12th, 2014 03:56 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. He sounds like he was an excellent cat.
Jan. 12th, 2014 03:59 pm (UTC)
What a character! Literally!

He did grow into a gorgeous cat, and e leftcyou many good memories, including apparent snortget practice with his aim.

Edited at 2014-01-12 04:02 pm (UTC)
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear it, a friend of mine just last week had to have his cat of long standing put to sleep. I bawled my eyes out when we had to have our last poodle put down. He looked like quite a character.
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
What a lovely tribute, Jim. I am so sorry for your loss.
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss - he looks like such a character.
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
How very sad. That's the problem with pets though, isn't it? They don't live nearly long enough. Its never an easy decision to let one go, even though you know you're doing the right thing. {Hugs}
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'm really, really sorry. Making that choice and losing a cat is always so hard. I've done it too many times. :(

Hugs to you and to the family.
Jan. 12th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
Jan. 12th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
Condolences. That stuff is HARD. Be extra-conscious of your self-care for a while 'cause it's easy to let it go to the wayside with stuff like that.
Jan. 12th, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. :( **hug** A pet's passing is one of the most painful things there is. He is so lucky to have been rescued by you and to have lived a long, full life.
Jan. 12th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
So sorry about Pod. He sounds like he was a strong personality. Glad he had a loving home with you.
Jan. 12th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, Jim. He looked like an awesome kitty.
Jan. 12th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
He sounds like a wonderful kitty. So sorry to hear he's gone.
Jan. 12th, 2014 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. *HUGS*
Jan. 12th, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing Pod with us. He was a very handsome guy, and as Magic the Cat will tell you, black cats are the best. (Yes, she IS black. How did you know?)

Big hugs from me and the furball gang. It is hard at the end, but all the stuff that comes before makes it worth it. (Except maybe the snot rockets...)
Jan. 12th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss. Pod sounds like a fantastic cat, and must have had a wonderful life at your house, with all the shoes and head scritches he wanted.
Jan. 12th, 2014 07:03 pm (UTC)
Very sorry to hear your news. RIP Pod.
Jan. 12th, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss.
Jan. 12th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
His memory for a blessing.
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Jim C. Hines

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