He joined us on a rainy evening, he and his brother. They were both gray, and they came on a drizzly October night—adolescent kittens waiting for us on the brick porch—and they were Drizzle and Nimbus. We could only tell them apart by Drizzle’s ear tufts. We took them in, naturally.
The girl kitties were not amused. Lucy ran away from home for several weeks, came back to see if the boys were still there and, finding them so, left for good. Little Mia endured and found a hidey-hole in the downstairs linen closet.
The boys played so rough with each other, dashing about the house, bashing each other’s heads into the hardwood floor, so hard that we were shocked they didn’t develop brain damage.
Sometime during the first year or two, Drizzle disappeared for two weeks. We thought he was a goner for sure. Then one day I went to let Nimbus in and greeted him, only to discover, via the telltale ear tufts, that it was, in fact, Drizzle—returned, somewhat emaciated and certainly hungry, and there was great rejoicing. When, a couple of years later, Nimbus disappeared, it was for good.
We enjoyed Drizzle’s company for seventeen years. He was a cuddler and an asshole (to other cats), a mouser (he just ate one about three weeks before the end of things) and a Fatmandu (my sister’s name for him). My friend Liz called him “the best cat therapy,” noting that “he never apologized or asked permission before he snuggled into your boobs, or kneaded them with his paws… Fresh!”
It was fitting that our parched region enjoyed about half an hour of rain today—well, what we in these parts call rain; other areas might just call it mist, or possibly drizzle. Rain-ish days bookended our life-with-Drizzle. How fitting, how gracious, these unexpected gifts. And how this curmudgeonly lover will be missed.