One of the things we learned after we moved to New Hampshire was that mice were a problem, and there wasn’t much you could do about it. In the fall as it got colder, we’d especially see more of them. My solution was to get a couple of cats, which I probably would have anyway since I’d had cats my whole life.
Lilo and Stitch were two kittens I chose from the Conway Humane Society back in 2006. I thought that since they were brother and sister they would get along. It didn’t work that way. The most mellow of cats in other ways, Stitch picked on Lilo whenever he got the chance.
I was the one who came up with the name. With two siblings, I thought it would be good to have names that were associated with each other. My kids were still 6, 11, & 16 so we tossed around a few ideas and then I said “How about Lilo and Stitch?”
It was the perfect name for him. He could drive you crazy, but it was always with love. He thought everyone should love him and he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Open a suitcase to pack, he’s in it. Sit down to work, he’s on top of me. All the kids loved him. Julian, especially, was attached to him. I remember one time when his bedroom was in the basement, he came up from there holding Stitch by the tail. Stitch wasn’t struggling at all, just hanging there. Julian let him go and he just looked around and walked away, no worse for wear. When Julian went into the Army, he didn’t ask for pictures of his family. He asked for pictures of Stitch.
He always wanted to be around his people. We put a cat-door in the basement door so the cats could go down without us having to open the door for them. One time one of the kids locked it because they didn’t want Stitch bothering them. Stitch took a running start and launched himself at the locked kitty-door until he finally broke through. It was comical watching him barrel into it with his head and then sit there when it didn’t open. It looked like something out of a cartoon.
With me being home, he was more attached to me in recent years. In addition to laying across my computer (hey, he thought he was more important than whatever I was doing) he followed me everywhere. We keep the bedroom door closed mainly so a certain little white dog can’t get in there and pee like he does everywhere else in the house. For whatever reason, Stitch decided he had to accompany me any time I went in there, usually going to the master bedroom. I’d always say, “Stitch! I don’t need help!” And, yes, he’d climb into my lap when I was using the facilities. I also had to remember to put the seat down because he would stand on the seat and drink from the bowl.
The babies came and Stitch thought they and their gear belonged to him as well. Kayla would throw fits trying to keep him off of things. He had no regard for any limitations. Everything belonged to him, and if you didn’t love him, well, you will eventually because he’s Stitch. That attitude seemed to work out very well for him. Now that he was getting older, he didn’t have the same level of tolerance that he had for Julian, but he still loved the kids. He’d sleep with my granddaughter in her bed quite often. With the new baby in the house, the last picture I took of him was him sleeping in my arms next to the baby.
We are about 90% sure they were siblings to the cat that lived with the weather-watchers on top of Mount Washington, Marty. They look a lot alike and the dates that cat was adopted through the Humane Society (several times before the weather-watchers adopted him) matched up to ours with the initial adoption. When Marty died a few years ago, I had a full senior panel done on Stitch. I told my veterinarian, “You don’t understand, he *has* to live forever.” He was that kind of cat. There will be a hole in this house without him here.
I also faced the fact then that there would be no replacing him. The void he leaves behind is impossible to fill. There will never be another cat like Stitch. That was the reason I found two kittens to adopt, one for my son and one for my granddaughter. I was afraid that after I lost Stitch, I wouldn’t have the heart to get another one. I’m glad they are here now, even though they will never be the same. He took them under his paw, though, when they came in. He was the one they would curl up with. He would lay with them and clean them. He couldn’t stand his own sister, but these two new girl kittens he took care of just fine. Maybe he knew we would need them to be more like him one day.
It’s 16 years and it still feels like it was too soon. He was bony, but he still got around fine as far as we could tell. Apparently on Friday he curled up where my son watches television and went to sleep, never to awaken. My son sat with him all day, not knowing what to do until his father came home. I had a good cry last night when I got home from Texas and found out. Today still doesn’t feel right, either.
Goodbye Stitch. YOu were the best kitty ever. We all are going to miss you so much.
Categories: Personal Stories