I So Loved You Roxy
Tonight will be the first night in over 19 years that I will sleep alone. My wife and our one dog will share the bed – but it will feel empty without Roxy.
It was nearly 20 years ago when we first picked up a Devon Rex kitten from a breeder, and there was a little bit of a hiccup the instant we arrived at the breeder’s home. She said “I thought the kitten was a he but the one you picked out turns out to be a she.”
Emergency – we needed a new name. It was my niece who came up with the name Roxy, and the name turned out to suit her. She was a tiny barely 7 lb. spitfire.
Any dog who entered our house would have to deal with her, just so she could point out who really rules the roost. Once that was determined – and it always was – she was content.
It didn’t matter that I happen to be a cat behavior consultant. She would still jump on counters, just to show me she could. In my office, she’d hop onto my chair and type at the keyboard. She’d race around the house and compliantly and joyfully use her scratching posts.
Her antics would always make us laugh….but along with that bold demeanor, she was incredibly affectionate – not only to me but to anyone. I warned our pet sitters, you will have a cat sharing your space in bed, as she did with me every single night since she was a kitten.
While Roxy and I clearly had a love affair – her real love affair was with our radiators. In the winter, she’d spend most of her day beckoning to the Gods of heat. She’d stretch out on top of or under various radiators.
One of my favorite stories is that years ago – well before it was trendy, we purchased a kitty stroller and took Roxy for walks with our two dogs at that time. On our first walk, my wife Robin was with me but when I turned to ask her a question, she was 30-feet behind us. I believe she was embarrassed to be walking with this crazy cat guy.
Minutes later, an inquisitive person looked and looked inside the stroller and finally uttered, “There’s a cat in there!” I said, “I know.” She shook her head as if in absolute disgust and walked away.
Two weeks later I’m walking the dogs and I see a stroller identical to ours coming our way. You guessed it, the same lady who shook her head in disgust and her cat.
Even as a fairly young cat she had GI issues, eventually she was biopsied and presumed to have progressed to feline lymphoma, which she lived with for about four years on medication. And her arthritis as she hit her teens became increasingly significant, and using a multi-modal approach we treated with a wide variety of products and therapies the best we could.
We were lucky as was Roxy to have incredible veterinary care throughout her life. She never minded veterinary clinics (as long as there was tuna), and not only didn’t mind the carrier but would sometimes hang out there. She made me appear to be a good teacher, as pilling Roxy or cutting her nails was never, ever a problem. Over the past years she required bi-weekly bathing, and she always tolerated without complaint – knowing tuna was coming soon after.
Lap of Love came into our home today, and while Robin and I are grateful that the transition for Roxy was compassionate and seamless – I’m unsure about me as I am devastated. She had long wiggled her way into my heart and she will always be there. I miss her already.
If the spirit moves you to help to remember and honor Roxy – I have for over 15 years been a proud member of the Board of Directors of the EveryCat Health Foundation (formerly Winn Feline Foundation), and created 20 years ago the Ricky Fund to support funding for studies for what is by far the most common heart disease in cats, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). You can contribute to the fund HERE.