Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: For the Love of Pounce

Meows from Mudpie!

As you all know, I've been interviewing the kitties featured in Rescued Volume 2, the second anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza (of Sparkle Cat blog fame). June's spotlight is on Pounce, a clever little guy who sought out helpful humans when he found himself in need. Sadly, Pounce was called to the Bridge shortly after the book was released.

Since Mommy knows how therapeutic it can be to write about a beloved pet after their passing, we decided to ask his wonderful human if he'd like to share some favorite memories of Pounce. And since a portion of the book's proceeds this month are going to Pounce's designated rescue, Chicago's Felines and Canines, we can't think of a better time to buy a copy in his memory!


Guest Post by Pounce's human, Marshall Bowden

Writing about my friend Pounce is really difficult right now, but it is something I want to do because he was such an extraordinary cat, and because telling his story in the anthology Rescued 2 was incredibly important to him, and to me.

Sadly, Pounce passed away quite suddenly on April 26, 2017, just a little more than a month after Rescued 2 was published. He had cancer somewhere that had quietly, without drama, metastasized throughout his chest. He kept it a secret, just as he had his dietary indiscretion before being rescued. The first sign was that day, when I noticed his respiration was rapid and shallow. The cancer was widespread. There was nothing left to do but say goodbye.

What I want to tell you about, though, is what a thoroughly happy cat Pounce was and how he brought me happiness every day that we spent together. He was truly indefatigable, there was no "off" switch to Pounce. He devoured his life, eating it up and pulling others into his orbit. When I sat on the couch, he would run up my legs and launch himself onto my chest, his face right in front of mine. He might greet me with his familiar war-cry, or he would sit in silence as I began to rub his head, and then he would begin purring.


Inevitably, he would fixate on my reading glasses, often left on or pushed up onto my head as I dozed over some magazine or my phone. My greatest sensory perception of Pounce, that no amount of time will ever erase, was of his hot breath against my temple as he came in to gently grasp the frame of my glasses in his teeth and pull them off. If I successfully thwarted that effort, he would simply start reaching up with his paws, trying to grab them. When I close my eyes and sit quietly, I can still feel that breath on my skin. Those moments now seem like the greatest gift that he left me.

Pounce had a kind of slippery walk. His back end didn't always do what he wanted it to when he turned a corner or landed from a jump. His back legs weren't weak, but they weren't quite right, either. X-rays of his hips and legs all looked pretty normal. The theory was that he had sustained some mild neurological damage from absorbing minerals from the phone wire he had eaten. It was never really a problem for him, his back end would just occasionally shimmy out of control a tad. I said that he had 4-way hips, after the Tom Tom Club song "The Man with the Four Way Hips."

Pounce loved to spend time at the window of my apartment. My kitchen window looks out on a city playlot. Besides the various equipment for children to play on, it has grass and trees around it, and it attracts a lot of birds and squirrels, and once even a possum. Pounce didn't really care about the kids or the dogs that people brought to run and play there, or the birds. These were all pleasant diversions, but they didn't merit his full attention. The two things that Pounce cared about out there were squirrels and leaves.


The squirrels were his obsession. As soon as he latched onto one, his eyes would follow it all over. No matter where the squirrel went, Pounce would watch. He could sit, motionless, watching for more than an hour if the squirrel didn't leave. Sometimes there were multiple squirrels, and that really put him into overdrive. He incited another of my cats, Scout, to become interested in the squirrels also, though it was not nearly as serious an endeavor for him. But there they were, a couple of rescue cats sitting in the window and sharing an interest, growing older together. It made me very happy.

The leaves were another thing altogether. When the leaves turned autumn colors and began to fall from the trees in earnest, swirled by the wind into a chaotic twister, Pounce would fairly dance back and forth along the windowsill, calling loudly as if announcing, "It's fall! It's fall! Look at the leaves falling!" He poked a little hole in the screen trying to get to leaves that had fallen onto the outer window ledge. I pulled a couple of leaves inside for him to smell and investigate. He dutifully sniffed them and played with them a little, but of course there was no wind and so they held no real interest.

Pounce was just too big a soul to contain. He was friendly towards every cat that came through my home over the years, and if they weren't friendly back, he gave them their space. On the day I brought him home from the shelter I dutifully set up my bathroom for him to stay in during his acclimation period. He periodically scratched at the door and called out all day, wanting to come and join the party. When it was time for bed, he was merciless in his assualt on the door as well as my sanity. Finally, I let him out, crawled into bed and shut off the light. All was quiet.


When I awoke the next morning, everything was fine and Pounce was one of the cats. That was Pounce. No acclimation necessary, thank you.

I know that Pounce is out there in the universe now, and I will think of him when I see squirrels running next door or when I imagine that I feel that hot breath on my face as I doze off, but especially when I see the leaves dancing around, falling from the trees in the autumn.

Don't be afraid, he would say. Don't be defeated. The seasons change but life continues, ceaselessly, and it cannot be contained. And I know he's right and I'm glad he's out there, a part of all of consciousness.

But right now, I still really miss my friend.

27 comments:

  1. Wow. What an awesome tribute to a wonderful guy. I loved Pounce in the Rescued book - he seemed like such a good, easy-going character, and I was so glad my human chose his story as one of the 12 included. Lots and lots of purrs to his human.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I will always be glad that Pounce was given an opportunity to tell his story in this amazing book.

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful soul Pounce was and is. This tribute to him is equally beautiful. He clearly was a very, very special cat, and my heart is with his human.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words.

      Marshall Bowden

      Delete
  3. What a great cat. I'm sorry to hear that he had to leave so soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice tribute to Pounce.

    The Florida Furkids

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks to Pounce's human for sharing these stories about Pounce. We know that must not have been easy. We send her lots of purrs. Pounce sounded like a great cat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a beautiful tribute to Pounce. We send you lots of healing purrs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It always makes me feel such compassion when I read someone talk about their beloved purrbaby that has passed. We all have that sameness, that bond which we can never break but which shatters our hearts because we have a broken physical connection with them. We learn to live with this brokenness but we are not the same. Such a beautiful tribute to Pounce and his human who clearly still misses him and loves him more each day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot to hear from so many who know what it's like.

      Delete
  8. So very sorry for your loss, Marshall Bowden. Thank you for writing about Pounce; I feel that I know him just from this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It feels good to convey something of his personality to other cat people. Thank you.

      Delete
  9. pounce; you are one handsome house panther; we are sorry you are no longer with your purrson. we enjoyed reading your story today and thanx to your dad for sharing it with us; we know it was probably not easy to do.....hugs from us all ~~~~~ ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was indeed a 'house panther.' Thanks for your kindness, rabbits!

      Delete
  10. How sad that Pounce left for The Bridge. This was a beautiful tribute to him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We need to get this book for Mom Paula. She says she has more time for reading for pleasure now.

    Don't forget to send us your photos to be included in the 2018 calendar.
    https://cbcatcalendar.blogspot.com/2017/06/time-for-photo-submissions-for-2018.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Missing a friend is the best way of remembrance of all. Only forgetting makes us disappear. Our purrs...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. Thanks for sharing his memory with me.

      Delete
  13. *Hugs* thank you for sharing Pounce with all of us.

    ReplyDelete