Why my dead cat is going with me to Seattle

Here is what I packed for my trip:

  • Black sweater
  • Black shirt
  • Brown sweater
  • Gray sweater
  • Sweater that starts out black then becomes gray at the bottom

I know, right? Stop with the bright colors! You’re hurting my eyes. I did also pack my bright blue v-neck sweater “from Rome, Italy” that my mother gave me. She always says it like that. “From Rome, Italy.” As opposed to Rome, Nebraska, I guess. I will wear that if I start to depress myself.

When I moved to LA from Seattle I could not get over everyone and their bright colors and, you know, lust for life. Seattle was all about the not-bright tones. Who knows? Maybe it has changed there and everyone will be dressed like they’re going to a Jimmy Buffet concert, but I am doubting it.

Plus, will you all stop emailing me and telling me it’s cold there? I do not wish to know this. Let me find this out when I get there. I brought layers. I do not need more to dread in advance.

But the good news is I forgot I have NEW LUGGAGE that my mother got me for Christmas. I have been using the same suitcase with the cabbage roses that my Aunt Mary got me for my 30th birthday, and I would like to point out, in case you hadn’t noticed the part where I am winning the Cloris Leachman lookalike contest, that my 30th birthday was some time ago.

I used to be way into the cabbage roses, but now every time I got out that suitcase I felt like Nels Olsen and I were headed off to an exciting weekend to Mankato. Isn’t that the town people would go to on the Little House TV show, Mankato? It was something like that. I told you I wasn’t that into the show.

So I got out my super exciting, chosen JUST FOR YOU three-piece luggage set, like I’d won it on The Newlywed Game, and oh! It has all these little compartments and zippy parts and it ROLLS and it’s hard on the outside and it’s just so newfangled!

And why does this always have to happen?

Isocurious

I mean, maybe this doesn’t always happen to you because you don’t have 48 cats. But for me, who always does have 48 cats, an open suitcase is a golden opportunity to climb around and make sure I take cat hair with me on my trip. Because I need to look unkempt on every continent.

Also plus, I have to take my camera and the camera charger. And the camera cable thingie in case I find a way to show you pictures. And I have to take my GPS so I can find everything, because I haven’t lived in Seattle in so long, plus also I never, you know, hung out at the hospital, so that part of town is not familiar to me. So I have to take that AND the charger. And my iPod and its charger. And I have to take my cell phone and (wait for it) its charger.

I hate to bring up Little House again, but didn’t they manage to travel without all these things? Didn’t they just being a barrel of beans and a fiddle? They didn’t say, let’s pull the wagon here, there are plenty of outlets for our 9239583 chargers. When did I need to get so revved up?

Anyway, the whole point of this post was to tell you why I am also bringing my dead cat and his charger, so here is the story.

I adopted Mr. Horkheimer, my beloved cat who was like no other cat on planet Earth, in 1994 in Seattle. They were just bringing him into the Humane Society while I was there; he was eight months old and already big big big. I think he had Maine Coon in him. He had giant paddle paws and was just an enormous cat. As soon as they brought him in, I said, “Oh, don’t even put that one in a cage. I want that one.”

Hork The Great Mr. Horkheimer. When he was less…ashy.

He was strong. He was calm. He was tough. He was the best hunter you ever met. But he would purr and let you pet him till the cows came home. Whenever I had a migraine, Hork was there. When I was proofreading something? Horkie would join me. Sometimes he’d bat at my pen, but mostly he’d just hang out and be gray.

He lived with Paula and me, and I am sorry to tell you that Paula and our other friend Stacy had a Sheltie, who perhaps Horkie did not take kindly to. He was not for a moment scared of Katie, the Sheltie. Certainly not. He took one look at that exuberant dog and was completely disgusted.

He may have, oh, bitten off just a tiny portion of that dog’s ear. Just once. And he also might have had a hobby of hiding on the dining room chairs and swatting at that beleaguered dog when she’d trot by. Oh, he tormented that creature.

The reason I am taking Horkie back with me is because when we lived at that house, his OTHER hobby, besides inflicting harm on Katie the Sheltie, was he’d go across our dirt road into this field and just have the time of his ding-dang life. I shudder to think what kind of tiny wildlife Horkie gleefully murdered, because I have seen him take down mice and voles at lightning speed before it dawned on me to bell him.

Sometimes he’d go out all night to that field, and when Paula got up at 5:00, Horkie would jump into the bathroom window, and Paula would open it for him, and he would come home that way. He came in through the bathroom window, just like the Beatles song. Interestingly, he was also protected by a silver spoon.

He would trudge into bed with me, sticks and grass hanging off his fluffy tail, and just pass out.

Those days in that field were his salad days. I know he was gloriously happy there. He does not want to be hanging out on the hutch in my dining room. He wants to be blowing around in that field, chasing after mice. So I am going to scatter my Hork there. And as I said before, maybe keep a tiny part of him back to keep with me. Because did I mention he was a cat like no other?

Poorhork
Katie the Sheltie will not be attending his ash scattering.

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

47 thoughts on “Why my dead cat is going with me to Seattle”

  1. Oh June. Sniff, sniff, cry.
    Please keep some for a locket.
    And yes. Every time the suitcases come out in our house – out of the closet you know – the cats must be in them, on them and all about them. Also, they completely get that someone is leaving. Third, they are not happy about it.
    Safe travels June.

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  2. I know that animals live on. I don’t want to sound like a weirdo, but they do.
    Love never dies. Love is part of God and their love lives on. Some part of a dear pet is still with you and still loves you back.

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  3. June, I keep having to play catch up on your blog lately because having an a** for a boss can be rather time consuming. However, I just wanted to say that your posts the past couple days have been some exquisite writing.

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  4. I had a Mr Horkheimer once in a cat named Blue. That Blue was just like a dog, followed me around, was just as affectionate. He even slept on my neck. Not that I would want my dog to do that, she’s like 90 lbs. But, I understand. Mr. Horkheimer will be at peace with the mice and the grass and sticks.
    And yes, my cat, too, loves to lounge in the suitcase.
    And the chargers, Dear Me, the chargers! How did we ever live without all the electronica? Michael Landon just jumped in his wagon and led his family to the new land. He didn’t need a nav system, his tears led the way.

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  5. Aw, Horkie sounds lovely!
    I am the very same with all of the chargers – it’s unbelievable how many I need! I have just heard about this multi-charger called “power monkey” and it charges a variety of mobile phones, cameras, iPod etc could be useful for your trip. I think I am gonna invest in one – save me some space in my bag!

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  6. Ah, I have done the ash-scattering thing of a dear ex-cat as well. It sucks. But I figure if I want my ashes scattered over where I love most (later, please, much later) then of course my little Oreo would have wanted the same thing too. All best to you and your Mr Horkheimer.

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  7. What a fitting tribute to your Mr. Horkeimer! How did he get his name?
    We had a cat years ago. He was almost all black with just a little white on his paws, the tip of his tail, and a tiny spot on his nose. My husband named him Paleface.

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  8. I feel your pain, Sister! Freakin’ Phoenix is going to be in the 60s most of the time I’m there! What kinda bullshit is THAT??

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  9. My Mr. Horkheimer was Oregano, a perfectly marked gorgeous tuxedo cat with a personality as if his balls were in a bear trap. Seriously, he was one mean s.o.b. But I adored him. He is buried out back and since we will be moving soon (how many times am I going to say that; I’m boring myself) I asked my husband if he would dig up Oregano so he could come with us. Oregano died in 2002, btw. To my husband’s everlasting credit, he very calmly said, “Sure. I can do that if you want.” Awwww. Anyway, I never really meant it because Oregano would be happier where he is than at the new house but OH did my husband earn points for that!!

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  10. My Mr. Horkheimer was Oregano, a perfectly marked gorgeous tuxedo cat with a personality as if his balls were in a bear trap. Seriously, he was one mean s.o.b. But I adored him. He is buried out back and since we will be moving soon (how many times am I going to say that; I’m boring myself) I asked my husband if he would dig up Oregano so he could come with us. Oregano died in 2002, btw. To my husband’s everlasting credit, he very calmly said, “Sure. I can do that if you want.” Awwww. Anyway, I never really meant it because Oregano would be happier where he is than at the new house but OH did my husband earn points for that!!

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  11. My Mr. Horkheimer was Oregano, a perfectly marked gorgeous tuxedo cat with a personality as if his balls were in a bear trap. Seriously, he was one mean s.o.b. But I adored him. He is buried out back and since we will be moving soon (how many times am I going to say that; I’m boring myself) I asked my husband if he would dig up Oregano so he could come with us. Oregano died in 2002, btw. To my husband’s everlasting credit, he very calmly said, “Sure. I can do that if you want.” Awwww. Anyway, I never really meant it because Oregano would be happier where he is than at the new house but OH did my husband earn points for that!!

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  12. Love the post! Totally understand the need to place Mr. Hork where he belongs.
    and Joann…read something online that Miley said…and I quote: “Liam and I are deeper than normal people” bwahahahaha

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  13. D-lou, I despise that creature, especially her lack of music credibility and I’m not talking about her own “masterpiece”, “Party in the USA”.
    I’m talking about the fact that she wants to be known as a serious rocker with serious music tastes. When asked if, in the above song, she was giving a tribute to some of her favorite singers, (she mentions JayZ and Britney Spears), she admitted that no, she doesn’t write her own music. (SHOCKING!) And that she is not into pop music, so she really doesn’t care for JayZ, but Britney Spears is like, her musical idol. Huh?
    I’m not even going to get started on her impressionable influence on little girls and the fact that she now has decided at 17, to wear booty shorts constantly and cavort on stripper poles. Grrrrr! I might just keep that byline FOREVER! Stupid girl.
    Sorry, didn’t mean to take away from Mr. Horkheimer. I just had to rant.

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  14. Awww, Horkie! I’m sure that’s where his spirit resides now anyway. Might as well join himself.
    My Terrible Tootsie LeRoux (named after a hooker and a bottle of schnapps, long story) was a serial killer, too. She became much more cunning in her dotage and learned that she could smack down a mocking bird if she laid under the wisteria pretending to sleep. It would swoop closer and closer until SWAT! Dead in the blink of an eye. Such cruel efficiency. You had to sort of admire her for it.
    When she passed at the tender young age of 21, Terra and I buried her up on the Cotswold behind the garden. I put a bird feeder out there, under the shade of a weeping cherry tree. We planted it just for her.
    She had been with me half my life. Half of her life was spent adoring Terra. The only man she ever loved.

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  15. Awww, Horkie! I’m sure that’s where his spirit resides now anyway. Might as well join himself.
    My Terrible Tootsie LeRoux (named after a hooker and a bottle of schnapps, long story) was a serial killer, too. She became much more cunning in her dotage and learned that she could smack down a mocking bird if she laid under the wisteria pretending to sleep. It would swoop closer and closer until SWAT! Dead in the blink of an eye. Such cruel efficiency. You had to sort of admire her for it.
    When she passed at the tender young age of 21, Terra and I buried her up on the Cotswold behind the garden. I put a bird feeder out there, under the shade of a weeping cherry tree. We planted it just for her.
    She had been with me half my life. Half of her life was spent adoring Terra. The only man she ever loved.

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  16. Awww, Horkie! I’m sure that’s where his spirit resides now anyway. Might as well join himself.
    My Terrible Tootsie LeRoux (named after a hooker and a bottle of schnapps, long story) was a serial killer, too. She became much more cunning in her dotage and learned that she could smack down a mocking bird if she laid under the wisteria pretending to sleep. It would swoop closer and closer until SWAT! Dead in the blink of an eye. Such cruel efficiency. You had to sort of admire her for it.
    When she passed at the tender young age of 21, Terra and I buried her up on the Cotswold behind the garden. I put a bird feeder out there, under the shade of a weeping cherry tree. We planted it just for her.
    She had been with me half my life. Half of her life was spent adoring Terra. The only man she ever loved.

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  17. I still have that Christmas picture of Mr. Horkheimer wrapped in the garland. One of my favorite cat pictures. I worry about Nutter Butter mousing in the field at night but what can you do? Cats love to play mouse.

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  18. Mr. Horkheimer reminds me of my manx, Alice B. Tuchis who died at 18 in 2005. SHe HATED the outside (she was abused as a kitten and left out in 110 degree heat w/no shade) but was an excellent hunter. Mice got into the service porch one winter and and weren’t long for this world. (Unlike Garbanzo The Bean Cat who didn’t seem to recognize that they were food) Miss Alice’s ashes stay on the mantel so she can still oversee everything.
    Take care in Seattle – good thoughts are being sent.

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  19. Sweet Horkie. Mine was the cantankerous genius Einstein, who was with me from (my) ages 22 to 37. I like to say: that cat met every boyfriend, lived in every crappy apartment… there’ll never be another one like him! I get creeped by the ash thing, but now I’m wishing I had them.
    Safe travels!

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  20. A very fitting tribute to a very special friend. But do keep some of his ashes for yourself.
    Your story did move me. I made it all the way to the before I snuffled.

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  21. “Liam and I are deeper than normal people” ain’t exactly an indication of great depth. Just go to Costco on Saturday around lunch time to take the pulse of “normalcy.”
    Alice B. Tuchis indeed. Furry, you made my day today with the “only man she ever loved.”

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  22. Safe trip, Junie.
    Love the description of Horkie and his salad days!
    I have my beloved Lady’s ashes in our living room. She loved nothing more than sleeping on “her” couch near us. Except for barking at every other living thing on the planet!

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  23. All I can picture is a lovely afternoon, you tossing the ashes, as they waft down to the field, hundreds of mice scurry crazily across the street, flee from the Great Horkeimer.

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  24. I love the name, “Mr. Horkheimer.” You must tell us how he got his name.
    Joann, Miley Cyrus is a skank. That’s it, that’s the list.

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  25. What a sweet touching post. Our daughter Amy is a vet tech and loves kitties too! Love your blog, good luck with the move.
    Come over to GrannyMountain for a visit…

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  26. Oh, I hope you are able to make this happen for Dear Mr. Horkheimer. But … what if the field of grass is now a field of condos?

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  27. What a lovely thing to do; I know Hork will be glad to be out of the box and freely cavorting in his favorite field.
    Also, I am a big fan of traveling in one multi-layered outfit. Which is why I can’t figure out why you’re taking the brown. I pack with one color group, all interchangeable, and wear the one pair of shoes that goes with it all. Yes, I’m lazy.

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  28. Its not that cold in Seattle, must be Californian’s who are whining about it. Our daffodils are blooming, how bad can it be? It is supposed to rain Tuesday night so your hair will be nice and big for your stay here (the extra moisture helps the curls) Hope it all goes well for your friend and you.

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  29. Yes, Pa Ingalls frequently made trips to Mankato (Mancato?) to deliver things for that guy who owned the mill….or to take a 2nd honeymoon with Ma. Did you see that episode? Where they leave Mr. Edwards to babysit the children? Possibly the funniest Little House ever. Having two school-age daughters have provoked a rekindling of all things Little House around here.
    And yes, travel was much simpler without all those chargers. Except for the riding on those horrifying jolty boards that served as seats on the wagon.

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  30. This post made me cry. My beloved Oscar Snuggles is down by his sister, Sweet Pea in the back yard. Will the tears every stop?

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  31. If you went to Mankato, you wouldn’t bring anything either. There’s nothing to take pictures of, no reason to call anyone (why would you ADMIT to being in Mankato?). You wouldn’t even need stamps because there ain’t nothing to write home about.
    Now, Stillwater is interesting…

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  32. Paula, your hubby should earn some serious brownie points for that! That is so sweet that he was willing to dig Oregano up.
    My Mr. Horkmeier was also a Maine Coon Mix named Obi (Obi Wan Kenobi actually…named by my son) and he was one of a kind. I will never, ever find a cat as cool as that one. He was 24 lbs…and yes, he was a BIT hefty, but he was just a BIG boy. About as tall as a Cocker Spaniel. He has been gone for 3 years now and I still miss him everyday. He is buried under a tree in our yard and if we ever move, and I asked my husband to dig Obi up…I don’t think he would be as good about it as Paula’s hubby!!
    Good luck, June….keeping you and your dear friend in my prayers…

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