This blog was written in 2015. Sedgwick passed away December 12, 2016 at the ripe old age of 26.
Sometimes you meet the best of friends in the most unlikely places.
In October of 1990 I went to a trade show in Chicago with my sister. We stayed at a close friend's home in lovely Lincoln Park at the cross streets of Sedgwick and Eugenie.
At that time my cat, Sancho Panza, had recently died. He was a beautiful, white cat with a black spot (his original name was "Spot" which I found a little too unimaginative so I renamed him). I missed him but I did have three Golden Retrievers, one Bernese Mountain dog and a couple of Newfoundlands thrown in for good measure. In other words, I had a pretty full house when it came to pets and I certainly didn't need another cat.
You can clearly tell where this is heading……
Sue, my friend we were staying with, had five cats, so it wasn't unusual to see cats just about everywhere you turned. But when I saw a cute, gray tabby hanging around her gate, I asked if he was a new edition. She said that he wasn't, but that he'd been there the last few days. She put up signs in the neighborhood to see if she could find his owner. Since no one replied, I said, "You should take him." (On a side note to be one of Sue's cats or dogs is a pretty good gig, Sue takes all of her pets on her private jet and has three homes so nobody could ever get bored.) Sue looked at me like I was nuts and her reply was curt, "No, you should take him. You're the one who’s cat-less now." Being a gambler, as well as a true animal, I said, "I will take him if he returns in three days."
I thought it was a safe bet.
You can imagine where he was sitting three days later...right on the stoop. He'd wedged himself between the fence pickets, just waiting to go home with me. I tried to palm him off on my sister; her reply, "Forget it."
I rationalized keeping him by convincing myself that I was saving him for a Halloween horror story. Because he was friendly and gray and Halloween was right around the corner, who knows what could happen if he fell into the hands of some cruel pranksters.
So off we went to the vet. I knew he'd need a health certificate to fly home. Regardless, I wanted to make certain he was healthy and determine his sex before naming him.
Of course, he passed all of his vet tests with flying colors. And he we found out conclusively "he" was a boy kitty. So the next step was to pick out a name, Calvin? Nah? Fern? Ha ha. Where did that come from? My sister suggested Sedgwick since I first saw him at the corner of Sedgwick and Eugenie. Perfect, Sedgwick it is.
I bought him a plane ticket so he could ride home in the cabin with us. The transition from Chicago to Park City was a breeze. He settled into his new home right away and ultimately ruled the roost. This 10 pound cat won over all of my dogs from the smallest, 65 pound Golden Retriever, Jackson, to the largest 165 pound Newfoundland, Argos. They showed their admiration for Sedgwick by letting him sleep near their tummies and by giving him slobbery baths.
In the end Sedgwick turned out to be a great cat. I've had him for 23 years and he's still going strong. The vet thought he was around age two when I got him so that puts him at about age 25. But he looks and acts ten years younger. It must be the raw food he eats. He's still athletic and sports a beautiful coat along with a huge spirit. One of my favorite things about Sedgwick is his fondness for presents. At Christmas, "Sedgie" loves to unwrap everyone's gifts. I wish I had a video of what we affectionately termed "unwrapping by Sedgie."
My other dogs that were part of his original pack are all in dog heaven now, so Sedge is truly “the last of the Mohicans.” Everyday with him is a joy with one exception. We have a home in Las Vegas, which happens to be adjacent to a beautiful bird sanctuary. As you might surmise our two cats find that home idyllic. Back when Sedgwick was an 18-year-old youngster he boxed numerous birds to their untimely deaths while lying on his back with his clawless rear paws. We've since banned him and Abby from that house. Whenever he got into with the birds I'd tell him "bad cat," and he'd respond with "Mmmm, good bird."
Here is a painting of Sedgwick in his glory days:
That was Sedgie, he passed away on December 12, 2016 and it's taken me this long to write about him. He became quite cantankerous in his old age and when we adopted a new cat after Abbie died he showed his displeasure by peeing pretty much everywhere. The new cat, Leuca, stayed downstairs away from Sedgwick's wrath of hissing and a posturing for about 15 months. The day after Sedgwick died; Leuca moved upstairs. Leuca was so happy that the grumpy old man had passed on. We, of course, still miss him but how many people are blessed to have a cat stay with them for 26 years?