This is one of our cats, named Hobbes. He was actually Sean’s cat, and so is very dear to us. He is a connection to Sean we get to pet and cuddle and love every day.
Hobbes, has quite the backstory. He isn’t the first Hobbes, he is Hobbes the 2nd.
After my oldest daughter had prayed for and gotten a baby sister, she decided to also pray for kittens. I had already told her that “No, we weren’t not going to have cats, as we have allergies to them.” She decided to go over my head and appeal to a higher authority.
Not too long after my daughter asked me for kittens, a stray mother cat was found in a storage area of our property with 4 newborn kittens. Our next-door neighbor is considered our neighborhood cat expert, and she helped us to know what to do, and how to feed the mother cat, who was somewhat feral.
My husband loves babies of all kinds, even of the cat variety, and before I knew it, each of our children had claimed one of the kittens, with our oldest and youngest sharing ownership of one of the cats. (Our youngest was 1 and our oldest was 15—and they seemed happy with that arrangement—knowing that our oldest would be moving out of the house fairly soon.) We told the children that the cats would have to be outdoor cats, because of our allergies. The mother cat was continually trying to sneak those babies past us and into our house. It was quite an amazing act of mother protection to see. We did not let her bring them into the house, but we have found that over the years, our cat allergies have gotten better, and our cats have become more indoor/outdoor cats. Our next-door neighbor helped us with where to go for neutering and shots, as again, we were pretty new at this. At the time she was volunteering with a cat neutering program and so we were able to get the cats neutered for free.
One of Sean’s favorite cartoon strips was Calvin and Hobbes, so it was no surprise to anyone that Sean adopted the orange kitty and named him Hobbes.
Then the year before Sean died, Hobbes died. We knew he was sick, but when we took him to the vet, they could not determine what he had. I remember being in the vet’s office and crying and crying over this cat. I had never reacted to a pet’s sickness like this before. Hobbes death hit all of us, very hard. I kept crying and crying over his death. This Hobbes had lived for 5 years.
Then the summer before Sean died, my husband and I and our youngest child were in a fruit and vegetable stand, and there were two orange tabby kittens. They were from the same litter and were available for adoption. One of the kittens looked just like Hobbes the 1st. Our daughter pleaded with us to adopt them, and we found ourselves bringing these kitties home.
We told Sean that we wanted to adopt one of the kitties for him. He named the new kitty, Hobbes the 2nd. A few months later, Sean was gone.
Hobbes the 2nd is now almost 7 years old. He is the most privileged and pampered cat we have. He gets wet cat food every day. He can come and go as he pleases. Even though he is so pampered, he is so polite. He never jumps up on my counter tops or tables. In many ways, he reminds of us Sean—who was also incredibly polite. Sean also used to love studying everything about Asia. For many years, we had some neighbors who were Asian, and whenever we couldn’t find Hobbes, we would go looking for him at their house, and sure enough, he was always there.
Hobbes will come and cuddle with us when we are sad and need a friend. Maybe we love our pets so much, because our pets give us so much, in their silent, unconditional companionship.
In the very beginning, God gave us human beings, stewardship over the planet and animals. We had a deep connection from the very beginning.
In our life, we have taken comfort in the company of pets and grieved the loss of our pets. Twelve years ago, a little girl prayed for kitties and our lives have never been the same since. So, here’s to you Hobbes and all the rest of our pets, what gifts you all are!!