Last Friday was a very emotional day for my husband and I. Our oldest male cat Rumbley passed away. Rumbley was a very special member of our family for many reasons. He is the cat that enticed my husband into becoming a totally Pussy (cat) whipped kind of guy! :)
I have always had an affinity for cats. When I was a child growing up on a farm outside Lewistown, IL, we frequently had cats dumped on our road, and my folks were always cool about letting me adopt them. I remember finding a solid black kitty once that after my dad and I bathed it, (getting thoroughly shredded in the process), ended up being a white cat. We had one mama cat who came inside alot, but most of our cats lived in our barn and gardens and were just part of how I grew up. So loving cats is just part of my makeup and throughout my entire life I have co habitated with many wonderful cats.
My husband on the other hand… not so fond of them and never had lived with one. Now this created problems for my future husband and I’s romance as far as ever getting married and living together and this is where Rumbley is actually a catalyst on getting us married. I had been divorced for about ten years, and Gerald had been divorced about 18 years when we met. And whereas we enjoyed each others company and dated exclusively, I just never really wanted to get married again, and a big part of that is because I would never give up my cats, ( I had several older cats living with me at the time), and Gerald, well he really just never wanted to live with one! Well, we dated around three years, maintaining seperate residences and that was cool with me and then entered Rumbley into our lives.
Gerald has some neighbors that moved back in 2002, and when they moved, they abandoned their two full grown male cats. So here comes these two cats roaming around Gerald’s yard and I convinced him to let me put one of the dog boxes he uses to transport his hunting dogs, onto the front porch to at least give these two kitties shelter while I tried to find them homes. I was able to place the one but was having trouble placing Rumbley. Seems there must be alot of ginger tommy cats roaming this world as the black fluffy one was easily placed, but poor Rumbley, being rather a common place color, full grown and unneutered, just wasn’t as attractive to prospective adoptive folks.
Life is funny though and the longer Rumbley stuck around the yard and followed Gerald around, well, I could see them starting to bond. Gerald had a ladder propped up against the house outside the kitchen window and Rumbley took to climbing up it daily and watching what Gerald was doing, and in my journeys in and out of the house, I could just see that the tides were changing in Gerald’s attitude.
Time passed and one day I stopped over for lunch, and as we were leaving the house, me for back to work, and Gerald to go in on second shift, here comes Rumbley. But this time, he is hurt! Something had happened to his back end and we didn’t know if he had been side swiped by a car, kicked or what, but he was seriously injured. I wrapped him up to bring him to my apartment to tend while Gerald went to work. When I got him to my home I could tell, from seeing it happen to kitties before who had run ins with vehicles, that he had a broken pelvis. Not much that can be done for that generally, just time, so I made him comfortable in the spare bedroom and figured I had another cat! Not to be though. That night when Gerald got off work here came a phone call,”How is MY cat? When are you going to bring him HOME?” LOL Yup, Rumbley had won Gerald’s heart and soul and that night moved in with him and they were thoroughly bonded for the next 8 years.
Rumbley was not a particularly loving cat to anyone but Gerald when he was younger and my first grandchild Evan, got many of side swipe scratches those first years if he got too near or tried to get to friendly. Hell, when Gerald and I got married about 6 months later, when I was alone in the house with Rumbley he would attack my ankles periodically and I had stragically placed water bottles throughout the house!
I got back at him though, the week after I got married I took him and had him neutered and he started mellowing out a bit after that!lol
So for quite a few years our Rumbley has been our alpha male kitty, ruling the roost from a basket right on our kitchen table. He always was a benign surrogate to the assorted kittens that have found their way here to Comfrey Cottages and he and I became comfortable with each other and he and my husbands bond grew.
This last year I could see time catching up with him. He seemed to lay in his basket more and get a bit thinner, but we all slow down over time. He still was always the first to investigate when I brought in a new harvest, and we never suspected he was sick
In December we noticed some changes that we felt needed checked by the vet. Well, the long in the short of it was our Rumbley had cancer. He will be sorely missed and my heart is just too raw to go into details, but I felt a need to share with all of you, my dear Comfrey Cottages visitors and friends, why I have been a bit absent lately. And to write a bit of a tribute to one hell of a cat who I will miss. I have no idea when he was born but I will always remember the time I did share this lifes journey with him.
We buried him between our white pine and my native wildflower garden and before we closed his little grave, I sprinkled rosemary for remembrance and catnip on his little coffin. I will never forget you Rumbley!