Wednesday, June 10, 2009
RALPH THE CAT
We used to have a cat. It just showed up at our house one day. For the longest time my brother and I resented it and wanted it gone. We wanted a dog instead, but they were more work or more money or something. As we learned this cat wasn't going anywhere any time soon, we went ahead and accepted it. As a stipulation though, we proclaimed its name to be "DOG."
Apparently our sister had named it "POOH" for it's supposed resemblance to Winnie the Pooh, so the name battle began. We would argue back and forth:
"Its name is Dog!"
Then our mom got fed up with us and stated, "We will compromise and call it DOG-POOH."
This delighted my brother and me and we accepted this new name.
Later we grew more attached to him, and out of respect we renamed him RALPH. Really he named himself. That was the sound he made when he wanted something.
I remember when he got hit by a car. The neighbor saw him on the side of the road, and went to get a shovel to bury him before us kids found him. When our neighbor got back to the location of the incident with his shovel, Ralph was gone. He managed to come back to life and limp back to our house and crawl into his bed. He stayed in his bed for a few days. We figured he was dying in there. Eventually he snapped out of it... Sort of.
After he was hit by a car he was never quite the same mentally. He would just lay there like a limp pile of laundry. You could position him in any pose and he'd stay that way until you moved him. He was gentler too. My mom would slide him across the floor to wipe up spills and messes. He didn't care. I guess he suffered some sort of brain damage. I know it sounds mean to say but I liked him way better this way. He would actually stay there when I pet him, unlike normal cats who would just get up and walk away from me when I was trying to be nice.
Ralph lived a long, long time. I try to remember how many years we had him and it seems like it was nearly twenty years. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that long. I miss Ralph now. I'm not much of a cat person but if I could find another one with brain damage I'd take it.