I no longer have BK.  He died September 25, 2004.  He lived a long and happy life of over 18 years.  He was happy up until the very end.  We both knew it was time when he left (he probably more than me).

Some of the emotion of how I felt I tried to capture in this poem.

Here are some of my memories of BK.  He led an "interesting" life!

He's a male cat that was found and given to me when he was very young.  When I first got him, he was taken to the vet and not given a very good chance because he was seperated from his mother so young.  The vet guessed that he was about 2 weeks old.  But said if he was to survive he'd have to be bottle fed with kitten formula and a pet nursing bottle.  Yea, right.  But off I went to the pet store on a seemingly wild goose chase.  When I got to the pet store and announced that I was on a wild goose chase and needed kitten formula and a pet nursing bottle, I got the non-chelant answer from the stock person "isle 5".  So off I went down isle 5.  I was really suprised to see kitten formula and pet nursing bottles!  The kitten formula was right next to the puppy formula and the rabbit formula.

With much care and feeding (just like a baby) he not only survived, he prospered.  He's about 15 pounds of hungry cat.  He's always hungry.  He seemly will eat almost anything -- unseemly for a cat.  His favorite food for a while was Orio cookies.  The odd thing about the Orio's (other than a cat actually liking Orio cookies) was that he knew how to eat them properly -- yes, he would take the cookies appart and eat the cream middle first and then eat the cookies!  Other favorite foods were spagetti, lasagna, peas, chicken, tuna (what cat doesn't like that?) and ice cream.

There were some funny stories about this cat.

When he was young, he was an indoors/outdoors cat (I called them I/O's).  Usually when he was outside you couldn't find him.  But when it was time to go to bed, I'd open the front door and whistle for him.  He'd come running through the front door in about 10 seconds!

One day the kids (about 4 & 5) were playing in the front yard.  A big strange hound dog meandered into the cul-de-sac where the house was.  I was about to collect the kids up because I didn't know what the dog was up to.  However, I noticed that BK had appeared and took up a position between the dog and the kids.  He was pissed!  All of this fur was puffed out and he was hissing.  The dog's reaction was to ignore BK.  The dog got to about 20 feet of the kids and the next thing I see is a black blur and the dog is yelping and running to the end of the cul-de-sac.  BK is now sitting licking one of his paws.  Hmm, what just happened?  After a minute or so, the dog decided that it wasn't hurt and continued back down the cul-de-sac.  Immediately BK took up the same position (and now I was watching *very* closely) as before.  When the dog got to the same spot as before, I watched BK launch at the dog and leap onto his face raking the claws on all four feet across the dog's face.  This time the dog didn't stop at the end of the cul-de-sac!

A few years later I moved to an apartment.  BK moved too.  At that point he became exclusively and indoors cat.  I remember initially he would always try to escape outside (after all there were all sorts of neat stuff out there...like ducks).  One day I had some funiture delivered and realized afterwards that I didn't know where BK was.  I frantically searched the apartment to no avail.  Great!  I've just lost my cat in an area that is not particularly hospitable to cats!  As I sat down on my bed to try and figure out where to look next, my hand rested on a fold in the bed spread...but it wasn't a fold...it was BK.  He had decided that there was too much comotion and decided to bury himself under the covers in the bed where he proceeded to take a nap!

The next big adventure was when I was transferred from South Florida to Austin, Texas.  A half country move!  Most of the move was done by a moving company, but BK and I drove there.  He *hated* it.  I put a cage in the back of the car to keep him under control so I didn't have to worry about him escaping during a stop.  The first night I took him out and set him onto the floor of the motel room.  His first instinct was to run and hide under the bed.  So off he went at full speed and dove under the bed.  CLONK!  Out he comes, staggering (and you could almost see the stars circling his head).  The bed is a platform bed and he ran straight into the platform!  The look on his face was one of "why are you doing this to ME?"  We continued on towards Austin the next day.  The next night, he proceeded to go run under the bed but stopped up short and peeked under the bed to make sure that there was actually room.

I had a nice two story house in Austin which had two features the BK had never seen before and ended up enjoying a great deal.  The first were stairs.  He'd never seen stairs before.  Hours were spent running up and down them.  He'd also have great fun hidding one step up from the landing and attack someone who was comming up the stairs as they couldn't see him.  The other thing he enjoyed was the fireplace but only when there was a roaring fire in it!  When it was cold out, I'd light a fire and he became an immovable object in front of it.

We moved again this time from Austin to San Jose, California.  The move was uneventful, and again BK had a new house to explore.  This one had hardwood floors (again a new experience) and he would have fun prancing up and down the halls slapping his paws on the floor because they made a satisfying sound.  There were plenty of windows just right for kitty cats.  His favorite though was the window box over the kitchen sink.  This got the full afternoon sun and would be where he would spend the entire afternoon.

At that time he was 11 to 12 years old and he was starting to slow down a bit.  He lasted another 7 years.