Remembering Roi, The Sweetest Dumb Ole Cat I Ever Knew

Before we had kids, there were the cats.  They were the first and only non-human animals that lived with us until just a few weeks ago when the bunnies came to our home.  Japanese Bobtails were a breed known for their intelligence, powder-puff tails, and regal personalities.  I chose these kittens because of their different pet dander — they didn’t seem to aggravate Hub’s animal allergies.  I in turn would have some lovable animals at home again while I studied engineering, to dote on while he was away most of the time working on contract assignments.

That, and it was love at first sight.  (Allergies aside, he really had no say in the matter.)

Roi was the male of the two we brought home, and he was the sweetest cat straight away. Even as he grew older, he had a very forgiving and subservient nature, leaving the dominating to the Queen, Keiko.  Keiko ruled the roost, but when she wasn’t around, he was always right there, purring very audibly (we could hear him from the other room) and vying for attention.

Bread Loaves — Roi and Keiko

When the kids came along, the cats took the back seat, as many pets do in a growing family.  Being strictly indoor cats, they were perpetually reminded that mini-humans were both fun and irritating.  There was little escaping the poking and prodding of little hands whenever they were in the play zone.

Thankfully, he took all of this in stride.  He seemed to enjoy being “caressed” by young children, as evidenced by his kitten-like sucking of his own paw.  He never once bit or scratched a child; he would merely meow nervously for me to come and rescue him if things got a bit out of control.  I always did.  After I took a picture, of course.

“Ah…a little to the right. Yeah, right there…”

He lazed around a lot.

Stretch Cat Puffy Tail

When the children were younger, they could not resist playing with and pulling on his powder-puff tail.

“Ah, danggit. Caught again. Mom!”

And he seemed to thrive on abuse, both from the kids and from the other cat.  He loved stretchy hair ties as his cat toy.  I found them everywhere — he would steal them from my bureau — as both cats would play a game of keep-away with them.  I would find literally dozens of them under the couch when I cleaned.

Geez, these Little Guys are fast. Uh, a little help here!

He couldn’t resist a faucet.  No matter where he was in the house, if he heard water running, he would appear in an instant.  He would drink from the running water and commence with this tremendous suck sound, as he would suck on his own tongue for effect.  Occasionally, he would slip as he jumped up and kersplash! right into a full tub of water.  Cats don’t really like water, you know.

One of the most entertaining things to do was to put the faucet on a slow “drip” and just watch him wait.  And wait…

Dude, we turned it off an hour ago.

In the evening, if we couldn’t find him, the first places we would look were the kids’ beds.  It was as if he’d been crowned their protectors for the night.  Roi took his job seriously.

Kitty Foot Warmers

Sometimes he would get some free preening.  Here, my oldest daughter had just eaten…well, something off his hind end.  From the look on her face, it doesn’t taste particularly good.  I hope it’s not what it looks like.

“Hey, thanks Lady, for fixing my itchy butt. That’s better.”

Only three of our four kids got to know this beautiful little soul.  He died of an unknown illness when he was only 6 years old — perhaps he’d eaten one too many hair ties; we never could determine the cause of a sudden and fatal paralysis.

I hope that there is a faucet dripping for you, Roi, no matter where you are.  We were blessed to have you in our lives, even if it was for such a short time.

Bright Eyes

RIP, Roi.  Your tenderness will not be forgotten.
1999 – 2005

View all of these photos hi-res at SmugMug.
All photos were taken with an
Olympus 3000C (2001) digital camera.

17 thoughts on “Remembering Roi, The Sweetest Dumb Ole Cat I Ever Knew

  1. What an absolute beauty. Both of the cats are gorgeous, and they clearly had endearing personalities. I do miss my Dixie Rose. She wasn’t nearly as social as Roi, and held herself aloof a good bit. But we had a quite a bond, and when she was gone, I was astounded by the sudden space and the silence.


    1. The ‘loss’ one feels is that dead space in between that the being inhabited — human being or other. The loss of Siobhan, the wild doe that had become a joyful part of my daily routine last few years, was felt just as deeply as the family cat or when my favorite aunt passed away.

      Grief is real and persistent; remembering the joy brought by these beautiful individuals dulls the pain just a bit. Doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, Roi was beautiful! ❤ And so patient with those kids, I can't believe it! What a lovely soul to share life with in your home. I'm sorry he died so young, it must have been hard not having answers. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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