her name: officially Strunk (after the grammar manual Strunk & White). unofficially, we called her Presh (as in Precious) but i'm not sure how/when that occurred. when we adopted her her given name was Vicki.
origin story: after trading the wide-open redwood tree and banana slugged expanse of humboldt county, ca for a 2nd fl apartment in los angeles in late may 1997 our cat Henry was miserable. He wanted out and slunk from room to room giving a constant low moan, as if becoming increasingly more resigned to his fate. we decided what he needed was a companion. (sidebar: mm was also miserable, also slinking from room to room and sinking into deep depression as she became increasingly resigned to living in los angeles. we decided what she needed was a cat). we went to the humane society on jefferson. there were six or seven kittens available. we narrowed it to two: a sleek and lovely grey kitty and an awkward, shy tortoise kitty. i urged mm to get the latter b/c the former was easy on the eyes and would probably be adopted within the hour and the shy awkward one was not. Her name was Vicki. We had to drive to an ATM to get the money to pay for her and one of the workers came with us (he needed to hit the ATM also). He was a big, burly fellow and since there wasn't much to say there was a cloak of awkward silence in the car as we drove down La Brea. As we pulled into the parking lot he said, You guys will love Vicki. She's a real sweetheart.
early disappearance story : shortly after getting her home, days maybe, she vanished. In a 900 sq ft 2 BR apt we could not find her. we looked everywhere, in everything, behind everything. the only conclusion was that she fell out the window and perished or went off into the ether. this engendered some interpersonal unpleasantness as one of us (no names) accused the other of neglect because how on earth could a kitten disappear? She was found some time later (a day maybe?) curled up at the back of a desk. the desk had a slanted top on a hinge wherein you could lift the top and store supplies or paper back there or something. somehow she got back there and pulled herself up. she was curled in a ball w/ eyes open.
later disappearance story: about a year later (june 98) we came home from a late screening of the X-files movie at Mann's Chinese Theater (why i remember that detail I cannot say) to find that Henry was in the apartment but Strunk was gone. Moments later we heard her mewing. She'd fallen out of the window into the fenced in brick patio of our downstairs neighbor. Our neighbor was not there and it was late at night, at least midnight. We were at a total loss. We actually attempted to lower a blanket (me holding one side and m holding the other) and talk her into climbing onto the blanket at which point we could pull her up. Did not work. We went outside on Serrano Ave, to one side of the wooden fence (which was prob 8 ft tall) and attempted to coax, cajole and wheedle her into leaping/climbing up the fence but she was not as able and nimble as Henry. Did not work. We finally decided to go around to the back of the building and climb chainlink fence into our neighbor's yard (hoping no one would call the cops). And when I say 'we' climbed the fence I mean of course that MM climbed the fence. She retrieved Strunk, handed her over and then scrambled out.
oregon disappearance story: in summer 2004 (i think) on 14th avenue, strunk wouldn't come home for dinner. very not like her. (she was a noted and prodigious gastronome). we walked to the front and back of the house clanging on a cat food can with a fork, likely looking like a lunatic. At some point we heard mewing. It was definitely her but where was it coming from? We followed it until we were able to determine that it was coming from our neighbors (The Millers) outside basement door. The same neighbors who were away for the weekend. I can't recall exactly how we got her back but I think we had to leave her there until they returned, knowing that she'd have to sustain herself on her ample reserves until rescue.
traits, bad: a) steady insistent jackhammer-like mewing beginning between 530a-6a each morning, meant one presumes to rouse us and/or alert us that she was up and ready to face the day or more specifically ready for breakfast. b) steady insistent jackhammer-like mewing before dinner starting anywhere from 3:30pm on and/or anytime a human being walked into/near the kitchen c) clawing at, pawing at and/or consuming human foodstuffs, most recently she managed to steal mm's garlic bread right off her plate and bring it to the floor without m or i noticing. she also clawed her way into a bag of hot dog buns. she also once ate an almond that fell on the floor, causing her to vomit for 2 days until she finally passed it (lucky for us b/c we read about a cat that had to have surgery to remove an almond in the GI tract). d) some personal hygiene issues. despite the constant tutelage of Henry she never quite nailed the standard-issue-cat-thing of cleaning yourself.
traits, good a) sweetest disposition in the world b) shyness. it took literally years for strunk to allow us to pet her or pick her up. a couple yrs in she started jumping up on the bed in the early dawn to sit next to our head on our pillow. if we reached for her or turned or otherwise moved she'd jump down immediately. c) lack of daring. strunk stayed close to home at all times (except those times featuring a food imperative, like our neighbors on 80th who left dry food out for their cat which Strunk would happily dispatch herself to help consume)
overall: amazing spirit and sweetness. we miss you xo
|Strunk keeps watch|
|strunk, maxwell, and henry reunited|
|Strunk, the sweetest cat in the world, Rest in Peace.|