|Death: ||Jul. 25, 2009|
Fort Bend County
Sometime in 2005, two stray cats began to accompany Lucky, Roxanne, Angel and I on our evening walks through the neighborhood. One was a beautiful Russian Blue, the other a common brown tabby. After feeding them for a few months, I decided to see whom they belonged to.
I fastened a collar to the Russian Blue (the tabby did not like collars) and attached a paper tag, like for keys. On it, I wrote "Mario" and our phone number.
The next day I got a call from a man a few blocks away. He asked if Mario was mine. I told him my story of the 2 cats, but also mentioned that the Russian Blue was a purebred and very expensive. I was surprised when he told me they had been abandoned near his home.
After speaking with the man, I never saw Mario again. I suspect he kept him. However, the brown tabby continued to walk with us every evening. I was angry that he only rescued Mario, leaving the tabby behind. I resolved that I would try and get friendlier with the little guy, and maybe take care of him as an outside cat.
One day after our walk, I sat on our patio and the tabby came and sat on my lap, purring up a storm. Realizing he was not feral, I named him Chicago White Sox, Chi-Chi for short. However, he was not used to being inside and he simply went in the back door and right out the front for 6 months, until we could gradually get him to stay inside longer and longer.
Chi-Chi became a great comfort to me after Lucky died. However, a month later, Chi-Chi became very sick. He was not interested in patrolling, playing, or eating, either. I prayed that I wouldn't lose another animal as I took him to the emergency clinic on a Sunday afternoon. He got a shot of penicillin and was fine in a couple of days. I thought he would resent me, and be angry about the shot and getting his temperature taken. But, I was surprised to find that instead, Chi-Chi chose me as his new special person. He made it clear by the many mice and salamanders he brought to me. He was an excellent mouser!
Chi-Chi had a ton of nicknames: Chi, Chi's, Cheese, Cheesey, Cheeseball, Chi-La, Chi-Chi-La, Cheeser, Cheech, ChiX2, and, his original name, Soxy. And he answered to all of them. His eyes were the deepest Kelly Green. Unfortunately, my poor photography skills cannot capture their intensity.
He loved being outside, best, though. He'd look for me at 5am while picking up the newspaper, caterwalling at me from the other end of the street! He ruled, and he loved it. He knew every dog and cat, every car and garage door sound. He was a real character, my Chi-Chi-La!
During Hurricane Ike, we had to keep all the cats in for a week until the power lines were fixed and the debris cleared. The other cats were fine. For Chi-Chi, it was house arrest. He hollered and wailed for days in a mournful cry. He was so unhappy, and so was the entire household. Diffusers, catnip, toys....nothing could console the miserable cat.
While I was lighting the pilot light of the water-heater in a crawlspace, Chi-Chi, escaped through the house. He emerged 20 minutes later, crossing the breezeway into the garage! Thanks to Chi, we found out how the squirrels were getting in. When we could finally let him out without risking his safety, he briskly strode out the door like he was late for an appointment. He made a beeline for the perimeter of the house and, a few of the neighbors' houses, too. He loved patrolling his territory like a little soldier. Chi, forever on patrol.
Chi-Chi, our "Daddy Cat", protector and friend passed away on Saturday, July 25 at 1:15PM CST. He was hit by a car on our quiet side street right in front of our house. There is no reason to be driving on our street unless you lived or knew someone on it. There are much busier streets at either end of ours, and yet this happened here, the first time in 30 years someone's pet was killed in the neighborhood. There are a lot of dogs and cats around here; they all know each other. The driver apparently just clipped his head and probably didn't realize they hit anything. (Maybe on a cell phone?) My neighbors didn't actually see it happen, but have so much as told me it was a freak accident.
He leaves behind his loving people family, and cats Roxanne, Frankie Lee and Bella to mourn his loss. We care for two older cats, and prepared for their passing, but not Chi-Chi. Another of Lucky's cats, Angel-Ah, passed away in 2008.
It was only after his passing that I discovered some of Chi-Chi's travels. Unbeknown to me, he often visited Rose's cat down the street and played with her. He went to the house across the street to visit the three teenage girls who lived there. He liked to sit by their pool, I'm told. That's just what these neighbors have told me. I'm sure there's more I'll never know.
What a great cat!
Edward James Zakrzewski (1921 - 2005)
Armandina Zakrzewski (1925 - 2012)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: On the bureau w/ his photo at home
Created by: Miss Morgan
Record added: Jul 28, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39971078