Kitty Xerox

It is almost exactly one year since my beloved best friend and 

soul-mate Xerox passed to her next life.  She died March 24, 2003, at 
about 2 am MST.  She was enfolded in my arms, and we were in the 
twilight of sleep.  We'd spent the last two days of her life on Earth 
inseparable, in almost constant physical contact; about an hour before 
she took her last breath, we exchanged spirits, melding our souls into 
one.  She is a part of me now, and we will never be separated again.

Xerox would have been 20 years old this Saturday.  We spent our life 
together as true friends and constant companions.  She went hiking with 
me in the mountains; we went on week-long camping trips together.  I 
took her everywhere I could, often at a moment's notice, even when she 
was on twice-daily fluids and multiple meds. She went fishing with my 
husband, and loved to ride in my car with me.  We often turned heads 
when we drove through traffic in my little old Karmann-Ghia--she would 
stand on the driver's seat, her feet in the space between my legs and 
her paws on the top edge of the steering wheel.  I would place my hands 
low on the wheel, where they couldn't be seen from outside the car, and 
it looked for all the world like Xerox was driving.  She stared through 
the windshield with great intensity, watching for potholes and puddles 
and fast-moving cars cutting in front of us.

One night on the highway to Taos we chanced upon a 'blitz', a random 
roadblock where the police were checking for drunk drivers.  As the cop 
approached our car to ask for ID, I rolled the window down a little bit 
and slipped  my finger under X's collar so she wouldn't be tempted to 
jump out.  Just as the guy shined his big flashlight into the car, 
Xerox took a little jump toward the window, as though to charge at the 
policeman, and hissed and spit.  I'd never, ever seen her do that 
before.  Startled, the cop took a step back, and said, "Is that cat 
mean?"  "No," I replied. And before thinking further I continued, "she 
just believes in the Fourth Amendment." (protects against illegal 
search and seizure).  The policeman looked at me strangely, and waved 
us through the roadblock.  Those 'blitz' things were later declared 
unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.  OK, well, maybe you need 
to be a lawyer to see the humor in that story; but it remains one of my 
favorite memories of Xerox.  She was the smartest and deepest-thinking 
cat I've ever known.

I never thought of her as 'my cat'.  She was just "Xerox" (or, in her 
younger, naughtier, more frivolous days, "Xorax, Kitty from Hell"). 
Just Xerox, my friend.  The same as any of you are my friends.  I never 
said "my cat, Xerox," just as I never say "my human friend Pat or John 
or Judy."  I just said "Xerox."  Our friendship transcended species 
differences; the fact that she had fur and four legs, and I don't, made 
no difference to us.  She never looked down on me, never judged me; she 
tolerated all my shortcomings, and put up with the most ridiculous 
bullshit from me, including me dressing her up as Little Red Riding 
Hood one Halloween and taking her to the office costume party.  She 
gave me The Look, as if to say, "I'm doing this because you are a 
pathetic human and I love you dearly; but don't ask me for any favors 
in the near future, ok?"  But she did it; she walked beside me into 
that pot-luck party, proud and feline.  My Xerox. My copycat.

I will always miss her presence on my pillow, her impossibly rough 
tongue licking the skin off my forehead (in my wedding pictures you can 
see a little brown spot on my forehead:  X's special kiss, where she 
washed my head for a half hour the night before, just to make sure I'd 
be ready for that big day; our anniversary is this Friday).

Xerox was a gift to this world.  She's certainly on the Welcoming 
Committee at the Rainbow Bridge, just as she was the Welcome Wagon 
kitty at my home, always making the new rescue kitties feel secure and 

Love your kitties especially well today, in honor of her memory.  
She would want that.  She was Love.

Chris, ever grateful to have known Kitty Xerox
"My cat knows everything about me, and loves me anyway."--Anonymous


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