In Memoriam: To My Sweet, Soulful Petie (2006-2016)

I can’t believe it’s been a year.

A year ago today I had to do something I’d never done before in my life. I made the decision that it was time to say goodby to my sweet, beloved, painfully shy, carb-addicted, soulful, chunky monkey Petie (aka Petie Bear, Petie Pita Pants, Petie Pantaloon…).

Grey Tuxedo, #Petiebear I’ve been writing and rewriting this post for the last hour through the tears. Tears I shed for months leading up to the day I had to say goodbye to him, but were frighteningly absent on that day and the days to follow.

I have some thoughts on saying goodbye to a furry family member. What it was like for me having to make that decision for the first time in my life, but I don’t want to go there today. That will be a post for another time.

Tamar Arslanian I HAVE CAT Today I want to share some of the things that made Petie who he was. The things I miss about him. Apologies for any typos and I know there’s much I will wish I had included, but it’s late and I want to have something posted to honor him. So I’m hoping “something is better than nothing” will apply in this instance.

How I could carry him like a toddler (guess I can’t complain about the toddler locks then – read on for context)

“If you don’t hear from me, Petie has killed and eaten me. That,or the neighbors have.”* Just this evening my cat sitter Jordana, who had a very special bond with Petie, sent me this text. Apparently it’s a text I sent her back in December of 2014.

Petie was a food addict and the reason that, as a single woman without 2-legged children, I have toddler locks on my refrigerator and cabinets (over the course of a few evenings he managed to break the seal on my refrigerator looking for the cat food I thought I’d so cleverly hidden there – don’t worry, he was NOT starving as is hopefully obviously in the photos!).

I have cat Petie I’ll never forget the day I caught him atop of the refrigerator (how he catapulted his 20lb frame up there I’ll never know), the door of the cabinet above the stove open. Mind you, the door opened towards him, yet he’d managed to squeeze under it and had proceeded to start knocking down cans of cat food and cat treats. The moment he realized he was busted he leapt, flying into the air, landing and scampering away!

One of my amazing Facebook followers found the photo I had posted of this exact moment! See! Proof! i have cat

*As an aside, at the time I had horrible neighbors, I won’t go into it, but to give the text a bit more context….

The funny, high-pitched “broken” meow that came out of his robust pear-shaped body. (Turn up the volume and play the clip below).

Loving time. While he wasn’t the most affectionate cat – unless food was involved he would literally “call me” to my bedroom for “loving time. It’s not as lurid as it sounds – I promise! Petie would meow to get my attention then make his way to the stairs. He’d go up them, turning around every so often to make sure I was following him. Once in my bedroom, he’d jump up on my bed. That was my cue to let the petting begin.

Paw flower.  cat paw I HAVE CAT

That pink nose. I called it his “mood” nose as it varied in hue, though I’m not quite sure why. Often it would be injured and I’d wonder if I should get it insured – just in case!

cat boo boo I HAVE CAT

Multi-color jelly beans (toe pads). Especially those lovely pink ones. I’ll have to find a photo.

How he hid in my closet and drawers…everywhere. I once walked all the way to work before realizing I had a one-inch trim of Petie fur running around the hem of my dress.

cat in wicker basket

Home hither poses.

I HAVE CAT #PetieBear

This sexy cross-legged look was captured by my cat sitter

 

How his resemblance to a rabbit made me return to vegetarianism (okay, in truth a Pescatarian who really wants to go vegan).  He was essentially two floppy ears and a fluffy tail away from being a bunny. And It made me think about how arbitrary it is how we determine which sentient beings we turn into commodities to kill and eat and which we turn into members of our family. If you’re interested in learning more, read “A Hare-Raising Tail” and “Feline Mignon” (you’ll see Petie as a lamb and a rabbit!)

Fu manchu whiskers. 

cat whiskers

His soulful human and distinctly non-feline expressions. In fact he inspired a post I wrote many moons ago about how he was a suave man caught inside a chubby cat’s body. Those eyes. They were so expressive (expressing everything from fear to distain).  He often seemed to be gazing off into the distance perhaps lost in his thoughts (that or nothing was going on up there and I’d prefer to think it was the former).

Petie IHAVECAT

His soulful eyes looked like those of a being who had seen a lot.  I often wondered if he’d witnessed something terribly sad, or suffered before he was rescued and came into my life. Or perhaps he was a human who’d seen a lot and had been reincarnated as a feline.

I HAVE CAT

 

How my sister used him as reference when shipping packages. She said determine if a package at work was more or less than 20lbs based on how heavy it felt compared to Petie. In fairness, he was only 20lbs at his peak.

The way he hid his head in the crook of my arm. Usually when I picked him up from out of a hiding spot so he could meet a friend who wanted to see him.

That fluffy belly. His long belly fur was silky soft, and smelled like linens from the Four Seasons or a similar high-end hotel. I never got to pet it and smell that sweet belly as much as I wanted to. To this day I mourn that I did not think to ask the vet to shave some of it for me to keep.

fluffy kitty belly

How he filed himself away. He never sat on the shelves in my front room- none of the cats did – until I put the word CAT up next to it. Then Petie decided it was okay to sit there. But he was the only one. They haven’t been touched in a year.

#PetieBear

I could go on, but it’s getting late. I’m worried I’m forgetting things and I don’t want to forget. I don’t want him to slip away from me… Thank you for loving him. Feel free to post any memories you have of him in the comment section.

I leave you with some of the first photos and video of him that exist. My sweet baby Petie. How I miss you so. xo

ihavecat city critters

A photo I took of Petie – on my Blackberry – the first time I saw him (l) and a photo from City Critters rescue which I only saw years after adopting him (r)

 

One of the first days in his new home (Kip isn't so sure about losing his status as an only child)

One of the first days in his new home (Kip isn’t so sure about losing his status as an only child)

Forgive the terrible dorm-motif of my apartment back in 2006, but I had to share this very rare footage of Kip loving on (or maybe marking?) a relatively small Petie. My apologies for the poor video quality –  technology has advance quite a bit in the interim!

Making himself at home

Making himself at home

For more Petie photos, search the hashtag #petiebear on Instagram. 

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  • Tina Modugno

    What a beautiful post ❤️ Great way to keep his memory alive!

  • naturegirly

    Wonderful! Every person who has been owned by a cat will understand the wide range of emotions gone through during the relationship. The smiles and the tears all there. Thank you for sharing him with us. <3

  • stevenseighman

    What a sweet tribute. Petie sounds like he was a wonderful cat who had a really great life with you. ❤️

    • Awww thank you – he was a shy boy… a loner…but such a character….

  • Rena

    What a wonderful tribute to sweet Petie! A cat could not be more loved than he is. Don’t worry about forgetting. My Max died 27 years ago, and my memories of him are still vivid. They are all special, but some are special in a different way, and we never forget them–I promise.

    • Thank you Rena…awwww….what a lovely sentiment. Thank you always.

  • A lovely tribute to Petie. Hard to believe it has been a year. Sending you hugs.

    • I know…sweet boy…they are always in our hearts…

  • katboxjanitor

    This is a wonderful tribute to your handsome housemate, Petie.
    It has been nearly 8 years since I lost Toes and I had a vivid recollection just yesterday morning. And I have a couple-hundred pix of both of them and they bring back so many memories.

    • Thank you so very much for your lovely comment =^^=

  • Awww, I thought this was a wonderful tribute to your sweet boy. Purrs to you as you remember him.

  • jmuhj

    With men like Petie, what on earth do we need with the human variety? *sigh* My angel Rani left us one year ago on June 29th, and my father on July 15th 9 years ago. There are so MANY of these anniversaries. Every one of our loved ones watches over us until we are reunited in due time. Petie, undoubtedly, is looking over your shoulder into the cupboards every time you open one. >^^<

    • I’m so sorry for all the losses in your life…..I didn’t realize your Rani passed so soon before Petie. They were both so loved =^^=

      • jmuhj

        Thank you, Tamar. Yes, they were, are, and will always be beloved of us!

  • annameow

    Aw! So Sweet! Petie was beloved by all of your fans too… 1000s of us! I treasure the catnip toys and ornaments with his image on them. May your heart find peace in your beautiful memories of love and life shared. *hug* (Mister Meow, Peties TN doppelganger, sends you healing purrs) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77e95a04456ece8c031ba71b4126469a7fb64cd17b5544571567be41a7f1ff82.jpg

    • I adore this photo – thank you so very much for posting this. I love hearing about how people who never met him loved him. my funny shy boy.

  • Stephanie

    sweet petie pants. i cried when i read the news a year ago, and i’m tearing up now. i miss him, too, and i didn’t even know him. i am also a single cat lady with 3 fur babies, so i feel like i understand you a lot. sending hugs. xx

    • Oh Stephanie you are too lovely…..we feel like we get to know one another’s babies on this world wide web. Thank you so very very much. And head rubs to your kitties!

  • floppycats

    Miss you, Petie!!

  • Chamobleu

    Douces pensées pour Petie…

  • Julie Gasser Shea

    Awwww, your tribute made me cry. We have put down two of our oldest fur babies in the last three years. Both of them were 20! We still miss them terribly and I feel your heartbreak.

    • So difficult. How lovely they lived such full and i am sure very loved lives. Thank you for your lovely comment. =^^= And for the support.

  • Such a lovely tribute, Tamar. Petie had such a happy, loved filled life with you. Never worry about forgetting him because his memories will live forever in your heart.

    • Thank you for your kind words Dawn. =^^=

  • What a wonderful and loving tribute to your Petie. Sending you, purrs, prayers and hugs as you remember your beloved boy.

  • Catherine Owen

    Oh sorry to hear that, this is a great tribute to Petie. I’ve lost my cat 5 years ago, I understand how painful you are and how much you miss him.

    Welcome to our store of cute cat stuff for cat owners https://springglamour.com/

    • Thank you so much Catherine for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. It’s so hard to lose our babies =^^=

  • Jessica Novia

    Lovely writing! Thanks for sharing this. I just lost my baby Jimi, it was too fast. he was just with us for a very short time but our love to him was truly unconditional. in fact that he was my very first cat made it even more sad to realize he is now not with us in this world anymore. but me and my bf believe that his soul always lives, and he has a very special place in our heart
    https://jessicaagnov.com/2017/09/16/the-coolest-cat-on-earth/

    • I am so very saddened to hear about your Jimi….he was obviously much loved. Yes, I can imagine his being your first kitty made it even hard….thinking o you. Yes, they live in our hearts forever

  • mona malik

    really well written from the heart .
    god bless you – http://mykitten.in/

  • Lydea Rhosky

    I feel you..i just lost my sweet lola a week ago…shes not very affectionate but shes around the house most the time..only makes noise when shes hungry..sometimes i wonder is there a cat heaven ..maybe oneday i will know the cat’s heavens door and find my cat..Petie looks so adorable..

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  • Nikki Sweetthings

    This is such a touching memorial. He was such a loved kitty cat and still is! I too have lost a cat in my life. I often think about him and have even thought of naming a child after him – that is how loved he was and still is!