Claire Trevor came to us a timid cat. She’s getting more confident every day. She’s always had gorgeous eyes; second only to Oscar among Dr. A and my cats. Running second to the Big O is not bad at all.
The last word goes to another star of the Thirties and Forties:
It’s been 74 days since Paul Drake died. He’s been on my mind this week. He was with us a short time but made a big impact. I’m sorry he’s not here to school young Claire Trevor in the ways of kitty mischief.
This is one of the last pictures of PD. It was taken at the vets when the poor dear was fighting for his life, but he was as soulful as ever.
We have a new kitty. She’s a two-year-old Calico whose previous person died. His family wouldn’t take her but we did.
She was rescued by the same person who gave us Paul Drake. The omens are good. In fact, if PD were still with us, she’d be his pesky kid sister. She was destined to join our family.
We named her after Claire Trevor one of my favorite actresses of the 1930’s and ’40s. She specialized in playing tough broads and femme fatales. Her namesake is on the shy side right now but she’s going to be something.
It’s been a tough week in New Orleans. Paul Drake’s unexpected death has taken a toll on his people. Shorter Adrastos: Since this is the second time this has happened in 14 months, I don’t feel like writing today.
I would, however, like to thank everyone for the kind words here and on social media. It means the world to Dr. A and me.
What’s a cat post without a picture or two?
Here’s a previously unpublished picture of the krewe of cats named for Perry Mason characters: PD and Della Street. We miss them both.
The last word goes to Sam and Dave and Paul Rodgers:
2020 has been a terrible year for everyone: death has been depressingly commonplace. I have another passing to report. After a brief illness, Paul Drake has left the building. I use the old Elvis concert phrase because PD was an internet rock star. He deserves a star send-off.
It started last Friday. One minute, he was a normal cat then I left the room. When I returned 10 minutes later, he couldn’t stand up and started dragging himself across the floor. Initially, I thought he had a broken leg.
We raced off to the emergency veterinary hospital. It turned out to be much more serious than a fracture. PD was diagnosed with saddle thrombosis. It’s a malady whose most sinister symptom is clotting in the legs. His hind legs were paralyzed, which was the source of enormous frustration for such a vigorous and hitherto healthy cat.
We followed the course of treatment recommended by the vets. We knew survival was a long shot but, despite the pain meds, he was still present and fighting for his life. Yesterday when we arrived for a visit, he started purring the minute he saw us. It was a tough visit, but we left hoping Paul Drake could beat the odds. They were too long.
Late last night, the vet called to tell us that he had another blood clot. She asked for instructions. We decided to let the poor dear go.
It was sudden, shocking, and sad: taking only 51-some hours from start to finish. We were dazed all weekend. It’s an unfortunately common problem and is nearly always fatal. PD is a special cat, so I hoped he’d be one of the survivors, but it was not to be.
Some of you have met Paul Drake, others have followed his antics here and on social media since his gotcha day, Twelfth Night, 2018. He was a happy and gregarious boy. When we had Carnival parade parties, he didn’t hide under the bed like a sensible cat, he assumed the party was in his honor. He was certainly the life of the party.
I knew we were in for a bumpy ride when he stopped eating. We took some shredded cheese to the clinic yesterday, but he was not interested. This from a cat who came running every time the refrigerator opened. He seemed to think it was a magic food box full of wonders. I laughed every time it happened.
A word of thanks to Doctor Margaret and her wonderful staff at Avenue Animal Wellness and Emergency in Uptown New Orleans. We had such a bad experience with our former vet’s staff during Della Street’s final illness that we “divorced” after 30+ years. I was nervous about leaving her pesky kid brother in the hands of strangers during the pandemic, but they were magnificent: kind, competent, and transparent. Like everyone else, they were smitten with the charming Mr. Drake. Thanks again, y’all.
The house is quiet without PD’s thunderous footsteps and zany bag-play. I’ll even miss yelling at him for jumping on the counter hoping to steal our supper. He always looked at you as if to say, “I know you’ll forgive me, but I’ll get off anyway.” That’s a confident cat.
I sometimes kvetch about the Tweeter Tube in this space. Not this time. I was overwhelmed by a flood of kind words and best wishes as I updated his status. Thanks again, y’all.
I feel somewhat awkward about going on about my cat’s passing when there is even more suffering in the world than usual. But Paul Drake was special, dammit. He was not just my cat or Dr. A’s cat; he was your cat too. I’m glad I was able to share him with our readers.
The last word goes to Al Green with one of the saddest and loveliest songs I know:
Every morning Slade comes over to the breakfast table and flops like this, and then if we fail to IMMEDIATELY notice how stunningly cute he is, he’ll start chirping and “mrawp!” at us until he gets the pets he deserves.
I get a kick out of posting pictures of my friends’ cats in this space. I saw this excellent picture on my friend Sue’s FB feed and realized that I had never featured any of her cats here before. Woe is me, bop.
Dory is a 12-year-old tuxedo Maine coon cat. Like all tuxedos, she knows from dirty looks. The late, great Della Street would have been impressed with the haughty expression on Dory’s face. I’m impressed that her human’s desk is almost as messy as mine.
One of the odder things Dr. A and I do is cast our cats in various teevee roles. (Another time, I’ll tell you about how we cast Cheers.) It’s one reason that we ended up with cats named Della Street and Paul Drake.
I recently got a deal on the complete Rockford Files on DVD. Quite naturally, PD was immediately cast as charming rascal Jim Rockford: