What's in [my] name? Requiem for Sable
Sunday, April 07, 2013
He was a big beautiful Maine Coon, black with a thick double coat that needed lots of brushing and an especially long handsome set of whiskers. We met at the SPCA when a volunteer handed me an armful of year old, still gangly, but very large substantial cat. It was love at first sight.
I'd gone looking for another cat since our current kitty's sibling and littermate had died, leaving him so lonesome and grieving that we thought we might lose him, too. I brought Sable home to cheer him up. Well...Sebastian was delighted to have a playmate. Play in his opinion meant being the pestiest possible little brother. His sister Maia had done a great job of keeping him in line, glaring down at him from the top of a bookcase after batting him into a corner when he harassed her too much; he never knew when to call it quits. He started out harassing Sable the same way.
Sable, a very laid back and peaceful cat, didn't know what to make of him. Sebastian chased him, pestered him mercilessly until....
We woke up to such a horrible noise, we thought someone was dying. It turned out that Sable had had enough. He SCREAMED at Sebastian; we didn't know a cat could sound like that, and we sure didn't need any translation of his @#$%&* language! After that, Sebastian always started things, and Sable always finished them, just like Maia before him, and everyone got along just fine.
My big beautiful Sable was only seven years old when we came home and found him dead on the floor. I learned since that Maine Coons can be prone to heart problems, and it appeared that he had simply had a heart attack and died instantly. He should have lived many more years with us.
He was the largest, strongest, quirkiest, most dignified, and most intelligent feline I've encountered. He was MY cat, had no use at all for my husband unless I was out of town. Husband says it wasn't like that at all; he wasn't MY cat, I was HIS slave. My smart boy made up his own games, taught me to play with him, and he was allowed to cheat while I had to play by his rules. When he napped with me, he insisted on having a piece of my clothing to lie upon. Every morning, he "groomed" me, slurped and slurped and slurped on my hand until I was clean enough to suit him--and then gently held his teeth around the skin between my thumb and finger, his eyes nearly closed, the picture of a cat in ecstacy until he decided we were done.
He was indeed a Cat of Cats for me. I've had only one other as special in his own way as Sable was in his. The day after his death, I played Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem and wrote the date in my piano music. Sebastian too had passed on by then, and Raven, our next cat, missed Sable terribly and went around the house crying for him. Sable had taken care of him, groomed him, washed his ears, and slept with him. Sooner than I'd expected, tiny little Miss Moppet joined us and Raven and our sweet fluffy Felix-the-Cat--but that is another story.