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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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am truly moved by this blog. I too, was fortunate enough to live with a lovable, quirky, gentle giant (Maine Coon) named Stash. He was black and white and won over anyone he came in contact with. We lost him too, but were lucky enough to have him for about 16 years. Gone but never forgotten. There will always be a special place in my heart for cats, but particularly the Maine Coons!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1762 days ago
  • 1EMMA2011
    So sad to hear about your loss. What a wonderful companion and I understand completely. I have always loved black cats. They have special significance for me.

    Go slow and take it easy.

    Praying for you.

    1879 days ago
  • XHENA16
    Sable sounds like a beautiful cat with a lovely personality. I could feel your loss when reading your blog and my heart goes out to you. emoticon
    1894 days ago
  • POPSY190
    I see each "new" cat as a tribute to the one who went before. The experience of having each one is renewed by giving another a home.
    1899 days ago
    oh wow.

    same story, different details here.

    1900 days ago

    Even when new cats come into our lives, we never stop missing the ones that went before.

    I have loved each and every one of my cats, and never two the same.

    1900 days ago
    Sable sounded like a wonderful feline, so affectionate... You miss her very much. Very sweet story.
    1900 days ago
    What a great story! I see a lot of Sable's personality in you. Our pets leave such a lasting imprint on us. It would be great if they lived longer.
    1900 days ago
    What a lovely story. I just lost my cat of 14 yrs the day after Christmas. His brother stills misses him as do I. The dogs just do not want to cuddle with him-lol!
    1900 days ago
    I truly understand loving and grieving for fur family. Life is better for people when fur folks are involved.
    1900 days ago
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