What does that span of time make you think of? Perhaps the length of a marriage, the first years of life from kid to adult, your total years of education – grades 1 through university. A long lived friendship. This week it marks the end of the time spent with a very unique and memorable cat for a very dear friend.
Ludere was a lion in a pussy cat body. He was totally and utterly committed to the woman in his life. So much so that you were always aware that Karyn was HIS human, he only occasionally deigned to allow other lessor beings to touch the cloud like fluff that was his amazing coat of white fur. Quickly followed up by a decisive swipe of a well armed paw.
In fact, that was pretty much a game between Ludere (otherwise known as Dere, or hell cat, or he who should not have back turned on, oh or pretty white fluffy danger kitty) and Ken. Dere would lay down with his soft underbelly exposed, all sweet and fluffy, allow for a minute or 5 (always random) of lovely petting only to, without ANY warning, lash out claws extended. To add in some more fun, this would sometimes be combined with a little bit of “friendly” gnawing on the extended hand.
My personal experience with Dere and petting were always with the supervision of Karyn. Usually with her distracting him with her affection so I could sneak in a quick pass over his back. I swear he could count hands, because that was always followed up with an intense stare and the knowledge that he could get me if he wanted… but he didn’t, not right now… but that was his choice, not mine.
Ludere has been a fixture in all of our lives for as long as we have known Karyn. He is the stuff of legends, has been for years – like when he almost literally scared the pee out of our friend Sean. Or his relaxation (be it momentarily) around Esther – something that did have to be seen to be believed.
Dere has been a fascination for our kids since the first time they were CAREFULLY introduced to him with the warning to – not touch the pretty kitty, just look. They have followed him around from a distance, tossed toys… from a distance… put food in his dish… from a distance… I sense a pattern! But, this has not decreased their fascination or love for him. Every FaceTime Trinity has had with Karyn has included a wish to see and or hear about him. Pictures have been drawn of the majestic white kitty, stories have been repeated about his intense stare and – that time I got to pet him while Aunty Karyn held him (down, possibly… not that they noticed that part). Dere is family. Like a cranky but beloved uncle that you just want to be around, but possibly does not want you around, because he REALLY doesn’t like kids (or is it people, well anyone but Karyn – really – we are merely tolerated and lucky to be in his presence).
So now, 18 years after Karyn brought home her adorable and slightly belligerent ball of fluff, we are saying good bye. Ludere will never be forgotten, his lengthy life has been full of anecdotes and adventure. He was a cat of action, except when he wasn’t (after all, cat = sleep a lot). He was a one lady man. He was amazingly photogenic, though I personally feel 90% of those photos perfectly capture his wish to take over the world by force and remove all excess humans – but only if someone were to do the work for him, because he IS a cat after all.
Ludere leaves behind his beloved human – Karyn, his cohabiting kitten – Loki, and an extended family of admirers including his god daughter by proxy – Trinity. I think we will be talking of his feline exploits for years to come. Thank you Karyn for bringing home that tiny kitten with a huge personality way back in college.