His name was Guessie, and he quickly adjusted to his new surroundings. I often noticed him in yards or driveways. As winter approached I spotted him sitting in the front windows of neighbors’ houses within the full square block of our addition.
It took Guessie several months to understand that our dog, Stuart, enjoyed the company of friendly felines. Once they became friends things really changed around our house. One day I opened the backdoor to let Stuart in and Guessie followed him in, marched directly to the kitchen and gave me that look. I understood completely and started looking through the pantry for something that he might enjoy for dinner.
We quickly discovered that Guessie enjoyed canned tuna. He soon figured out that Stuart enjoyed a couple of meals of canned food each day. Guessie figured out that if he was in our house when Stuart’s meal was being prepared, he would enjoy a dish of tuna.
Over the years Guessie became a special part of our family. Quite often when Lyn and I would retire to our easy chairs in the living room, Stuart would curl up on one of our laps while Guessie generally occupied the other lap. He had 15 or more other favorite locations in our house to sleep. He would occupy that same spot for three or four days before moving to a different spot for a few days.
I don’t have any idea how many families enjoyed visits from him.
A couple of weeks ago he came in for breakfast and then took a nap until it was time for his second breakfast. Shortly after that he alerted me that he would like to go outside, which was a normal request from him.
Guessie was the only house-trained feline that I ever encountered. In all the years that he honored us with his company, we never found the need for a litter box. Guessie would slowly walk to a door and we would let him out. If his entire purpose was to relieve himself, he would return to one of the windows that he used to notify us of his desire to come back in.
That was the last time Guessie visited with us. We began to worry when we hadn’t seen his for a few days. I finally saw him in the driveway of another neighbor. I knew that Guessie also hung out with them quite a bit. I would see their garage door open a bit to allow him to enter and leave when he needed.
A couple of days later that neighbor stopped at our house to inform us that Guessie was sick and they had him in their garage. It was hard to see him in that condition. He recognized us and attempted to stand up a couple of times. We had planned on taking him to a veterinarian the following morning, but our neighbor came over later and told us Guessie had died. He is buried in an area of our backyard where a few other of our deceased pets have been laid to rest.
It will be a long time before Stuart and I are not looking for Guessie to stop by in the morning.
Many tears have been shed during the past couple of weeks. Guessie was an important part of our neighborhood. We are going to miss him.