Goodbye, Mufasa

As noted yesterday, Mufasa — orange cat — was not doing well.

After I woke up this morning, I’m walking to the kitchen. I see Mufasa lying on the floor of the dining room. I check on him and realize that he died overnight.

He is now at peace.

Three weeks ago Iggy passed away, and ever since Mufasa wasn’t the same. It took a couple days, but we think that’s what it took for him to realize that she wasn’t around. His diet changed, his habits changed, all things changed, and for the worst. Daughter noted a few days ago that he seems to have aged a hundred years in just a few days, and that’s the truth. But instead of lamenting over his loss, we should celebrate his life.

He Walked Right In

Before Wife and I met, she was living in College Station. One night she and her roommate were watching “The Lion King” when they heard this meowing at the front door. Wife went to open the door and there was this regal orange kitty. They were at the point in the movie where the character Mufasa had died, so it was as if Mufasa was reborn right here on the doorstep! It made for an amusing situation, so they opted to name the kitten Mufasa. Wife had opened the door, and Mufasa just strolled right in. Ate their food, sat on her bed, as if it was meant to be.

Interestingly, this is about how things went with me and Wife when we were dating (pre-Wife, technically). She fed me, I spent a lot of time at her apartment… as if we were meant to be. But Mufasa played a role in this. Certainly Mufasa bonded with pre-Wife and became her protector. Any friend that came over, Mufasa would always position himself between the guy and pre-Wife. He made it very clear that she is mine and no, not yours. However when I came over, Mufasa yielded, as if to give me approval. 

Iggy

Maybe it was all a plot. Maybe he knew about Iggy somehow. After it was settled between Wife and myself, I brought Iggy over one day. Never have I seen such a love-hate relationship. The moment Mufasa realized “oh, pretty girl in the room” he went into full-blown male mode. Puffing himself up, trying so hard to impress Iggy. He would run to one area and start playing and looking towards Iggy as if to say “Is she watching me? Look at me! I’m so cool! Look at what I’m doing… oh wait she’s not watching me any more…” and then running over to where she was and starting all over again. He tried so hard to impress her. The funniest moment of which was him leaping to the top of a ficus tree, which wasn’t exactly meant to have so much weight at its tip… so you could have yelled “Timber!” as the tree went down, Mufasa clinging to the tip with a complete “Oh shit!” look on his face. But of course, he meant to do that. 

I guess it must have worked. Iggy and Mufasa bonded and were quite a pair, loving each other, then hating each other, but always having to be together. We can’t say for sure if the loss of Iggy prompted his change in behavior, but it’s sure hard to think it didn’t play a part.

Painfully Loyal

Throughout his life, Mufasa led Wife on a roller coaster of emotion. He could make her furious, he could make her so affectionate.

Never did an animal make us have to rearrange our lives so much. We couldn’t have bean bags for the kids, because Mufasa would pee on them. We couldn’t have alstroemerias because he would always eat them then throw it up. In fact, he’d throw up a lot of things. If things weren’t just to his liking, he’d pee on it or poop near it. If we left food out and unattended for even a moment, he was up on the counter eating it. We had to warn guests to keep their stuff in the closet and the room to the door shut, because if Mufasa came into the room and smelled something “odd” he’d likely pee on it. I can’t begin to recount the amount of stuff we had to throw out because of him. The cat drove us up the wall.

Let’s not forget the food situation. This cat I think only liked me because of food. 🙂  Why did he come around me? Either because I had food or because no one else was around and he was lonely. Thanx, Mufasa… make me feel that love. 🙂  But when he wanted food, he would always assume his begging pose. Sitting down, one paw forward, and usually how forward the paw was was in direct relation to how badly he wanted that food. He was quite funny this way. Yes it drove me up the wall that he only wanted me for my food, but that was only towards me, not Wife.

He was always around. Never have I seen such loyalty. He was always around Wife, constantly her companion. Every morning he would come into our bedroom, jump up on Wife’s side of the bed and paw at her head and shoulders until she lifted the covers so he could tunnel underneath and snuggle up next to her. We nicknamed the cat “in medias res” because that’s what he was. He was always in the middle of things (even when he died, he died in the middle of the room right where everyone walks). He was around you, many times directly underfoot and hopefully you didn’t trip, but it also put him always around wanting nothing more than to be loved and love you in return. That’s probably why when Youngest started to show an interest in animals, Mufasa was the one he was drawn to.

Teaching and Learning

Having Mufasa taught us a lot. He kept us more alert, more on top of things. He taught the children that you can be so strong, yet so gentle (he was amazingly gentle and tolerant). We learned how to be patient, how to tolerate. How love is so powerful that through it you can do things you never thought you could. Even as he was dying, Mufasa taught us something. As the family talked this morning, we realized that right until the end, Mufasa was Mufasa. 

Wife called Mufasa “Friend”, because that’s how he behaved, just like a true friend would. 

We’ll miss you buddy.

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