Pooh Bear
aka "Pookie"

1989 - 1999

Pookie all stretched out - 1992

Pookie was our first cat. She was bought at a pet store that was later sued by its own management for negligence and cruelty to animals (The "Doctor X" pet chain, if anyone remembers that scandal). We picked Pookie because she was next to a bird cage in the pet store, and didn't seem to care about the birds. We had a bird at the time, and thought this was the only cat for us. She was a cute brown tabby with black polka-dots on her tummy, and a bright red star on her forehead. Her ears had lynx-like tips, and she purred like crazy when Christine held her.

Her name was at first, "Winnie ther Pooh" (it is "ther" look it up in the original book series). We found that was hard to yell when we were mad at her. So it became "Pooh Bear," and then just "Pookie." Or "Pookie Muffin" when we felt like being nauseatingly cute.

Shhhh... pookie thinks we 
can't see her...Pookie was very, very weird as a kitten. She used to hide behind things, wait for you to go by, and then rush and grab your ankle before scurrying away like you were after her. Often she forgot halfway through running why she was running, and would stop, confused, and then look at you like it was your fault. Another game she had was she hated things on top of other things. If you had a cup on a table, for instance, she would knock it off. Everything had to be on the floor for her. She also didn't know how to jump, and it took Christine months to teach her, an act which we later regretted ("Pookie, get OFF!"). One of her most memorable feats, however, was when she "got the crazies," she would run full speed into walls, with no sign of stopping, turning, or slowing down. She'd hit the wall full force, knocking her silly, where she'd shake her head, have a comical, "What the HELL was that???" look on her face, before realizing that she was running, and continue on her sprints into another room, where we'd often hear a hard "thump." And no, she was not blind. As a kitten, she would also fall asleep standing up. Then she would fall down, wake up, and give you a dirty look like you'd pushed her.

She used to fetch paper balls. You'd toss them, and she'd chase it and bring it back. This was fun until you figured out she went in the trash to get paper balls, and they were all over your house. This stopped when we got her a companion cat, Mikey, because he'd steal the paper balls from her. Pookie also had weird diet fetishes. She liked bananas and cantaloupes, and would often fight you for them. She would also try to eat photographs, Legos, and even broken glass. I guess the technical name for this is "pica," but we called it "annoying."

When we had the fleas from hell, Pookie lost most of her fur from her backside. This left an annoying bristly-sandpaper like surface on her skin. Thankfully, we lost those fleas after a flood, and her fur grew back. Her fur was one of her good qualities, it was soft with a thick undercoat. It was like quality rabbit fur. The markings were very odd. She had some sort of psychedelic brown/white/red/gray/black pattern all over, except for her belly, which was white with black spots. We pegged her as a tabby/ocicat/absynnian mix.

Artoo and 
PookiePookie was with us from the worst to the best of our life. She saw us in dead poor poverty, when we went days without food, and through the last few years, when we were able to move out of the projects and into a real home. She'd put up with three moves, five other cats, a dog, a lop-eared bunny, lots of fish, and a turtle. She has known us since we had a roommate from hell, to a new son. She has put up with constant friends and visitors who have graced our house, and slept on the jackets of some of my finest friends.

Owing to our bad timing, lack of money, and other factors, this poor cat wasn't fixed until 1996! We had to go through all those heats for eight years. Some were okay, most were really loud, and we attracted neighborhood cats from far and wide. Some would serenade her though the windows.

Her death was sudden, yet peaceful. I was getting a shirt, when I saw her by the closet asleep. I nudged her to move with my foot, so I wouldn't hit her with the closet door, and her body was stiff and cold. Judging from the way she looked, she had fallen asleep and just died. She was showing no signs of sickness, slowing down, or anything. Her body was odd, like it shouldn't be dead. She was still groomed, smelled like she had just washed herself (i.e.. pleasant), and it was like a photo. The vet said it was probably heart failure, and since Pookie always seemed to breathe hard and rarely stayed still most of her life, so she may have had some hypertension, just no one caught it. Pookie was cremated at the vet's, and her ashes will be mixed with those of strays. Where we live now, there is no place to bury her (and it's illegal to bury a pet in Fairfax county unless it's a cemetary designed for that purpose, although, the vet added, no one ever checks).

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