Nubs the Cat

On Monday, Memorial Day and Eliza’s 9th Birthday, we unexpectedly and suddenly lost our beloved Nubs.

I’m still in so much shock.

He was my first pet that I personally had ever owned and he and I had quite a connection.

His personality was an interesting one.  He was an introverted kitty.  He adored me and we used to joke that he would climb inside me if he could.  He was my cat baby.  We also joked that he tolerated Jon…even though Jon had always been a cat person, Nubs preferred me every moment he could.

He’d hide when visitors came around and it took someone special to be able to get him to sit and be pet; my sister,  my mother-in-law, my friend, Sara and occasionally and most recently Henry and Eliza.

I have a forever mark on my belly from 2011.  I was pregnant with Henry and the kick of Henry’s leg from inside my belly startled Nubs and made him jump which left me with a forever scar from Nubs’ back claw, something I’m now thrilled to have.

This kitty stayed indoors and he knew not to venture too far.  He did however, sneak out a time or two, one time being while I was pregnant with Eliza.  As I was turning on Christmas lights and holding Henry, I hit my head on the door frame while trying to catch him from running outside, which resulted in a concussion.

Nubs used to be quite the barn cat.  We used to come up to the house after a day on the lake and he would climb the screens and be meowing at us from inside the back porch.  It was ridiculously adorable.  When he was living on our porch for those few days he had also managed to take down a bird and a mouse.  Sometimes I can’t believe he actually did that.  Partly due to the last time he saw a mouse, he made friends with it.  Equally, the mouse was terrible at being a mouse and it seemed as though the two wanted to be friends.  Normally I’d jump if I saw a mouse, but this particular mouse had the biggest mouse ears we’d ever seen and I’m not going to lie, he was THE cutest mouse we had ever seen.  Said mouse didn’t seem scared and Nubs didn’t seem to care that the mouse was…well, a mouse.  I laugh to this day thinking about it.

I found Nubs when I was was working at a gym in 2008.  It had just recently opened and my new manager at that time walked inside the gym and said his car “meowed” all the way to work.  We walked out to find the tiniest little, what we assumed to be, barn cat.  He was so itty bitty and he was missing his tail.  We gathered that he had lost it somewhere within the engine/under the hood of the car.  It was a clean cut.  He ran away scared as we went to get him.  I went back inside to continue working and all I could do was think of that tiny kitten.  I wasn’t a cat person, but he must’ve been so scared.  He was away from his Mama, at a new location, traumatically lost his tail and was running around a very busy corner of town.  

Once I was able to leave for lunch, I asked around the newly constructed area to see if anyone had seen a little kitten.  Some men installing an air conditioning unit said that they had seen him and, if memory serves me right, they helped grabbed him from behind the air conditioner for me.

This poor little kitten fit in my hand and I just knew I needed to help him.

I took him to our local pet supply store and quickly asked what I needed for him.  I didn’t have long to be away from work.  I remember an employee gushing over how little and cute he was.

The little kitten that I had just found rode back to my house on my shoulder.  I kid you not.

I put him in our screened-in back porch where I knew he’d be safe.

Somewhere along the way I informed Jon about this sweet little kitten that I had just found.

I honestly had no intention on keeping him.  I called everywhere for someone to take him and we even considered taking him to a barn.  One woman said to me on the phone, “Can’t you just keep him?’

Basically, the rest is history.  We brought him inside and he was the best little feline one could ever ask for.

I’m still in such shock knowing that he was healthy.  He didn’t show any signs of being ill and all we can think of is that his heart gave out and he knew it.  Normally he sits with me at night or sleeps somewhere cozy, but we found him under Eliza’s bed, a place he’d normally hide if he were scared.  The night before he had jumped into my lap and then left.  I didn’t think too much of it, but I did find it odd that he didn’t stay to cuddle up into my lap and purr into my face.  He’d always get so close to my face that it was as if he was hugging me or giving me kisses.

I still don’t understand, I suppose I never will.

Henry was the one to find him and he didn’t want me to know.  He knew I’d be absolutely devastated and that it’d completely ruin Eliza’s birthday – nobody wants that.

Sweet Henry waited a few hours to tell Jon.  He had found Nubs as he was making her bed as a birthday surprise.

I shrieked when Jon told me.  I was shaking and the tears, oh the tears.

I found him and just wanted to pick him up and hold him.  Oh my sweet Nubs.  I wanted to wake him up.

We buried him in my/his favorite cozy robe outside of my bedroom window, down by the lake and under a tree.

My heart aches as it was so sudden and completely heartbroken.  My heart aches.  It aches so bad.

As we laid him to rest Jane randomly blurted out, “It’s time to go home, Nubs,” then she ran off to the swing set.  Kids sure are funny…

I hope he is home and I hope I get to see him again.

Nubs, I miss your cat “button,” I miss your morning wake up leg bites as to say, “Hello,” I miss how you’d never skip a beat with me at night when the kids had gone to bed and you’d jump up in my lap.  You snuggled and cuddled with me every single night.  I miss your soft white belly and your extraordinarily clean pink pads. I miss you holding my arm with your paw.   I miss putting my head up to your belly and holding you up high while I rubbed it back and forth in a silly way with my head and asking Jon, “What is he doing?” Knowing full well, you were just taking it…Jon would always reply with, “Nothing.  He’s doing nothing.”  Ha!  I miss carrying you around the house all snuggled up next to me in your favorite robe of mine.  I miss looking for you everywhere I go.  I miss not having you sleep with me.  I’m just now realizing just how much I would look for you and how much I tried to keep you safe.  I look for you constantly.  I miss you as my guard cat.  If I heard a noise, I’d look to you to see if you heard it, too.  I miss your personality.  You didn’t care for strangers or the vacuum.  You loved others cat friends that would come to our door and windows.  You’d get so loud talking to them.  I regret not playing one last game of our own special “hide and seek.”  It was a busy month and I was tired, but you loved that game and I’m grateful for all the times we played together.  

I love you, Nubs.  I miss you.  I never ever would’ve thought a cat would take a piece of my heart with me.  I was just telling Jon what a great human you would’ve made.  You were quite a special little guy.  You had my heart, sweet kitty.  You taught me a knew kind of love and I swear I learned through you how to care and love for a little being, resulting in me being a better cat mom and human mom.  Thank you for our years together and thank you for unconditional love.  We had THE most special bond and I’ll be forever grateful for you.  Love you kitty.  I’ll keep a spot in my bed for you always.  Enjoy my robe.  It smelled like me.  I know that was your favorite.



One Comment

  1. Oh Marie, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have tears in my eyes reading this. It sounds like you gave Nubs the very best life and, wow, did he live a long one! He truly sounds like he was the best cat. I know you'll miss him every day. Sending so much love!

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