Fourteen years ago this coming April I had the opportunity to get a kitten. I picked the most rambunctious of the litter. I lived in a tiny apartment, I wasn’t home much during the day, so, a dog wasn’t an option. I’ve had both cats and dogs throughout my life, but I started as a cat person as a young boy.
Being a life-long Oakland Raiders fan, I named the kitten Bomber in honor of QB Daryle Lamonica who was known as the “Mad Bomber.” This destructive little ball of fur became my buddy, my pal and my confidant. Every day I went to work I played “kitten destruction roulette.” What was this little bugger going to destroy next? He tore the insoles out of shoes, chewed through the wires on headphones and wrecked what he could. I wore the battle scars of rough play on my arms. I loved him anyway.
Bomber used to like to find the high ground in the apartment. He perched himself on top of the kitchen cabinets and the wardrobe. You never knew where “death from above” would strike from next.
I was going through a bad time personally and Bomber saw me through it. I talked to him and he seemed to talk back with conversational meows. I’d try to read at bedtime and he’d bat the book out of my hand seeking attention. He’d groove on a good petting until he drooled.
He survived the trip from Ohio to California, he survived a near electrocution (he thought he was the cat in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and chewed through Christmas light wiring), he survived unintentional water boarding on the drive from our last residence to the current as water dripped on his head during an hour-long drive. And he survived every piece of plastic his dumb ass ate. He was a pampered cat, 15 pounds and change, loved like no other.
Bomber died today. I’m heartbroken.
Some people say their pets are like children. Bomber was a true friend. He knew when something was bothering me, he knew when I needed a foot rub and he knew when to just be a cat. His meow was distinctive, he sounded like he was channeling Edward G. Robinson when he was in certain moods.
He has been a fixture in my world for a third of my life and I miss him already. This week has arguably been one of the worst weeks of my time on Earth. Oh, things could be worse. I’m probably being melodramatic. But, with the prospect of surgery Monday and this happening…
…It’s always darkest before the dawn.
Goodbye Bomber, I love you kitten.