Last night, we got the news that I had been dreading, but I knew was going to happen soon. Every time we talked to Daniel's parents, I held my breath, waiting to hear if everything with our cat was ok. She had been sick for nearly a year, losing weight, becoming allergic to anything and everything, losing teeth, and losing hair. We knew she didn't have much fight left in her, and a few days ago, in her sleep, she let go and passed on, with Daniel's mom at her side.
As so often happens with stray cats, we didn't find DooDoo, she found US. Less than 10 years ago, she started just showing up at The Bond's home, and decided that was her new family. Daniel's mom, Nanette, is a cat lover and would often feed her canned tuna and eggs (no wonder DooDoo didn't want to leave). DooDoo would follow the family when they would go on runs and was never far from any of them.
Often people balk at her name. Daniel teasingly called her DooDoo Head to get a rise out of his sister, Kristen- she wanted to name her Jewels. DooDoo Head just stuck, then got shortened to DooDoo. If you would call, "DooDoo!" you would hear the little pitter patter of her feet as she ran up to you.
During the first Christmas break home with her, I fell in love and we all decided that DooDoo would come live with me in Austin. My roommate, Anneke, tried to resist her love for a while, but as the picture shows, DooDoo was persistent and eventually Anneke decided DooDoo wasn't that bad.
As our family grew with more and more fur babies, it quickly became evident that DooDoo ran the show. If a dog got too close, she would give her a little punch on the nose. She would eat their food, staring at them as if to say, "Whatcha gonna do about it?" They learned to live in harmony with each other and we would often find all 3 of them on the same couch (although DooDoo always had her distance and a watchful eye on them).
Some of my favorite memories of Doo Doo....when she caught and killed a bird and literally pranced inside our home, bird in her mouth, meowing simultaneously and dropped it at our feet. How we would open our window and she would sleep on the ledge, on her back, with her feet straight up in the air. I so often thought she was dead, but I would whisper, "DooDoo?" and she would bounce right up! She would ALWAYS meet us at the door when we came home, meowing away and rubbing between our legs. She also liked to "dance", as Daniel calls it- aka kneading. Sometimes she would knead on our face, purring, and drooling with happiness. If you were sitting down, you better believe that she would come and sit on your lap...unless you were using a laptop. In that case, she would come up to your laptop and sit on it. We would say that she thought the laptop was her sofa. She had a love of catnip and toys, but refused to play with them if anyone was watching. We would hear her in the middle of the night, swatting a toy around and meowing loudly. Her little toy mice would always be across the room the next day.
It was hard dropping her off with Daniel's family when we moved to London because we knew we would miss her, but we also knew that she would love living with the Bonds and getting back to her roots.
Daniel's whole family gave her so much love. She instantly began running the house. The Bonds learned quickly that they had to hide all food, because DooDoo, in seconds, would be up on a counter, eating anything and everything that was left out. When inside, she could be found sitting on someone's lap and when outside, she was usually in the backyard, running around with our dogs or eating their food while the dogs helplessly watched on.
I am so sad I wasn't there to give her one last pet under her chin and to tell her that she was a "Good little DooDoo". I know, though, that she died in peace, knowing what a loved kitty cat she was. I am so thankful that she was in our life, even if it was for a short time. She made me laugh so much, always comforted me when I was sad, never showed me anything other than love (and ok, sometimes annoyance when I didn't pet her the right way).
I imagine her curled up in to a tight little ball, basking in a big patch of warm sunshine, feeling content and finally resting without pain and suffering, knowing that she did well, bringing joy, laughter, and love to so many lives.