If only you knew ‘Stinky’

You didn’t know “Stinky.” You may have known “a” Stinky but not “the” Stinky.
You would have been better for having known him.
Samantha found Stinky in Guelph, in between the front doors of her apartment building. One of the heavy doors had closed on his tail, breaking the end of it and giving him a forever hook in his tail—a bit monkey-like.
He was an adolescent cat then, of no fixed address, starving, filthy, and sporting a dreadful odour. Hence, his dignified name.
Samantha and Stinky were instant friends, lifelong friends, comrades in battle. If only you had known Stinky.
If Stinky had been your friend, a member of your family, he would have let you share the bed with him—given you a small share but a share nonetheless. He would have curled up at your knees or on your knees, and thought better of you if you didn’t move.
He would have encouraged you to move only when absolutely necessary; to move only when the future of the world hung in the balance.
Had you known Stinky, he would have climbed onto your chest while you were on the phone and kneaded your tender skin with his claws so that he could get comfy, and then purr into the telephone with his contribution to the conversation.
Had you known Stinky, he would have asked you to let him out just when you settled down with your feet up so he could help you avoid being a lazy oaf.
Had you known Stinky, he would have guided you down the stairs by winding his body around your feet to show you the way, which is not to be confused with anything else, like trying to have you fall to your death.
That goes without saying. His food and water were downstairs, and he knew the way better than anyone. He was a selfless guy.
Had Stinky been a member of your family, he would have meowed very early in the morning to be let out and to have you start your day at the appropriate time, such as 5 a.m. or even 4:30. He was an advocate of the early to rise makes a cat healthy, wealthy and wise.
Stinky led by example.
Stinky would have sit on the edge of the bathtub while you bathed. He dipped his paw in to make sure the temperature was just right. He also wanted to be sure you got behind your ears and didn’t miss any spots that needed attention, and he thought you might like company while you bathed; he didn’t want you to be lonely.
Privacy is highly over-rated in Stinky’s opinion.
Had you been a member of Stinky’s family, he would lie across the keyboard of your computer while you were working so you could rest your hands and avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. He was just that kind of thoughtful cat.
He would have played hide-and-seek with you behind the drapes, letting his hooked tail protrude to give you a fighting chance to find him, and then he might tear around the house bouncing off chairs and sofas, doing his impression of a possessed kitty.
Live entertainment at no extra charge. Generosity at its best.
You won’t know Stinky now. The opportunity to enrich your life with him has passed. We lost Stinky on the road—a cruel but quick end to his extraordinary life.
I could have kept Stinky indoors, prevented him from being in harm’s way, but Stinky loved to hunt; loved to prowl the trees and nap in the flowerbed and use his best stealth methods of travel.
Stinky thought himself a jungle cat; daring and clever.
Samantha shared Stinky with us for the past almost two years and what a privilege it was to share space with Stinky; to wake up and start the day with him in it.
We are sad and feeling a whole lot lost without him; life was happier with him in it.
Happy hunting, Stinky.
wendistewart@live.ca

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