For Steven

So, just FYI, I am currently cuddling w/a rather adorable (and adoring) fellow named Steven. He’s a little hairy for my taste and the conversation is a bit one-sided, but I thought I’d send you a pic so you can see what you’re up against. 😉

Sometime in November or early December, I sent this text and the following photo to a guy I had just started seeing. He had been a bit evasive and difficult to get a hold of that week and to be honest, by that point, I was pretty over it and just wanted to get my new leather gloves back from him as I had left them on his kitchen table a couple of weeks prior. Having not heard from him, this was my final, humorous attempt at establishing enough of a connection to at least rescue my gloves (and subsequently my fingers from the impending winter chill). A witty text, accompanied by this adorable photo of Steven wrapped around my arm did the trick. We connected, I got my gloves back, and the guy became my boyfriend for the next 3 months.

This post is not about my love life, however. It is about Steven, the cat, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.

Aiding me in securing a boyfriend for a short while was just one of the many ways Steven affected my life. Such a social butterfly and ever curious about the goings on in the little apartment Jacleen and I shared at the time, he made quite the amusing little companion. I became very accustomed to being greeted by his face, peering around the top of the stairs — if not waiting by the door and half-heartedly trying to escape to see what was beyond — each evening when I came home from a thirteen hour day between offices. Also became accustomed to him being underfoot at all times — 3 am when I woke briefly to get a glass of water, 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon when I had plunked my laptop — and self — down in the living room to force myself to edit photos. He was there, as I mentioned, to help me win the heart of a man — and he was there when said man broke *my* heart. So intuitive, this little one, but almost needing our love and affection than we needed his.

Did I tell you the story of how he got his name? At Fort Stevens, near Portland, OR, a family stopped to stretch their legs and check out the view, leaving a door or window open. Unbeknownst to them, a cat took this opportunity to explore their vehicle, found a block of cheese which he naturally ate, and promptly fell asleep. The family didn’t discover their little stow-away until they returned home, at which point they took him to the local animal shelter in hopes that someone would be able to give him a good home. Jacleen eventually found her way to him, and called him Steven, after the place he had been found. Then the two of them found their way to New York. It’s amazing how six months can have such an impact on someone — but this little guy could warm the most frigid heart, and he certainly brought a certain light into my life.

Unfortunately, last week we lost Steven, just three and half years old, to lymphoma of the kidneys. He put up a good fight, and maintained his cheery and inquisitive nature through the chemo treatments and a couple of surgeries.

The little guy will be missed, to be sure.

I don’t mean to be a downer — but the kid deserves a little tribute, as do all the furry friends who are so much more than pets to us. After all, they know us best, no? And continue to give us that truly unconditional love, in spite of our many faults.

So here’s to Steven: a truly loving and lovable companion.

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