RIP Storm: 1993-2011

My parent's cat, Storm, passed away last Thursday. His kidneys were shutting down and he was showing all the signs of a dying cat. So, he was put to eternal sleep, and officially called it a life after 18 years of playing the role of family cat. I haven't lived at my parent's place for a few years (and even then it was just for a brief period while I returned to school and before I got married) and so I haven't spent a lot of quality time with him recently. While I knew since he was at 18 years that Storm's days were numbered, I wasn't aware of his current health situation (though apparently, his regression happened in a matter of one day). In the last few years, Storm essentially became the cat that would run away from Summit, when we came to visit. So, there wasn't much of a human and cat relationship going for us.

I still remember the times that I did have with the cat. It was the summer before high school when we got him. I think we picked him out because he was seemingly more playful than some of the others (which I now know translates to he was more of a bug and tease than the others). It was quite a thrill getting him, because it was my siblings first non fish pet and my first pet in almost 12 years (I had a dog and cat when I really young). We'd been clamouring for a pet for several years (in my case, probably about 12), and my brother at one point was even ready to settle for a pig. It was a major event in the Spicer household when Dad finally conceded and allowed us to choose a kitten from my aunt's litter (well, her cat's litter -- my aunt lacked the super power of birthing kittens). I remember the thrill of putting the kitten into my arms and knowing that he was going to be a part of our family. That day may have been the last time that Storm really let anyone hold him for an extended period of time.

Storm wasn't a lap cat. My current cat, Crosby, is a giant suck and loves to crawl up into my lap or he happily purrs while I cradle him like a baby. That was not Storm's thing. He didn't do laps or cuddles or snuggles. This isn't to say Storm was anti-social. When we first got him, he would follow us all around the house. He always had to be in a room where another human was. Actually, he usually wanted to make sure you were paying attention to him. My mom would often moan about how he'd jump up on her desk and curl up on on her papers, but when she moved him to her lap, he'd promptly jumped off and scattered away (or went back on the papers). He wanted attention and would push your things away (or sit on them) in order to get it, but his desire for attention never translated to hugs and kisses.

He was a part of the family instantly. I remember the first fun cat game was chasing Storm down the hallway and then laugh while the running cat slid into the door when he tried to make a turn. It may sound cruel, but the amount of time he did it, makes me think he was having just as much fun. When crashing into doors stopped being fun, he started taking on the hobby of swatting at straws, aluminum foil, string and feet. He especially liked feet. He really liked the feet of my baby sister. Often he'd trapped her at the top of the stairs, where he'd prepare himself to swat at a toe when she walked by. This often prompted my sister to declare that "Storm is in the mood."

Storm was a very energetic and playful kitten/cat. Even if he wouldn't snuggle or cuddle on your lap, he found lots of time to play with you. Of course, he usually decided the best time was when you were otherwise busy. He also believed that fingers or toes where just as fine to chew as straws or string (oddly enough, the human residents didn't agree with this belief). I remember after only two days of having Storm, my youngest brother marched into my parent's room and declared, "Okay, we can take him back now." Storm apparently exacted his first bite on my brother, and that was enough to convince him that he didn't want a pet after all. Though my brother got over it, and Storm stuck around for a wonderful 18 years.

Storm wasn't the only one who'd torment. He had to suffer a bit too. My mom remembers seeing a plastic bag being hung on a doorknob and wondering why someone hung groceries there. Then the bag started to move around a bit. It was that day that my mom discovered my 3 year old sister's hobby of "hang plastic bag, stuffed with the household cat, on the doorknob." Though no one consulted Storm on his opinion of this game, my mom decided it was a hobby that needed to be scratched. This game may have been the motivation of Storm's love for trapping her up the stairs when she got a bit older.

Storm's energy ended up being too much to contain indoors. He was supposed to be an indoor cat and we tried to convince him of that fact for at least 3 years. But after playing goalie in front of an open door and often having the cat slip past and then watch him dart into the bushes for safe haven, it was decided the cat knew what he was better than us. He became an outdoor cat. He rewarded us for this decision by often gifting us with assorted dead animal parts. Though that part was less than delightful, I do remember one night that was especially fascinating. I had come home late from hanging out with friends, and I still wasn't in the mood to call it a night (otherwise, a typical night for a teenager). I happened to look outside where I found Storm outside with a white mouse in his mouth. He then dropped the seemingly dead mouse on the concrete. Storm then walked behind the pillar and crouched down facing the prone mouse. After a few minutes, the mouse came to life and was ready to run away. Except Storm was ready and convinced the mouse to stick around -- by pawing him and snatching the mouse up with his mouth. I'm not sure how long Storm repeated this process. I watched him for awhile, but Storm obviously was finding it far more fun than I. I called it a night and Storm continued to have quality time with his mouse friend. The next morning, I quickly learned the fate of the mouse, because another present was waiting for us.

Storm was probably your typical cat, but he was our cat. We formed our own special memories with him. I am not sure if he was especially attached to any of us. I do know that when I came to visit my parents, he still seemed to remember me and showed it by coming up for a pet or two (as long as Summit wasn't close by). I'll remember him as the longest pet our family had and the first that my siblings ever knew. He was fun and playful, and formed many memories that I fondly hold on to. It was sad when I learned he passed away, but I also know he had a good and long life. He was the first of my pets that taught me that an animal is more than 'just a pet.' He was family.

I'll miss you, Storm. Maybe I'll go swat around a teddy bear in tribute to you.


  1. Anonymous12:00 pm

    Kim Greig via Facebook:

    I know how you feel. We recently lost our cat and we got her in 94.

  2. Thanks. I appreciate it. Sorry to heat about your cat, as well.

  3. Anonymous9:04 pm

    Derek Smith via Facebook:

    Very sorry for your lose.


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