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02 June 2011

A Cat Named Boxer

by Regina Sabiston

BoxerThis is a painting of our cat Boxer that I gave to my daughter when she left home to go to University. I still have a hard time when I think of Boxer. For sixteen years he was our cat. I remember the day when my daughter picked him out and I asked myself, why did she pick this one. He was hard to catch and hard to hold. He was the wildest one out of the whole litter.

When we brought him home, he would run up and down the curtains, leap from place to place and pounce on our feet as we moved. He even ran up Grandma's leg the day she wore her brand new dress pants and athough he was very cute and litter trained in an instant he was like a child during their terrible twos.

One morning as I was making the bed, out from under it jumped Boxer and bit hard into my foot. Having only socks on, I whinced in pain. My immediate reaction was to shake my foot to remove the beast and as I did I heard a sicking cry. I quickly grabbed the kitten to see what had happened and to my dismay I saw that his tooth must have caught in my sock and it was hanging from his mouth. In absolute horror I started to cry. What had I done to this poor little kitten. I sobbed as I called my husband hoping he would know what to do. My husband laughed and I suppose now, in retrospect, it is kind of funny. Of course, I insisted on taking Boxer to the veterinarian. He explained it quite simply by saying, "If he can eat he'll be fine," and that is just what he did. Believe it or not the tooth gradually healed back in and he was as good as new.

Boxer loved anything he could get himself into. We have countless memories of him in suitcases, bookbags, grocery bags, handbags, desk drawers, cupboards and of course, boxes of every size and shape. He especially liked wrapping paper and would always make it difficult for us to wrap presents. Just like a kid at Christmas he would get so excited when we brought in the tree and all the decorations. He would chase the garland and the strings of lights, jump in the boxes and play with the tinsel. We would lose at least one ornament a season, but that was always okay. We didn't mind it that much because he was always so darn cute and amusing.

A year later we got a second cat thanks to my sister-in-law who convinced my children that Boxer needed someone to play with. After they begged and pleaded with me, I finally gave in. Baby, as we called him, instantly became friends with all the members of the family including Boxer. The two of them gave us lots of laughs and special memories that we still talk about today. We remember how they loved to chase Peacock feathers, so much so that on occasion they would get so involved that they would race up the couch after the feathers and smash into the wall behind the couch. Ouch!

Unfortunately Baby met his untimely death two years later. We were all devastated when he was accidently run over.

Boxer was the one that missed him most of all. This was when he turned to us to fill his void and so it was that we became best friends.

Over the years, Boxer taught us many things, but first and foremost, he taught us who was the boss. If he wanted to go outside or wanted to be fed and I was sitting infront of the computer he would jump up on the computer desk, sit infront of the monitor and annoy me until he got what he wanted. He was persistent I'll give him that, but he was also a very large part our lives. Like a dog he would follow me from room to room as I did my daily chores. He would lay between us on the carpet as we drank our morning coffee. He would play in the garden as I feverously pulled weeds. He would even go for walks with us, never quite realizing that he was a cat and not a dog.

He loved carrots. There was just something about the smell of carrots that he enjoyed. I would plant two rows of carrots quite close together and he would lay between the rows and roll around in them and then get frisky. That's when we played tag, but I was always "it". He enjoyed the game as much as I did. And when I would peel carrots for supper he would always smell them and run into the kitchen where I would usually give him a few carrot peels. They always put him in such a happy mood he would roll around like he was in ecstacy. It was hilarious to watch him enjoying himself like that.

Yes Boxer was different, not really like other cats, but we loved him. We loved him a lot and even though he was the boss, we understood that it was in his nature. It was extremely hard to put him down, but it had to be done. He was suffering and we realized it was his time. My husband had the most difficulty with this as he had never really loved a pet before, not the way he learned to love Boxer. Thank you Boxer for being our friend, for all the happiness and comfort you brought our family over the years, but most of all for teaching us how to love.

Boxer...rocking chairBoxerBagBoxer in a bagChristmas 2008

Click the pictures above for the full size version


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