It has taken me this long to put these words down. Sometimes it takes time to let the fog of emotion wear off. Sometimes, there’s not enough time.

But I want to express my deep sorrow on the loss of Earl Veeder. To his family and many, many friends.

It’s a scene where I knew “of him” half my life, knew him personally most of the other half, and became friends with him in the last few years. Though our friendship was the kind celebrated over breakfast and lunch tables, or passing by each other on the street, or the occasional office visits, it was rewarding as any.

His humor was boundless; his intellect more so. A deep vein of compassion coursed through his veins, as well as a generous amount of cynicism when apt. Our discussions on any topic were well-fathomed and peppered by his remarkable wit.

Earl’s death shocked and saddened us all, so sudden and so heartbreaking. I still expect to see him stride into the café mornings, and have to remind myself, he won’t.

So in the spirit of the humor that surrounded Earl Veeder during the course of my friendship with him, I’ll just say this: Earl and Fred will be telling jokes for a thousand years, and the heavens will be ringing with laughter for a long, long time to come.

I’m also very sad to report that my old calico kitty Patches passed on last weekend.

For many years the virtual “star” of this column, Patches’ wild antics and oddly anti-social yet loving behavior surpassed any hope of celebrity I might have garnered from writing about her.

She was two weeks old when her mother was killed. Our ad manager, Debbie, took her in and bottle-nursed her, but Patches turned out to be more than a handful, and I took her under my soon-to-be-scarred wing.

I suspect that Patches didn’t socialize well because she was taken away from her littermates and had no mother to teach her. In any case, she could be adoring, fawning and downright loveable one moment and a hissing, spitting, ears-laid-back ball of calico dynamite the next.

But I loved her. She was 13. Her health appeared to be fine, her eyes bright and her physique unchanged. She never was much more than a few pounds, a very, very small cat. When she left Suzie and I, she did so quietly and without any fuss, privately. I buried her in the backyard next to a gardenia shrub. I think she would have liked that.

Goodbye, old girl. Thanks for lots of smiles and lots of affection and, yeah, the occasional free-bleeding wounds.

I know you’re expecting some political words. I don’t have any.

The will of the people has spoken. Only time will tell if there was wisdom behind them.

1 comment to Goodbyes

  • Losses are tough, even when one is a damned cat.
    We lost one of a pair several years before the onslaught of the arch-bitch. We named one of them “Spats” because of its white feet. The other was “Yoda” because of its ears. They were very young then – Spats lasted until he was taken away by K. Yoda’s life was much shorter. I do not remember the cause, but I wept for its passing – for a damned cat. Kitten, really, but a cute little beggar.
    Something of value, I guess…

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