A few years ago on an ordinary day, we came home and opened the door of our house, to discover that a white and friendly cat had decided to move in. He was sprawled out on our couch with his belly facing towards the ceiling, resting and looking like he belonged there, and so he did. We eventually started calling him Brutus.
This is kind of a weird story to tell-so please forgive me, but Brutus decided to make things official one day when Little T was having a tough time. I took Little T into his bedroom and started rocking him and singing, “Baby Mine”. It was one of those beautiful moments in parenthood where you’ll never quite forget how wonderful it feels to be able to soothe and comfort another little person with nothing but yourself. Brutus agreed, and towards the end of the song, took it upon himself to mark his territory all over us. At the time, we were horrified and upset and had to sanitize everything, including ourselves-but now I look back at that moment in time and realize that it was the moment when Brutus decided we were his family, even if he was kicked out of the house for a little while. ;)
Brutus was the most relaxed cat I’ve ever seen. He didn’t even mind when Little T would run around the house like a crazy person. No matter what was going on, Brutus was just content to be there.
The life of a photographer can be a little lonely. When you aren’t shooting, you’re spending days staring at a computer screen with nobody else around. I can’t concentrate with music or the t.v. on, so these days seem even lonelier to me because it’s always so quiet in my house. Once Brutus learned the restroom rules and was allowed back in, he sat next to me every day. His spot was right next to my legs where I’d sit criss-cross and stare at a computer screen for hours on end. I’d often find myself talking to him, absentmindedly reaching down to give him a pet, and getting him cat nip when I’d get a little bored or lonely. It’s like the song in My Fair Lady, I grew accustomed to his face. It’s going to be a long time before I stop reaching down, expecting him to be there.
While Brutus spent most of his time here, he was known to everyone in our neighborhood. He’d get breakfast here, then go across the street for second breakfast, then head to the corner for thirds. At a block party one night, we all sat around and told stories about Brutus, or “that white cat”, as everyone fondly called him.
When we’d leave the house, Brutus would leave too. We told Little T that Brutus was going off to have an adventure. When our car would pull into the driveway, we’d always see Brutus running home. Little T would say, “Mommy, Brutus goes on adventures, but he always comes back.”
The other day, Brutus didn’t come back after his adventure. We aren’t sure if a coyote found him, or if he was taken by one of the college kids who parks on our street to save parking money, or if he was sick and didn’t make it. He’s never disappeared for a day or a meal, so we knew something was wrong.
Every day when we drive home and he doesn’t come running towards the house, my heart sinks a little. Seeing Brutus rush home when we arrived was one of those little things I took for granted and didn’t realize made me happy until it was gone.
I might never know what happened to Brutus, but I do know, that our house feels empty without him here. We miss him so very much. Little T and I like to think he’s off on the ultimate adventure. One that involves pirates and wizards and castles in the sky. I know this doesn’t make sense to write it here, but I feel like I have to say it…I just wanted to say thank you Brutus, for bringing so much joy and love to our family over the past few years. I hope we brought love and happiness into your life as well, my furry friend. <3