Friday, May 9, 2014

Pixel - You Are My Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, Pix, how much I love you
Please don't take my Pixel away

When I was probably around 5 years old, my parents thought it would be great if we got cats for me and my brother.  We thought it was a great idea!  What it probably was is that a friend in town had kittens and we had a country home so cats would be great for us!  What I didn't know is it was a start of a beautiful trio of black felines, each bringing such joy to my life.

First there was Inky.  he was my first black cat, dark as midnight with golden eyes.  Loved him so much!  He would sleep with me at night as I clutched him like a stuffed animal, and he loved it.  Truly loved it!  I fell asleep to his purr and found it hard to fall asleep otherwise.  He was a great cat!  Then, a few years later, I came home from school to the worst news ever.  He had gotten into something, or possibly bitten by something, that was poisonous.  My parents rushed him to the vet but living out in the boondocks, they didn't get there in time and there was nothing that could be done.  I was devastated.

Fortunately for us, another family in town had kittens to give away, and wow, they had a black one!  I was overjoyed!  I named him (of course) Inky Junior.  I wrote his name down "Inky, Jr" and, well, Dallas was big at the time, and I asked my parents if I could call him JR.  They said whatever you want!  And, there you go.  HE was the best cat ever!  But, he had a diva side!  He would get mad at me and "leave" for weeks at a time.  We believed he lived down at the barn in the front pasture (told you it was country living!) but we never knew for sure.  Once he was not mad anymore, he would come back like nothing happened.  He would sleep with me too, not quite like Inky, but he would sleep on my bed.  He was with me though High School and then I left home for college.  My 4th year of college I moved into an apartment for the first time and I choose to bring him with me.  This was the best decision ever.  I thought he would have a hard time transitioning from a farm cat to a house cat, but he was old and wanted to be with me so it worked out.  Then, one day, he wouldn't come out from under the bed, and he stopped eating.  He was 15 years old and sick.  I had to make a horrible decision one month before my wedding, and my Mother graciously took him to the family vet at home and put him to sleep.  This was the worst day ever.  I was actually trying to figure out how to get him to be in the wedding.  So, it hit hard.

Dean and I got married in 1995, and were living in College Station for about 6 months and I said, "Hey, I want a cat!  A black one, can I?"  Dean said "Sure!" so I called the animal shelter there in College Station and asked if they had any black kittens.  They said, why yes, we actually have 2!  I was overjoyed!  I went to the shelter that moment, saw the first black cat (not a kitten, he was about 2 or 3) and then this estimated to be about 3 months old black kitten that was apparently found nearby.  I stuck my finger in the cage, he purred and rubbed it and that was it.  Love at first sight!  Poor Dean!  He thought it would take weeks to find the right cat, not the same day I asked if we could get one!  We named him Pixel.

Now, Dean didn't grow up with many pets, so he wasn't so sure about this one.  He made silly rules like he can't ever sleep on the bed with us.  Dean actually thought a closed door would keep him out of our room.  Pixel had something else in mind, he would sit by the door and paw the door non-stop in perfect rhythm.  Bang Bang Bang Bang.  He would do this until we opened to door.  He would Never Stop!  So, he got his way (and mine) and slept on the bed with us. :)

Then, being the young college student married couple we were, we moved often.  I mean OFTEN!  We started out at (1) Lincoln Square apartments, then to the (2) Silver Spur apartments.  After I graduated, Dean's job moved us to Denver, Colorado, and Pixel had to ride in the cargo area of the plane!  This was fun!  I couldn't find him when we got to Denver, but all was well.  He was frantic!  I don't think he liked it much.  While in Denver, we moved into (3) Mill Pond apartments.  Then an unfortunate accident happened and we had to move to (4) Lakewood, but I don't remember the names of those, we were only there 6 months.  But, while Dean was in the hospital, Pixel visited him often.  Was really good for all of us.  Then, once our house was finished in (5) Castle Rock, we moved there.  This is when Dean made the HUGE mistake to get another cat, and that would be Jack!  That's a whole other story.  After a while living there, we decided it was time to move back to Texas, so we moved in (6) "Tom's house" on the Ranch my parents were working on.  Once I got a job in Houston, we moved to (7) Kingwood in yet another apartment.  This was just until our 2nd home was built in (8) Humble, which was in 2005!  So, from 1995 to 2005, Dean, Pixel and I lived in 8 different places!

Pixel lived his older years out happily and playful.  He and Jack only got real close when we got Buddy in 2008, then in 2010 we were blessed with Jake.  We just KNEW Jack would love Jake and Pixel would have nothing to do with him.  Boy were WE WRONG!  Pixel LOVED Jake almost as much as he loved me, which warms my heart.

A few months ago, Pixel started slowing down.  Jake would take care of him with such sweetness.  Pixel fell of the couch arm one day, so Jake put his blanket under it because it was soft. And, one awesome afternoon, Jake took an nap with Pixel laying in his bed at his feet.  So very glad I got the picture.

Last week, we noticed he was not walking as well as he was, and he was staying in one place for longer times.  Then, over the weekend, he stayed in only one place, just under Dean's desk, and only got up to get some water or use the box.  Then, Tuesday morning was the last time he ate something, so we called to make an appointment for Wednesday to see if we could help him.  By Wednesday afternoon, he could no longer walk, so we knew this appointment's purpose had changed.

Pixel had kidney failure, which is the number one cause of death for an old cat.  When we took him in, he laid on Dean's lap the whole way.  He tried a couple of times to get up, but wasn't able to.  We talked to the vet for a while, then discussed our options and we both felt the best thing for Pixel is to help him slip away.  At approximately 5:30 pm on May 7, 2014, at 18 years 9 months, Pixel slipped away peacefully.

Every time I took him to the vet, I would sing "You Are My Sunshine" with his name in the song.  I just couldn't do it this one last time.  He took my Pixel away.

Pixel was the best cat ever!

Pixel laying on Jake's bed while he naps
Mid March - at the vet getting a check up
Halloween 2013

I loved dressing him up for Halloween!
This was probably 2000, Castle Rock Co

in our first apartment in College Station 1996
He got his head stuck in a Kleenex box once!  Yes OF COURSE I took pictures, then helped him get out!

around 1997

Santa (aka Dean) got the Cats these little beds.  They used them probably about twice.  Buddy actually used them more when he was a puppy.
Humble, Tx about 2005

Halloween picture from 2004 - Kingwood

Halloween I believe a few years ago.  Probably 2010

He was about 4 or 5 months old here!  College Station, TX

His first Christmas Tree in College Station, 1995
He LOVED the tree and climbed it every year until we got Jack in 2001.
Not sure why that made him stop?  Jack never climbed the tree.

Castle Rock, soon after we got Jack.  Probably early 2002.  HE HATED JACK at first, was so mad at me for about 2 weeks.  He would growl and hiss at me every time I walked in the room.

College Station around 1997
He would always get into the computer box if Dean took it apart!

Gosh, I miss him so!