Sunday, 12 August 2012

Beijinhos para Biju

April 2009 - August 2012
It is with great sadness that I am writing this message. Our lovely cat, Biju, passed away suddenly on Tuesday night, two days before the kids and I returned home from our trip back to the US. When Dan got home from work that evening, Biju was quite ill. Dan took him into the vet and he was apparently in renal failure and died within a couple of hours, we do not know why his kidneys failed, as he had never before been sick a day in his life. So what was planned as our happy family reunion, turned into a sad time in our household. Here is a video in memory of him and all of the good times we had:

For those of you who did not know Biju, here is a little more about him. He was a Portuguese street cat that we adopted as a tiny 6 week old bundle of fluff who quickly grew into a 14ish pound solid cat.

He was a huge fan of all baby toys, from swings to play mats, and every little thing he could bat around. We could not have asked for a better cat with our kids, but I guess being introduced to a 9 month old baby at six weeks old probably help. He was such a stable guy, they could hug him and lie on him, and even pull his tail with nothing but a quiet meow in protest as he looked at me to ask for relief.

My favorite variation of "Biju in a Box"
His favorite games included "Biju in a Box" and "Biju in a Bag." He loved to sprint from one end of the house to the other at top speed, sliding under chairs and into furniture. He would also chase string and rope toys over furniture and in circuits around the house. Both kids loved to grab a toy and run around calling "Biju, Biju, Biju," and he normally would follow playfully.

He became fast friends with Tazzy, a friendship they maintained his whole life with frequent play sessions and  afternoon naps together. It was not uncommon to look over and see his entire head inside Tazzy's mouth as she growled in jest. He also tried to entice Blaze to play, and was even occasionally successful, although normally he would just wait until Blaze walked by and swat him in the behind.
Best of Friends
He was an indoor cat, who wanted to be an outdoor cat, so whenever the door was open and he saw his chance he would sprint through it, and about 10 feet further to the nearest pavement, where he would lay down and roll in the sun and wait for me to come and scoop him up and bring him back inside. He was so mellow and calm I could flip him over and lift him up and he just hung there. He would go limp in my arms and let me take him anywhere. We did let him have his outdoor time on harness and leash, and he was one of few cats I have met that this was an acceptable solution. He loved coming outside with us and having backyard adventures.
Lying in wait
He wanted to be part of all of the action, and was always around for family events (looking at the kids birthday pictures he is in the background of nearly every shot). He usually came to greet us at the door with the dogs, and when I walked the dogs at night, I loved looking for him sitting in the window watching for us to return.

He was never a lap cat, but when he wanted to cuddle it was normally in the middle of the night, and I would wake up with a large weight on top of my chest, and an enormously loud purr in my ear. On cold nights I could sometimes convince him to sleep under the covers as an extra body warmer. When we adopted him I was still nursing Amelia, and he loved to be with us during that time, and was super affectionate and cuddly. I was surprised when he continued this habit when Tristan was born.
Anywhere he could climb into served as a playground
This was the first time the kids have lost such a big part of their lives, and explaining it to Amelia went well. She asked some questions about his sickness and was very matter of fact about it and accepted it easily. We talked about our favorite memories of him, and watched the video together when I finished it. She brought me her doll when I was sad, and explained the doll helped her when she had an owie. We didn't explain it to Tristan, as at barely 2 we have not introduced the concept of death to him. However  it was really sad when he asked me where Biju was. I told him Biju wasn't here, and he spent the next several minutes asking me to come with him to "go find Biju."

He was much loved in his 3 short years with us. I always pictured him growing up with Amelia, as her first word was "kitty" shortly after we adopted him. We miss you big guy, and I hope you've found green fields to run in and warm patches of sun to sleep in. I'll treasure your memories and all of the happiness you brought to our family.
Baby Biju, May 2009