? - January 4, 2001

This page is dedicated to Kojiki, who was a very special cat and a very special friend to us. He was unflappable; nothing worried or upset him. He accepted things that came and dealt with them with an easy, laid-back attitude. He never lost his temper with anyone; he always wanted to sit on a lap when a lap was presented--even if he'd never met the person before. He was always willing to make new friends. He had a purr you could hear all over the house.

When we did "Visit to a Small Planet," I knew immediately that Kojiki was the cat for the role. I knew he would behave on stage, and never worry about the audience, or any actor that held him--and my guess was correct. He never missed a cue, and always walked out on stage as though he were born to it. He was a perfect gentleman when in the theatre, and the problems we faced having a live animal on stage did not come from Kojiki!

We found Kojiki in March, 1992, at the Luv-A-Pet center at the PetsMart at 16th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently, he had been abandoned -- although who would abandon such a wonderful fellow was beyond us. He immediately purred and rolled his chubby body into our hands, and we knew as soon as we saw his beautiful blue eyes that he was the cat for us. His name on the adoption papers was "Clarence," but we couldn't call him that (we assume for Clarence, the cross-eyed lion from Daktari!), because Barb's father's name was Clarence, and it just didn't seem to suit. The first night he was with us, he climbed up into my lap and practically up my arm in an attempt to reach the pop-tart I was eating. We decided he was "Kojiki," which is Japanese for "Beggar." We later learned that while he was very intensely curious about what you were eating, he would never eat so much as a bite of human food, or even, for that matter, wet cat food. Kojiki ate =only= dry cat food--go figure why he had a weight problem and bad teeth! The bad teeth we took care of--he hated having his teeth brushed!--but no matter how hard we tried, with "Lite" cat food (the other cat, Silhouette, is a large fellow, but he never did need a diet!) and regular measured feedings, 'Jiki stayed chubby. It was part of his large charm (he weighed around 16 to 20 pounds).

'Jiki liked to sleep under the covers with me; he was always up for close human companionship. His favorite lap was the lap that was occupied at the computer, and he would lay his gigantic self over the wrists of anyone trying to type. He had a habit of rolling over backward when he was on your lap so you were forced to catch him and hold him or let him tumble to the floor--which always wounded his cat pride, of course. He always liked to crawl into the smallest possible space and curl up--the bathroom sink, baskets, boxes, paper bags--despite his affection for his kitty condo and toys, he still destroyed nearly every stick of furniture we owned. For some reason, we still loved him dearly.

Kojiki suffered from asthma. He had some treatment for it, but they always told us there really wasn't anything they could do for him as far as regular treatment went. When he'd have attacks, we'd bundle him up and take him to the vet. This time, we weren't there. I came home on Thursday, January 4, 2001, and found my dear friend had suffered an attack and couldn't breathe. He had died some hours before, and I cradled his dear little stiff body to me and cried, completely lost--I didn't know what to do. Finally, I wrapped him a towel and we dug a grave for him in the yard, near another beloved lost kitty.

Every so often God sends a very special animal to be a very special friend, and Kojiki was that to us. He will be missed, not just by Barb and I, but everyone who knew him, including Silhouette, his best buddy. Even the kitten, Cairo, who only knew him a few months but followed him everywhere in obvious cat adoration.

Goodbye, my dear friend. We'll meet you across the Rainbow Bridge.

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