Vinnie Owles-goodin
9/1/2019 - 9/9/2019Life with Vinnie: His Story

I decided to write your story as you transition to celebrate you....it’s my way of letting you know that while I will never be ready to let you go...it’s ok. I made a promise to you that I would be with you as you took your last breaths....and as I struggle, I want it to be peaceful for you. So no tears...just a celebration of your life with ours.

Our love story started when we met at an engagement party in the Fall of 2002. Maybe I had a glass or two of wine when someone walked in and said they found these kittens in the trashcan. I took one look at him and I knew that he had to come home with me. It was love at first sight. When I woke up the next morning with a small kitten wrapped around my throat, I realized what I had done! My goal was to find a home for him (as I already had a kitty)...but no one would take him. He was so tiny! He fit in the palm of my hand, weighed .96 pounds and was 4 weeks old according to the Vet. I named him Vinnie for the vino that resulted in my decision to bring him home. He got me with his cuteness. He was mine. And that name...well he became it.

Introducing him to his sister Haley (my Tortie) was a two-week process and everything he learned about being a kitten he learned from her....despite the fact that she kept batting him away. He loved her. She tolerated him. He followed her everywhere. I made him a litter box from the lid of a shoebox...but once he saw her go in the big box, he was determined. I watched as he rolled in and rolled out. He was adventurous from the beginning. He was her shadow. He was into everything! Rambunctious and so much fun.

He was spunky and never really grew out of being a kitten even into adulthood. He was a fun cat. He loved to attack feet from under the bed. He loved plastic bags and running through them. He learned how to open a screen door and make a great escape into the yard. He hated other cats that passed through the back yard. He really loved catnip. He loved chasing geckos. He loved chasing ice cubes on the floor. He loved people food including spaghetti, tuna fish, yogurt and Velveeta cheese. He loved to sleep...a lot. We called it being ”catnapped”....you napped when he napped. He loved a sunny window. He would put his paws on the glass to take it all in. We never had bows on any presents because he ate them. He loved his morning mandatory snuggle before food. He loved to crawl into my work bag and take a nap. He tried to climb into every box despite the fact that he didn't fit. Hated the ”cat cam” and figured out ways to avoid being seen while I was on trips. He was the first one at the door to greet me when I got home from work. He was always in the worst place in the kitchen when we were cooking...hoping for a people snack I think. He was loud and vocal when it came to meals...relentless until fed. And was my constant companion. Where I was. He was never far away. Whether I was watching TV, feeling sick, working on the computer...he didn't care. My space was his space.

During my dissertation writing, he was never far from the computer keyboard...he would just crawl up and sit down. He had fun running through all the research papers I had on the floor. If he wasn't running through them, he slept on them. He was such a nudge...what was mine was his. We earned that degree together.

Vinnie was misunderstood by most people that met him. My friends that know him may disagree. He acquired quite the reputation. He had a very small circle of trust. I held the number one spot. Once he got to know you, you might make it into the circle. I would warn people...don’t pet him. He would rub and rub...until you pet him. Then he played GOTCHA! I warned.

Then in 2010, Jerry moved in...that is a whole other chapter. I won't lie. It didn't go well for the first few years. I would hear from the top of the stairs, ”Honey, the cat is staring at me and won't let me down the stairs!” We decided to bribe with food. It worked. Jerry had a healthy respect for the cat that would take the occasional swipe at him. Vinnie just wanted him to know he was here first.

Then there was chickengate...the time Jerry pulled a chicken roaster out of the fridge to make a sandwich....as the story went...Jerry made said sandwich and sat down on the couch. He heard a noise come from the kitchen and found Vinnie licking the chicken! I don't think that went down well. I then said...” well he's a cat...and it was chicken”.....yes, I took the cat's side lol. He’s a cat. The chicken landed in the trash. After 10 years, I can honestly say that they both mellowed. I have photo proof that Vinnie really loved Jerry. And Jerry loved Vinnie. He became a cat guy...and Vinnie was his first cat. It didn't happen often but when he snuggled up to him. I melted. They are my guys. Jerry made it into the circle into the #2 spot...no doubt about it.

So many stories. I was still his number one until the end. We had 17 wonderful years of snuggles and love. My heart is broken and sad...but he was so loved and spoiled. I just wanted him to be around forever. I'm so glad I was chosen to be his furMom. He will always be my little buddy. He will be missed by both of us.

Time to chase the geckos in the eternal sunshine. Love you to infinity my little boy cat.
Vicky Owles GoodinMiramar, FloridaSeptember 10, 2019
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