Reese the Cat (Jan 2018)
Reese the Cat (Jan 2018)

My good friend Reese the Cat died on the last day of May 2019. She was 13 years old – still a young cat, by cat standards. She had a tumor on her tongue and couldn’t swallow and couldn’t eat or drink. We took her to a vet clinic within walking distance of our house on a sunny Friday morning to have her put to sleep – there were few options remaining for us and this seemed like the right one. We stayed with her the whole time.

I’ve worked from home for about 4.5 years now. I’ve spent much of that time alone in my home office – furiously hammering at my keyboard and sighing loudly. Reese the Cat has been there, too. Walking across my desk; threatening to take down production servers by flopping down on my keyboard to get my attention.

She spent much of her time alerting me of the activity of various animals she tracked outside our house. This meant running from the window in my office to the laundry room upstairs to get a wider view of the neighborhood cats, birds, and squirrels in the backyard. I’ve since made the assertion that there seem to be fewer cats wandering around the neighborhood, but that’s probably not true.

A blurry Reese sitting in my office chair (Sep 2016)
A blurry Reese sitting in my office chair (Sep 2016)

Whenever I closed a door in the house Reese took exception. She’d sit outside the door caterwauling, scratching at the carpet, generally making herself a nuisance. She often made a point of darting through doors as soon as they were opened – without regard for why a door had been shut or what may be on the other side. I’ve come to expect Reese to be behind doors. The past few days I keep opening doors expecting her to be there.

Reese (Jul 2017)
Reese (Jul 2017)

I call her, “Reese the Cat” as that’s her proper name. When we first moved to Colorado we lived in an apartment building and one of our neighbors was a woman named “Reese”. One day Blazey casually mentioned that Reese had been in the closet all day. I was confused. Are there locks on the closet? Did she not have a phone? She lived with her partner: where was he during all of this? We realized we needed to disambiguate: Reese the Cat and Reese the Person. It started as a subtle joke, and then it became her name. When I talked to her (as I frequently did when working from home) I called her “Reese the Cat” and often addressed her by her longer title: “My good friend Reese the Cat”.

Me & Reese playing (Jun 2013)
Me & Reese playing (Jun 2013)

I wrote most of the above on the 5th of June. Now it’s the 14th of October and I still haven’t actually published it. I have excuses: I wanted to amalgamate some photos; I wanted to re-read after some time had passed; overall, this post was just too sad to complete.

Reese on a bench (May 2017)
Reese on a bench (May 2017)

It’s been a while. We’ve given her expensive, uneaten food to the humane society. I’ve stopped expecting to see her around the house. I still miss Reese.