He’s been here from almost the very beginning. Married only a few months, Mark surrendered to my begging for an animal and we brought home a teeny calico kitten we named Mojo. A few days later, he surrendered to my begging for a brother for Mojo. I spent more than a typical amount of time overthinking which kitten would become the buddy she needed. A little black and white cat who looked like he turned his head right when God was painting his face came home with us and became our Bebo.
The two of them were my companions when my arms were empty. Bebo was our comedic relief as he tried to be Mojo’s BFF, attacked our covers every morning when we made the bed, and howled like a newborn baby every time we were on the phone. They welcomed our three babies home from the hospital, sneaking into the drawer under their crib for naps. At 12 years old, they adjusted when yet another little one came home a bigger size (and more than a bit faster on her feet!) than the other babies were they arrived. Even as oldies, they didn’t get mad when another family moved in with us for a while. They were quite content to invite themselves to permanently move into Evan’s room where they knew they’d not only get quiet but they’d get a lot of attention from someone who also likes quiet. They may or may not have even learned some new tricks, behaving kindly when little Chinese boys pointed at them and said, “be obedient!” in Mandarin.
Mojo was the first girl to break Evan’s heart when she died in his arms last spring. At some point, soon after Lydia came home, she very clearly transitioned from being our cat to being his cat. When he was home, she was beside him. I didn’t write about it here when she died. His heart hurt so badly and missed her so much, I felt like writing about it all here would somehow hurt him more.
Bebo stepped up after Mojo died, getting a little more snuggly with Evan as if he knew that Evan needed him. He held in there long after we thought he would. 18 1/2 years he was with us. From the spring of 1999 when he was a tiny furball until yesterday when it became very clear that he was finished. He left his favorite spots in Evan’s room and climbed up the attic bedroom stairs and laid down on Ashlyn’s bed for a while. Then, he joined us in the living room while the kids and I watched some tv, curling up on Evan’s lap for a little while.
The kids helped me place him gently in a carrier when it was time for me to take him to the vet. They were so sweet in their sadness, knowing they needed to help me in mine as Daddy is on the other side of the world. I stayed with him while he fell gently to sleep and then cried like a lunatic at the vet’s office in an empty waiting room.
Mojo was a good cat…actually, the perfect cat for Evan. She was made for him, and I couldn’t love her and the God who made her anymore because of it. Bebo? He was a silly cat, always doing something weird, always the subject of Daddy’s silly songs. But, we adored him nonetheless because he was ours.
They will forever be part of our family’s story.