Hobbes passed away last week after fighting a long and heroic battle with Mr. Death himself. That’s right; I truly believed that, if any cat could achieve immortality, it would be Hobbes.
My bond with Hobbes was built during our earliest days together, when we would play together until she fell asleep on my chest. Sometimes I tried mimicking her meow; she always looked at me with a very confused expression. Human/cat relations have always been tenuous at best, but I think we made some real breakthroughs there.
Sadly, we never spent as much time together after I left for college. Like all true friends, however, we always picked up right where we left off when I returned during breaks.
Hobbes relocated to New Mexico to live with my brother and sister-in-law for most of the Aughts. They gave her a warm, loving home for her Golden Years. My last visit with Hobbes came when I visited New Mexico. I helped brush out the burrs in her fur. In spite of the intervening years, she recognized me. It nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Hobbes was variously described as “jealous,” “spiteful,” “mean,” and “cantankerous.” Like professional basketball players and hip hop artists, she never let the haters get her down. She’d just hiss and go back to lapping up water from the bathtub floor.
Thanks to cutting-edge cell phone video technology, I saw Hobbes one last time on my birthday, a few days before she died. She was an old lady able to hold her own in a house full of younger, more sprightly animals.