Posted by: jevcat | February 28, 2011

Carson Kitty

For those of us who share our lives with them, cats are such an important part of our world that their loss leaves a hole.  Some holes larger than others…

Over the weekend, a close friend had to make the hard decision to send an old and sick cat on his final journey, and the empty space will be substantial because Carson himself was substantial.  He was, I think, the most impressively substantial cat I have ever known.  He wasn’t always that way, though.

My friend first encountered Carson as a nameless stray hanging around the studio where she was taking art lessons at the time.  The teacher was feeding the little grey kitten, so he continued to return but, with the class reaching the end of the term, no one would be around to care for him.  My friend adopted him, and he became “Carson” – short for “Kit(ten) Carson.”

Carson soon made himself at home, stasis was reached with the rest of the feline menagerie, and all was well.  Except for the time I almost strangled him.  My friend and I were watching the first run of the Patrick Stewart version of Moby Dick together, and I had brought along a knit project for the yarn company for whom I worked.  Carson became fascinated with the bobbing of the knobbed end of my needles.  I kept an eye on him throughout the evening, but, in the climactic closing moments, lost track.  Just as Ahab motioned from the great white whale, a paw shot out, and there went the needle, the row, and a couple of hours of work.  The fact that he lived to a ripe old age is simply grace (and that the harpoons were only virtual).

We’ll never know if Carson was all or part Russian Blue, but he could have passed.  His fur was a velvet-like charcoal grey, not long but so thick it almost could be said to have a nap, and it was unimaginably soft.  He felt like one of those really expensive plush toys into which your fingers sink, such opulent softness you don’t want to stop touching.

Perhaps because of early deprivation, Carson was, as a Jewish friend of mine would say, “a fresser.”  He loved his food – and looked it.  Attempts to put him on a diet always failed, in whole or in part, and at one point he achieved nearly spherical proportions.  When Carson gravely contemplated you, you knew you had been weightily pondered.  When Carson sat in your lap, you were anchored.

Carson was gregarious, and a greeter – always there at the door when you came in – and not just with an ordinary meow, but a cascade of trills than ran up and down the scale.  Many cats make a trilling sound; Carson had a whole Dickensian-scale vocabulary of trills and chirrups – many related to food.  To put food in Carson’s dish, as my brother and I each did many times when our friend was away, was to hear an aria that might have been written by Puccini, had Puccini been a cat.  His music will be missed, but the song goes on.

I don't have a photo of Carson, but this picture from a t-shirt my mom gave me reminds me of him -- although I don't recall Carson ever actually smiling at me.


  1. What a lovely tribute to a characterful and very chubby cat! He sounds quite formidable and delightful. The T-shirt design is brilliant!
    Sunshine xx

    • The words on the t-shirt, which you can’t see in the photo, say “World’s cutest cat.”

  2. Carson sounds wonderful. I do enjoy fat cats. They are (as Carl once described the late, beloved Woodgie) a “fat lot of good.” May Carson be in purrpetual, spherical contetment and may G-d console his human loved-ones.

  3. Carson will indeed be missed! It’s a hard choice, but one we are called on to make because of our love for our animals…

    sweet post, Janet–you know I’m always in for a cat post.


    • LOL, thanks Jane, and there are a lot of us who are always in for anything to do with cats 🙂

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