When Terry and I got married in 1974, we united three children and three cats under one roof. It has been an interesting journey, all in all, mostly very good. My son, Gary, was ten, and daughter, Maria, eight. Terry’s son, Erik was three. He visited us from time to time until he came to stay when he was six.
Our young cat, Midnight, obviously named for his nearly solid black coat, belonged to Gary. He was small but daring. Before we married, Terry lived in an apartment across the sidewalk from us. Anytime Midnight found their patio door open, he went in and helped himself to Slash’s and Purvis’ food, terrorizing them in their own home in the process. Terry ran him out when he found him there.
When we became a family and moved to a townhouse, Midnight attempted to rule, the ground floor. Peace-loving Slash and Purvis spent most of their time upstairs. More than once, we came home to find tufts of black and white fur on the landing. Terry got pretty good at tossing Midnight outside, making for a few tense moments.
Midnight left us a few years later in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We lived near wooded areas where he liked to roam. Eventually he became a mostly outdoor creature. We’re not sure what happened to him, but I’d like to think he took up with another family who let him be Top Cat and fed him well.
Terry’s tuxedo kitties, Slash and Purvis, were a few years older than Midnight and
the largest felines I’d ever seen outside a zoo. Purvis, an independent short-hair, was preoccupied with food and preferred to be outdoors where he could hunt. He once polished off an entire bowl of Rotel Cheese Dip left out on the counter. Unfortunately he was the first to die—probably from something bad he ate.
Slash, a beautiful long hair, was the largest. I remember feeling a little uneasy the first time Terry left me alone with him—probably had something to do with his size and that name. But I soon learned he was sweetest of the three, and he would eventually become the most social. His name came from a prominent slash of white across his nose. Slash lived the longest of the three, 18 years. I wonder if he might have made it to 20 if I hadn’t run over him in the driveway. It broke our hearts.