The weather was beautiful this weekend: hot enough to make me sweat, sunny enough to give me sunburn. I helped Sid change the oil in our cars, and when we were finished, up came Zombie Kitty.
He was a big old fat thing, all bushy orange fur and light green eyes. Someone loved him: his fur was clean and no stray gets that huge eating out of trashcans. And he looked just like the cat I had for sixteen years. He looked just like Whiskers. And Zombie Kitty ran right up to me like he knew me, meowing and waving his tail, licking my feet and hands to taste the sweat, rubbing all over me. For just one second, I could make myself believe that it was Whiskers.
Sid left to drop off the old oil at the auto parts place down the street and left me sitting in the driveway with this ginger impostor, and the more time I spent with him, the more I realized that he didn't look anything like my Old Man at all. He was smaller, still every bit as fat maybe, but Whiskers was big all over and not just in his belly. Zombie Kitty didn't have the tufts of hair on the tips of his ears like Whiskers did. His eyes weren't quite the same shade of yellow-green as I remembered. The resemblance was uncanny, yes, but not exact.
I was so glad that Sid wasn't around to see me cry. I wasn't sad, exactly, so I don't know what the tears were about, but it was wonderful to be reminded of Whiskers. Sometimes I feel like I'm forgetting him.
And then Gee will do something stupid, like act all brokenhearted because we wouldn't turn on the faucet so he could play in the water, and I'm reminded of the Old Man again. He's a zombie kitty, too, just not in looks.