Monday, November 19, 2012

A Tribute to Zippy

It doesn't take long for a pet to make a permanent place in a family.  The way they follow you around, bother you when they're bored, and need constant attention.  The amount of food and care they need makes it impossible to forget that they are around, but it's more than that that makes them special.  The way they seem to know when you need a nudge, the way they snuggle up to you while you're reading a good book and keep you comfy and warm, the way they constantly find some mischief which makes you laugh, the way they show you that they love you just because you're YOU and not for anything other than that.  It doesn't take long until you find that you're looking for them as you pull in the driveway or come through the door, you look forward to seeing them in the morning, you look forward to all of their silly shenanigans and eagerly look forward to spending time with them each day.
 
Our family got it's first pet in May of 2006 while we were living in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  One of my great friends, Sabrina Atwood, saved a mommy cat and her litter of kittens who were abandoned.  She called me up to see if I wanted a kitten for my kids.  I couldn't resist...I remember going over to her house with Tay and Rachey to choose which one we wanted.  I remember kind of wanting a different one than the gray stripey one...but Rachey especially was set on the little gray striped boy kitty.  So we took him home.  I have been thankful ever since that we took that cute little stripey kitty home.  He was perfect for our family.
4 yr old Rachel with baby Zippy
Everyone loved our new fuzzy kitty boy...and one of the first orders of business was to choose the right name.  The FIRST name the kids chose.....was "Tiger."
6 yr old Taylor & 2 yr old Brooklynn with "Tiger" AKA:  Zippy
 Well, he had stripes like a tiger.  And sometimes when he yawned...he looked like a tiger...
 
but it didn't take long for us to figure out that he was a rambunctious little guy who would zoom and zip throughout the house.  He would jump out from under the sofa and bat your legs and then zip off around the corner and you wouldn't see anything but a flash of gray.  Soon we started commenting on how "zippy" our little kitty was....and so his named was officially changed to
ZIPPY
Zippy lived as a part of our family for almost 7 years...and we all loved him.  Two weeks ago, he was out prowling in the early hours of the morning...and was hit by a car in front of our house.  Taylor, who walks to middle school, found him by our mailbox.  Andy sent Tay on to school, while he gave Zippy a nice burial out behind our garden by the canal bank that he loved so much.  We all miss him very much...here are some of our favorite pictures and memories of Zippy.
 
One day I went for a washcloth in this linen closet...and actually cried out in shock!  I opened up the closet door to come face to face with a very annoyed and put out Zippy.  This linen closet in our Cleveland House was double-sided...Zip had climbed up through the girls' bedroom side and found what he thought was a nice soft, quiet, private place for a cat nap...I sort of messed up his afternoon plans.
Ever since he was a tiny baby...Zippy loved sleeping with the kids.  He started out with Taylor...but Tay had allergies to him so we wouldn't let him sleep in Tay's room anymore.  No problem, he moved right in with Rachel.  He slept just like this...head on her pillow for years.  Some mornings I'd go in to wake her up...and she was completely off the pillow while Zippy was all sprawled out.  Rachel loved it.
Zippy liked taking long afternoon naps...usually curled up on Rachey's bed.
One year we Stake YW leaders cleaned out the stake YW closet...otherwise affectionately referred to as "The Cavern"...and we found these odd looking value-colored ball things.  With ribbons attached.  And bells.  We didn't know what to make of them...then I thought, "Hey!  Perfect cat toy!!!"  We attached it to Zippy's fishing pole, and he thought it was awesome.
I love this picture.  It is a rare moment for Andy and Zippy.  They didn't always see eye to eye...but on this occasion...I'd say they were getting along just great.  I'll never forget the time when Andy decided he was going to teach Zippy that he couldn't try to drink out of the toilet.  (This was a bad habit that I couldn't get Zippy to stop!)  He stuffed Zippy into the toilet, shut the toilet lid down, and SAT ON IT.  I came running in because of all the wailing and meowing I was hearing...it took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on.  There was my husband.  Sitting smugly on the toilet...which was literally exploding with cat howling and loud splashing sounds.  After just a few more seconds...Andy let him out, gave him a BATH...and poor Zippy never got near the toilet again.

Zippy helped me move into our current home by inspecting all of our moving boxes that I had stacked 6 feet high in the kitchen.  There were a few boxes that I had opened up and then left to unpack later...and when I got back to them, there was Zippy in the box.  I really think he had a goal to startle me as much as possible during his lifetime.
One of the things we all liked about Zippy was that he was so big!  He was a huge, heavy cat...
Ya...what a life, huh?  Rachel got up to go to school...it didn't take long for Zippy to scoot over and be in the very center of the bed and take up the entire pillow.
Staying up late to read with Rachel

One of Zippy's favorite places to sit was in this front window.  He liked watching the kids play, and the birds in the bushes.
This was in Cleveland...we were raking up all the fall leaves...and Zippy was watching out the front door.

As a kitten, it didn't take long for us to realize that Zippy loved climbing and being up high...Andy made Zippy this cat condo out of the weird pole thing that was in our upstairs bathroom (another story for another day) and a cardboard box, carpet remnants and yes, ugly silver duck tape.  It was hideous looking...but Zippy loved it.
Rachel and her preschool graduation certificate.  Of course, she had to have Zippy in the picture.  Zippy wasn't always patient enough to allow the kids to pick him up and carry him around and hold him like this...however...one night after he scratched Rachel, he and Andy had a "heart to heart" similar to the toilet training...and after that we didn't have any problems.
This was the year that Santa brought Zippy his fishing pole.  We had so many good times casting for him.  We'd cast out his cat toy...and slowly start reeling it back in and then you'd have to reel in as fast as you could because Zippy would chase it down and pounce on it.  One time we put it down the laundry chute while he was down in the basement....he kept jumping up to try and get the toy that was hanging down from the chute.  Over and over again we'd lower down his little fishy...just to watch him jump up to get it.  Silly kitty!
Zippy's first Christmas...he wasn't too thrilled about the red bow I tied around his neck. 
We had a little family of chipmunks that lived near my front flower bed.  I also had a bird bath in the front bed...so Zippy would sit just like this and flick his tail back and forth as he watched the wildlife outside. 

Zippy loved hanging out on top of the window casements and stalking us from up above.
Merry Christmas 2006!  Zippy made it onto our Christmas card.  He would have rather been chasing after his fishing pole toy.
I had just finished this quilt for Rachel...and she was trying it out...so of course Zippy had to come check it out too!
Baby Zippy playing in his cat condo. 
Taylor sleeping with the little fur ball the first night home.  I don't have pictures...but after years of not being allowed to sleep with Taylor because of Tay's allergies...Zippy started sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to sleep at the foot of Taylor's bed.  He would sleep right on top of Tay's feet.  Andy and I wonder if it's because Tay gets up in the middle of the night to eat snack food from the storage room...did Zippy secretly eat Doritos?
This is one of my favorite pictures of Zippy and Rachey...too cute.
And poor Zippy even endured a 5 day long car trip across the United States after dental school graduation.  He went from Cleveland, Ohio to Dayton, Oh...through Indianapolis...through Nauvoo, IL, Kansas City, across Arkansas...to visit Uncle Clay and Aunt Liz in Kansas...through Colorado, up to Utah to visit Roger & Megan...and finally across the Idaho border and straight across to Nampa. 

We all miss him...but for a cat we think he lived a pretty adventurous and full life!  And we're sure he's stalking us from up above in kitty heaven.