It was in September of 1999. I was staying with my father, helping him, and him helping me, when I developed what we used to call women's problems. I had just had a DC and came home. Lying on my bed, my sister Geraldine stuck her head in the door, and said, "Do you want this?" I said, "What?" and she placed a small grey kitten on my chest. Of course I went crazy over him, and said, "Yes, yes!!" She had found him in the FasChek parking lot. I looked at him and decided I would name him Roscoe.
He turned out to be one of the smartest cats I ever seen. He was adventurous, but cautious in his own way. He soon became the king cat in the house. My father's cats, Barney and Clyde, and LuLu Bell looked at him with disdain. The outside cat, that one one else could touch but Daddy, chased him whenever he went outside.
I remember the day he came running in the house, meowing his head off, covered in cobwebs. Evidently the outside cat, named Kitten, had chased him under the old smokehouse. I laughed and wiped the cobwebs off of him, calling him my little Roscadoodle. Daddy, who couldn't hear at all by this time, listened as I told him I named him Roscoe, and immediately said, "Let's call him Cedric." I said ok. So for about two years, Roscoe had two names, Roscoe and Cedric.
He was fascinated by the Racoons that used to come up on the back porch at night and eat whatever they could find. I would chase them off, as we left out trash cans out there. We finally devised a way to racoon proof our trash cans, but they still visited the porch. A few of them I got to know. The huge mail, beautiful, unafraid. The wiry little female who always seemed ragged and worn. Sometimes she would bring her babies with her, and they we absolutely the cutest things in the world. Roscoe hated them all.
One night I heard a commotion and looked out to see the whole freaking family out on the porch. They got in a fight and ran under the porch, and Roscoe ran right under there with them. I figured that was the last of Roscoe, but, no, he just went under to watch.
He would spy on my brother Buddy, who he disliked, for hours. Just sitting outside his tool shed, peaking through a crack, while Buddy went about his mechanical business. He liked my sister-in-law pretty well, and Geraldine. But he was really my cat.
He was so attuned to my moods. He knew when I cried, for he would come to comfort me. He knew when something was different, for he would come to me and tell me. Many is the morning I have woken up with him sitting on my chest, touching my face with his paw.
When I left West Virginia to move to Virginia I left him with my sister for a year. Shortly after I moved here in 2005, I lost my son, and I went back to WV when my sister died, in 2006. Roscoe was still there, and felt so bad for leaving him there. He was skinny, but I knew my sister had done the best she could for him. I brought him back to Virginia with me, him in his cat carrier, meowing his head off for 6 and half hours.
He quickly established himself in the house as the top cat again. Though much smaller than the cat my son had given me, Sasha, he bossed her around as much as possible. Like before, if he didn't want her on the bed at night, he picked a fight with her, and ran her off. Sometimes, though, he would spend a lot of time grooming her.
My neighbors soon learned that Roscoe was my "little boy", and he was here for me again. He began getting sick about three months ago. He had stomach cancer. I cried when he died, and I still cry when I think about him. He was so very, very special to me. Sometimes I still think I here him at night, but I guess that's to be expected. When I go to the kitchen, I expect him to follow me, and watch what I'm doing.
There are many, many more memories of Roscoe. Such as the Christmas he spent jumping in and out of the Christmas tree, until me and Daddy had to secure it to the wall. Actually, Daddy's last Christmas.
I love you Roscoe, and I think there must be a special place for you somewhere.