Man, I idolized Bailey. No one can tell me that he wasn’t the coolest cat in the world.
I got him at a shelter in San Francisco about 12 years ago. Someone found him out lost and hungry. I know for sure that he was somebody’s cat, because he was just too regal and beautiful and brave and gentle to have been raised without love. He had more guts and courage and pride in his tail than I have in my entire being.
He had the most beautiful blue eyes that watered incessantly and a kink in his tail.
A vet once pulled one of his teeth without anesthesia, because he had a heart murmur and he just sat their and gutted out with barely a sound of complaint.
My parents had a couple of cats that could keep you chasing them for hours once they got out of the house, but I could bring Bailey outside and he never once even remotely tried to run away. He’d just regally stroll around and check out the plant life. Sometimes when I would walk over to take him inside, he would walk away from me as fast as he could but he never once tried to run.
For a while after I first got him, he wouldn’t come up onto my bed. He’d just sit next to the bed staring up at me. I’d bring him up onto the bed and he’d jump right off and return to the same spot and stare right back up at me.
He liked to play. He probably deserved someone, who would have played with him more. Once early on, I bought one of those sticks with the feathered toys tied to them. We played with it for about a half hour and I wanted to go to bed, but Bailey wouldn’t leave the toy. I’d bring him to bed and he’d run right back out for the toy. Then I brought the toy to bed and Bailey picked it up and dragged it back to where we had been playing with it.
Every once in a while he’d get into a frenzied play mode. A sure sign of this was when he would crouch down and start to shack his back side into the air. That meant that I was about 2 seconds away from being pounced on and viciously attacked. He played rough and I had plenty of bites and scratches to remember our brawls whether I contributed to them or just kicked him off of the bed in self preservation.
To everyone else though he was gentle and loving, he liked to lick people’s hair. Mine when I had hair and other’s on special occasions when someone was actually visiting me.
When he finally started to sleep with me, he would sleep right on my legs. Finally, I think he realized that sleeping on my legs meant that he’d be roused every time I rolled over, and he started to instead sleep in the crook of my legs.
Sometimes I’d sleep through whatever time he felt that he needed to be fed and he’d just hang out near my head as breath into my ears as loud as he could. He stuck his face in my shoes and drank my bathwater. He followed me around and looked up to me like I was special. He ate almost every can of food I gave him with as much gusto as Snoopy after weeks of not being fed. No matter where he was the second the can made the slightest noise of being open that cat was tearing his way into the kitchen from God knows where.
There were two times where he almost died. Both times he had hidden himself and it took me a while to realize that he was failing. It was the worst feeling in the world to see him unable to stand or going through seizures. I cried myself empty. The kid at the vet the first time told me to compose myself because the animals can feel your sorrow and I wasn’t able to.
After one of those times, he was really weak and I had to drive him from the emergency room to the regular vet. A guy pulled out in front of me and made me slam on my breaks and Bailey fell onto the floor with an IV still in his leg. I swear I wanted to get out and kill that guy.
He ruined two carpets that cost me about $1,800 and made my apartment nearly unvisitable, I gave him thousands of diabetes shots, and his medical bills got expensive, but even when he was just away for the night at the vet, I’d open a door and look for him or look behind me and expect to see him there and I have no idea what I will do without him.