Taz – A Sweet Strong Spirited Companion

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Taz a Spirited and Loved cat
My sweet strong spirited Taz. I love you.

Today, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at about 5:30 pm cst… Taz passed away.

October of 1994 or 1995 I was living in Port Hueneme, California; Oxnard, Ventura area. My housemate was Donna Vondera. It had been a year since Tidak had passed away from biting a poisonous spider. Tidak is Indonesian for the word Know and was part of one of my favorite sayings: tidak apa apa which literally means ‘know what what’. It was used to say ‘if god wills it will happen’.

Whenever I have a new animal I say different words to see what the pet responds to. I then zero in on their name. I tried all kinds of words when I first got him looking for his name. Different words I had learned living in different countries mixed with english words. It took a long time and one day I said you are just like a Tasmanian Devil. So I tried Taz. Each time he would perk up. So that fit his strength of spirit and he responded to it.

It was time for a new kitty. We went to the Ventura Pet Adoption clinic. They had two cats up for adoption. One was a fuzzy long hair cat that would stay in any position you put him in and let you hold him and did not resist. Then they brought it this gorgeous little white kitty full of spunk. He had a little bit of gold on the tips of his ears and tail. He was feisty. He did not accept being put into any position. His spirit was strong. They told me they had rescued him by a dumpster in the rain and estimated he was between five and six months old. So they said his birth would have been in June of that year. They told me that his tribe is Flame Point Siamese and that breed bonds to one person as its mother. He would need a lot of attention for at least six months and for that time it would be good to make sure someone was always around. And to make sure I spent the most time with him. Luckily Donna worked night shift so she could be there during the day.

I like a strong spirit so we left with this cute fiery white fur ball. They had me sign an agreement that he would be an indoor cat.

For most of his life he was like a dog to me. He would follow me from one room to another. He would make sure to lay within a few feet of me although he could only handle a little bit of physical closeness before he would jump out of my arms. It was an energy thing. He wanted to be in my energy field. If I went out of town for the night Andrew and others told me he would cry when I was gone.

His Spirit proved to be very strong. He would try to bite my finger when I shook it at him and said ‘no’. He would sit there and lap up water when I tried a water gun that is used to train most cats. Luckily, with that spirit, he came house trained.

In fact the first time I took a bath after I had him he climbed up on the edge of the tub and would play in the water with his paw. He always wanted to get in the tub/shower directly after I was out of it. He would stand next to the shower and let me drip water on him then use that to clean himself. Then there times he would sit in the tub and do his kitty prayer to the water spout god as he stared directly at where the water came out. Plus he would rub up against the water knob hoping to turn it on. Luckily he could not.

In California, I lived in a 3-story skinny house that was built on a small lot that was less than a mile from the ocean on the Port Hueneme strip of land jutting out into the ocean. As a kitten he would have made a ferocious neighborhood cat. He was muscular and over twenty pounds. But I had signed that agreement and I decided to keep that agreement. Cats are supposed to live a better and longer life when they are indoors. My two previous cats, Tidak and Mavro (greek word for black – he was a big shiny black cat), both died as a result of being outside. I grew up with cats on the farmland and was used to letting them be free. I decided I would keep Taz indoors.

Back to his strong spirit. He loved to swat the back of my heel when I was walking down the stairs. One time he did that one too many times. I grabbed him and put him right to my face and said: If you do that again I will take you back. That is the first time I realized that he understood me. He never ever swatted at my heel again. He heard me. That does not mean he did not ever show that spirit again. It is just that he stopped that behavior right then.

After I quit that corporate job I moved back to Austin. My friend, Mark, flew over from Denver to drive with me and Taz from California to Austin. I had a pet carrier. It was a funny scene… Taz was like the comic cat Garfield when I tried to put him in that carrier. All four legs went out so that he would not fit through the door. I would hold two of his legs and get them in but I could not get the other two in the opening. This was so funny; he was winning. I finally got him in the carrier and closed the door.

He howled and cried and made noises until I opened that door. Now, this is a cat who did not ever meow. Once I opened the door he would stay in the carrier… just do not close that door. I had it where he could come sit on mine or Mark’s lap and then he’d go back into the carrier. Just do not close him out from what was happening.

When we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona and checked into a hotel that did not allow animals. I snuck him into the room in the elevator in his carrier and under a big blanket. The next day we drove through Sedona and saw the beauty in that region. We did a couple of short hikes up to the magical energy vortexes that are in Sedona. Such beauty.

It is funny he never once meowed like cats do. I thought that was a natural part of being a cat but maybe he never heard his mother, since he was abandoned, and learned to do that??? Less than seven years ago I decided to meow to him a lot and to pretend I was talking to him. Maybe he would pick it up. He did. About a month or so after I started meowing to him often he made a little meow squeak. I really was his mother teaching him the cat ways 😉 He began to meow ever so often but never was a big talker. It seemed just to get my attention if his water was not fresh or his box needed cleaning.

A year and a half ago he lost his muscle mass and became a very thin cat. In the last couple of weeks it became obvious it was his time. Andrew and I took him to a vet hospital today. It was, of course, hard to do but best for him.

There are some spirits you remember throughout your life. Those spirits that touched you deeply. I remember one other pet with the same connection, my dog Tuffy who died while I lived overseas. The past seventeen years have been major change and ups and downs. Taz was there with me always. His spirit was sharp. He would come to me when I felt bad. He was that presence.

I know we are connected in our life travels. I know we will meet again. I expect him to become one of my stronger guides on the other side.

I love you Taz. I will think of you and feel your energy around me.

Happy trails.

Meow, Lamar

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