As spring opens the ground for another season of renewal, I sadly say goodbye to Crazy Larry, my shop cat. He was a wonderful animal and an important part of our farm family. His presence and companionship is terribly missed. I suppose that some of you reading this don’t like cats, and that’s ok—Larry probably wouldn’t have liked you either. One of my favorite memories of Larry was when a neighbor stopped by the shop, and I warned him to watch out for Larry. He laughed off my warning and a moment later Larry’s claws came out and he was hanging from the neighbor’s crotch. Larry didn’t demand attention, but he was great at earning it.
Like many of the Siamese breed, he had a short fuse, but I believe that was the result of an inferiority complex due to his shorter than average tail. He compensated for this shortcoming by being fearless—he would take on anything or anybody. This likely contributed to his death. His body was never found, but the most likely scenario is that he was torn apart by coyotes, fighting bravely until his breath was gone and his fur was soaked red.
He enjoyed his life with us in the shop. He enjoyed lounging in a box in front of the radiant heater. He enjoyed sleeping on top of the coffee maker. He enjoyed sleeping on my lap every morning while I drank coffee. The coffee, by the way, was double filtered—there was Larry hair everywhere inside that coffeemaker.
Every piece of equipment brought into the shop or parked out front was thoroughly inspected by Larry. He seemed to feel that that was part of his job. He wasn’t a very good mouser—he preferred rabbit—but he did well enough I suppose. He much preferred very large mice with short tails, which I always thought ironic.
The last time I saw Larry, we had breakfast together. I ate oatmeal, he ate a mouse. Then we went our separate ways. I never saw him again. I had 14 years with him, but it feels like yesterday when my wife brought him home.
Every morning when I pulled up to the shop, he was there, waiting for me. Some mornings I forget he is gone, and expect to see him. I think of him when I pour that first cup of coffee, knowing that it will not taste the same.