This week’s post is for Mudshark, who died on Friday at the young age of five. He was a really amazing cat, and I miss him very much.
When we got him he was a little over a year old and had been given the completely inappropriate name of “Dasher”. It was his second stay at the Humane Society (the first had been around Christmas, and apparently they were naming cats after reindeer). I heard him meowing from around the other side of the kennel area, and went to see which cat it was. I thought any kitty who was trying that hard to get our attention was worth a closer look.
It took seemingly forever to name him. Sputnik was easy—he was a squeaky fluffy ball of kitten who already could jump to knee level, and I think we figured out his name before we’d even gotten the cats home. But Mudshark eluded us, and we tried all sorts of things that didn’t work, until I thought of the Laurie Anderson song “Sharkey’s Day”, which reminded Lucas of Frank Zappa and the mudshark, and the combination stuck.
Mudshark was always a little awkward. He fattened up on Sputnik’s kitten chow, and took most of a year to figure out how to get onto the dining room table without help. For a while we thought he was destined to be a kitty who had to climb instead of jump. He liked to perch on top of Lucas’s recliner, as well as anything that would get him close to a window without having to balance too carefully.
He was not fond of sitting on my lap, unless it was winter and I had the laptop to warm things up.
Mudshark did not approve of people sleeping in late, taking naps in the bedroom during the day, or neighbors loitering in the entryway outside our apartment. He would express his displeasure with these things by howling, loudly, until everyone was where he thought we should be again.
He also liked to try to dart out the front door, despite being an indoor-only kitty and completely terrified of the outside. One of these times he got as far as running under the neighbor’s car, which turned out to already have another cat under it. He flattened himself and hissed and spit until I could drag him back out of there.
He had a similarly angry reaction to trips to the vet.
He and Sputnik napped together, played together, wrestled and chewed each other’s ears. They were like brothers.
Mudshark had a habit of lurking where he could see you, but you might not notice at first.
I keep expecting to see him across the room, staring at me, or hopping up on the couch for a nap.