Bittersweet: A Tale of Two Cats

My Facebook friends and followers have heard this news already, but I thought I’d share here. Last month, my 19 year old cat, Pollux (you know, the awesomely adorably feline friend of mine who served as partial inspiration for Virtus) passed away. It was as heart wrenching as you can imagine (which is why I didn’t post about it here right away). Just think, I got him when I was still in law school! Still unmarried! He was with me when I bought my first house, had my first child, sold my first book! He lived with me in four different places… through six different jobs. When he was a kitten, he even traveled with me! So, needless to say, even though it’s been six weeks or so since he died, I still miss him terribly.

Pollux 1995
Pollux 1995
Pollux in a Bow Tie
Pollux 2013: He looked handsome, didn’t he? He was such a good sport!!

Nevertheless, the point of this post isn’t to grieve or cause sadness. I also wanted to share some fun, happy news.

Loving Pollux as much as we did, we were prepared for a summer sans pets. (Some of you may recall, we lost our beloved Labrador last year). But life hardly ever works out as you expect it to, which is probably a good thing. Days after we returned from Disney, this guy started showing up at our back door.


He was hungry and not shy about letting us know. He was also covered in ticks and fleas, poor guy. We fed him some tuna and immediately tried to find his owner. My girls put flyers in every mailbox in our neighborhood — and the one next to ours. I emailed all my neighbors to ask if they knew who he belonged to. Two people showed up thinking he was theirs, but it turned out to be a different cat each time. I took him to the vet for his first round of “deverminization.” No microchip.

After a month, I think it’s safe to say HE’S OURS. 😀

For a fun post from last February where I share pictures of Pollux and talk about Virtus and Fiery Edge of Steel, click here. And for another fun picture of Pollux lounging around with copies of Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel, click here.

Hope everyone is having a nice Saturday!

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

20 thoughts on “Bittersweet: A Tale of Two Cats

  1. I’ve had a similar experience in the last 6 months. In November (a week before Thanksgiving) I lost my tuxedo cat, Pepper. I adopted her when I was 18 and she was about a year and a half old. I don’t have a husband or children, but for 16 years, Pep was the one constant in my life. In October of 2012, I adopted a precocious Russian Blue named Houdini. While he made Pepper’s passing much easier, I did something I wouldn’t have believed myself capable…I adopted a 4-month-old kitten just days after Pepper’s passing. While nothing will ever replace Pepper in my heart or those 16 years of life, Lilly has been a great addition. About a year younger than Houdini, she’s able to play and chase him around the house in ways Pepper was just too old and tired to do. It’s done my heart good. I miss Pepper every day. Always will, I suspect. But she gave me the opportunity to open my heart and home to another homeless soul. And best yet…Lilly likes to play fetch!

    Best wishes for you and Ginger!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about Pepper. When Pollux passed away, I felt like it was the end of an era. I’m sure you felt the same. It’s so hard, but the sadness, grief, and nostalgia is worth all the joy, laughter, and affectionate aggravation (hairballs, chewed up flowers, things knocked off shelves) of having our cats in our lives. I fondly and fiercely try to hold on to all the memories I have of everyone I’ve loved who has passed away.

      But on to happier thoughts! Lilly and Houdini sound like a great pair. I didn’t realize how old Pollux was until Ginger started doing things Pollux hadn’t been able to do in years. We’re still trying to teach Ginger to be more playful. He’s friendly but skittish, probably because he was a stray.

      You’ve had some neat breeds. I’ve never had a tuxedo cat or a Russian Blue. I’ll bet Houdini is beautiful. Thanks for sharing a little bit about your cats.

      Happy Friday, Jamie! Crumple up some pieces of paper and throw ‘em on the floor for Houdini and Lilly for me. 😀

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Pollux. Believe me, I feel your pain! And I totally love that Ginger came into your life. We acquired our 4th cat last October when I found him eating out of our recycle bin. He wasn’t micro-chipped either (he is now and he’s OURS!!). And I don’t regret taking him at all. Good luck with your new friend!

  3. Ginger looks great! No one could replace Pollux, but those pictures make it look like he’s a part of the family already.

  4. So sorry! We got our second cat just as you did- a stray kitten. Also just added a dog, very sweet rescue poodle mix, 2 years after our last died. Rescuing is good!

    1. I got Pollux from a woman whose cat had kittens, but adopting strays is a wonderful way to find a new pet. When I was growing up, all three of our cats were strays who came into our lives in one way or another.

  5. Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard when we lose our beloved pets. Our family. The family dog died last year, and we’re still grieving.

    Perfect timing on your new cat. It’s nice to think that Pollux might have sent him to you. Very adorable!

    1. Thanks, Stacey. Maybe, eventually, you’ll be ready for a new dog. We’re planning on getting a puppy in the fall. Wonder how Ginger will react. LOL. 😀

  6. Sorry to read about the loss of your lovely kitty, Pollux. Very hard to have fur family leave. Ginger must have known that you needed a feline friend, and he needed a home. We had a calico show up in the fall, and she moved herself right in much to the alarm of the resident critters.

    1. Ginger’s timing was perfect. It was impossible not to adopt him — and he really is the sweetest cat. Very affectionate. I’ll bet your calico will make friends with everyone eventually. Pollux had nothing but the stink eye for Clipper when we first got him, but when they got older and mellowed out, they used to sleep side by side.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Gayle. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. It´s bittersweet with pets, you love them to pieces but at the same time have to be prepared for the end. One of our cats came home last summer, been touched by a passing car, and I had to hold him in the garden when he was injured, waiting for my L to come home so we could take him to the vets. We had to put him to sleep, the surgery would have put him in agony for months. SMH Still miss him.
    His brother – who´s still with us – is a ginger just like yours =) Twelve years old and our mouse catcher.
    It would be very lonely without pets.

    Happy Saturday!

    1. I can’t imagine how hard that was! At least you were there for him. Cars are so much worse than raccoons. 😦

      That’s great that your other cat is still catching mice at twelve! Good for him — and you! 🙂

      And I agree wholeheartedly, I’m willing to suffer the heartache of losing them for getting the privilege of having them in my life.

      Have a good weekend, Linda. Thanks for the visit!

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