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Billy The Cat

Updated on January 13, 2013

The first time I met Billy would have been fifteen or more years ago and he was barely a kitten; and I thought a rather funny looking one at that. Looking something like a Siamese - and yet not, because in reality a Siamese, in my opinion anyway, is a "fine looking cat" - this cat seemed rather odd. Scrawny looking with spindly legs and short nubbly hair; long pointed ears atop a wedge shaped face. I may be a little prejudiced about the Siamese variety of cat, because of course I had owned one years before.

Billy, was our niece Suzanne's cat and she loved him with all her heart. He passed away this summer, late in the Season; he was buried at a special spot on Lake Erie at Long Point, and we all miss him. I like to say that he was so funny looking - he was cute; and he was. I believe he was a Rex. I may be wrong here - but we will say so; and at the same time we will say he was noble.

He sure could act noble, standoffish at times and other times haughty. I recall oftentimes being at Suzannes, where he would jump up on the sofa - walk right across me with ne're a look my way, more or less using me as a gateway to get to his person of choice - which never seemed to be me, no matter how hard I tried to get his attention.

Billy - King of His Domain


Billy was King everywhere he went, whether he was at home in the city, or on Lake Erie and at the cottage. He ruled both places that his owner provided for him.


Billy and Me

Back in September of 2010 I had a life changing experience when I lost the love of my life, my husband Craig. Craig was one of those people that Billy walked over me to get to. I could never figure it out, because pretty much Craig would ignore him. But then that is the way of cats, isn't it? They always go to the ones who look the other way, and thumb their nose at the ones who are constantly saying, "here Billy, come here Billy - Billy".

Sometime in early November I had our three nieces over for dinner. We were drinking wine and making merry when all of a sudden Suzanne said to me, "Hey maybe when Ellen and I go to our island holiday over Christmas, you'd like to babysit Billy - I could bring him over here".

Ah - yeah - "OK" - I said I!!! The next morning I woke up and said, "what the heck - I shouldn't have drank so much wine" I really wasn't sure if I was at all ready for this. It didn't help that while at Suzanne's one night prior to their leaving, and during an early Christmas dinner for us, her friend said, "I should warn you - Billy has a habit of coming into your bedroom at night and howling like a banshee - it's enough to wake the dead" then he went on to say, "it will scare the hell out of you - so I just thought I should warn you". Yeah, OK - so this is why he is not babysitting this cat any longer and I have all of a sudden become the chosen one.

The day had arrived and Billy was dropped off at my place, along with his cat food, heart medication, a scratching pole and his velvet cushion. His cat food was simple. His heart medication was to be mashed up and put in his food to fool him. His scratching pole was to be placed at the foot of my bed so that he could use it to climb up to get onto my bed, in order not to grab on to the comforter - and maybe pull a thread or two - and his velvet cushion was to be placed in front of my gas fireplace where "King Billy" would sit his royal hiney whenever he felt like it.

Billy in front of his fireplace at home.
Billy in front of his fireplace at home. | Source

We Spar A Bit

So here we are, Billy and I. He moves around my place sniffing here and there, checking everything out while I place everything where it is supposed to be, scratching pole at the foot of my bed, and velvet cushion in front of my gas fireplace. When I go back into the greatroom he is sitting on my peach coloured bergere chair. I remember babysitting Craig's son's and daughter-in-law's cat once when they were on a vacation. The other grandmother got the baby, we got the cat. But to be fair, we were both still working, and so a baby would not have been convenient for us at the time, so we took the cat. Well actually, we were just supposed to go to their house every day and feed and water the cat, but Craig thought he looked lonely, and so he took him home to be with us. How did I get off track here? Oh yes, I had to tell about the bergere chair. That cat had long black hair, and it got all over my chair, so I had placed a towel on it - and of course the next day he went and sat on the matching bergere chair - sans towel.

So this time I am reminded of that little fiasco, and I thought, "no Billy is not sitting on this chair without a towel". So I went to pick him up to put a towel down - and he hissed at me. Okay - fine, have it your way. I said, "the hell with you", and walked away ignoring him. Later that evening I was sitting on the loveseat watching TV and Billy came over, jumped up on the sofa and then on to my lap. And there we sat, at some kind of a truce. I thought this was good.

Time went by, and we changed position now and again and somwhere along the way he ended up on the chair again and fell asleep. At 11PM I decided it was time to go to bed. I shut off all the lights and beckoned Billy to follow. "Billy, come on Billy". Nothing - I was being totally ignored. So I went to bed.

I had been sleeping for maybe an hour or so when all Hell broke loose. The most blood curdling howling cry assaulted my eardrumbs waking me up in a frenzy, causing me to sit bolt upright in my bed trying to adjust to the darkness, while at the same time saying "BILLY" "BILLY". Where the heck is he? Then I saw him sitting under the chair at the foot of my bed, just inside the bedroom doorway. Now I'm calling him to get up here on the bed pointing to the scratching pole. Does he go there? No, are you kidding! He prances across the foot of my bed, hops up on the loveseat under the window and proceeds to carry on with his yelling. All the while I am patting the bed beseeching him to get on the bed and settle down.

Finally he hops over to the bed; I lay back and now he wants to sit on my chest. Are you kidding me? Not only that he is reaching out with his paw, opening and closing - dangerously I might add - with his nails close to my nose. I'm a little nervous to tell you the truth because I really don't know if I am going to anger him if I don't let him get his way. But really - he cannot sit on my chest - that just is not allowed. I finally nudge him sideways where he settles himself down between the blanket and the comforter with his head in the crook of my arm and we both go to sleep.

And then all hell breaks loose again. No kidding! somewhere during the night he gets off the bed, goes out to the great room and then decides its time to come back to bed and we go through the same routine all over again, not once more, but twice more during this first night. Howling and yelling and sitting on my chest and reaching for my face. Help!

Christmas Eve

We go through the week much like this. For at least three nights we have this same routine and I am getting hardly any sleep. He has not once used his scratching pole, but he does sit on his royal velvet pillow every day when I turn the fireplace on for him. Actually he lets me know when he desires this, by going over to it, sitting there, looking mournfully at it, until I get the message.

Christmas Eve arrives and I go down to my mothers to spend that evening with her, my step daughter and my sister and her husband. It is a rather sad occasion for me - my very first Christmas without Craig. I cried all the way home in the car and when I entered the house I heard Billy crying from the other end of the house. I walked through the greatroom and there he was in my bedroom doorway. He had been on the bed, and the pillows and afghan were all askew. I sat down on the bench outside the bedroom doorway; billy came over looked up at me and then hopped up and onto my lap and snuggled in. We both sat there like that, me crying, and he, happy to have me back.

That night he settled in with me when we went to bed. And then all of a sudden he sat up turned toward the doorway, walked to the end of the bed, sat his behind down - with his forelegs still upright, and stared at the doorway. He sat looking like that for a few minutes as though he was seeing someone, then he sat all the way down, still facing the doorway - watching - and I fell asleep. I now believe that he was seeing Craig. Both of us became calm, and fell back to sleep.

The next day a friend of Suzanne's came to take Billy to her house for the last two weeks. In the beginning I had been looking forward to that, especially after the first three nights of hardly any sleep, but now I was missing him. And today we all miss Billy.


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    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Minnetonka for reading and enjoying my story about Billy. He truly was a different kind of cat. We enjoyed him and miss him now. I believe he saw Craig too, and I still experience Craig being with me even three years later. :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      What a moving story you've shared with us Lynda. Sounds like you and Billy really needed each other when it came down to it. I totally believe that the cat saw your husband. Animals are so in tune with things we can't see. I think it's wonderful that you use your name and Craig's as your pen name here. How comforting that must be. Blessings to you :-)

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Flourish for dropping by and reading. Yes, Billy was pretty special - I know my niece still misses him. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Billy sounds like he was an awesome cat, demanding (and getting) life just as he wanted it. How wonderful that you fell right in line with his requests. Beautiful photos, too.

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you so much "wetnosedogs". Christmas can be a particularly hard time when missing those loved ones in spirit. But I know my husband is with me and that surely helps. So happy to hear that you experience your Felix in spirit. I believe a Siamese cat that I had years and years ago, came to comfort me when my husband was dying. She even reached out to my husband, a man she had never known. That's another story. LOL I should write a hub about it. Lynda

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      Aw, What a lovely, crazy story. My Felix died a few months ago and I miss that little guy. I bet Billy did see your husband that night. My dogs still seek out Felix and I swear he romps around in spirit.

      I am sorry to hear the loss of your husband. Billy, too.

      Merry Christmas.

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Jackie for reading my story about Billy. He certainly was a character - a rather funny looking one, and it was an experience I have never forgotten. Lynda

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great story, I really enjoyed every minute of it. I have never liked Siamese or anything like but if I had one I am sure I would grow to love it. I have had cats since my childhood. The weirdest one I ever had was a cat dropped off on me and it looked like a kitten but before long I saw it was pregnant and then when the kittens were born I knew she was a kitten having kittens, honestly. I had to almost hold her down to let them nurse because she batted them around playing with them, too roughly. Just as soon as I could I got them weaned and got rid of her! She was a real pretty calico though so I hated it, but you cannot imagine what I went through so many times a day with her and her babies, lol.

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Billy deserved this tribute - he was quite a guy!! And I loved doing it!

    • profile image

      Suzanne 5 years ago

      Wow Lynda, it took me days to read this as I needed privacy to get through it. You write so well and you caught Billy's character so well. Just a bit demanding and I know it would have been just as hard on him that Christmas without me there as it was on you without our Craigy. I kind of wish you would have had him for company the whole time but the character that he was, he was snapped up by other fans who treated him like the royal prince he believed he was. I miss him dearly. Thanks for the memories. Love Suzanne

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Epi - Billy was a character - and so it just seemed fitting that I pay him tribute now. He loved to wander around the little sand dunes by the cottage that Suzanne had built up and that is where he is buried. : ) I haven't had my coffee yet - think I'll go do that now - have a good one!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...this is such a wonderful and moving story about love and life and loss and longing and yearning and remembrance. Naturally the title and picture caught my eye as my two best friends are Little Miss Tiffy (the diva in my family and my mum's cat at 18 now) and Mister Gabriel my adopted cat who is all white and deaf.

      You write like a breeze too and it's a natural gift you have. Love the pictures as well because they tell a story too.

      sending you warm wishes where the heat is blowing right now from lake erie time 8:26am with second cup of coffee and yes I was spared by Hurricane Sandy - so many others , as you know, were not so lucky.

      No bagels today but a couple of hot Jamaican patties though with my coffee - lol

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know - my Siamese didn't carry on like that and they have a reputation for having an awful cry. My cat would sit by me on the bed or in between my legs : ) every night; sometimes getting off the bed and then coming back - but she didn't feel the need to announce herself every time. For some reason Billy did - LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well Lyn, As a cat lover, I'd have to say that Billy sounds like a very strange guy. I've had many cats in my life (never a rex) and I can honestly say, none of them howled or made weird noises as you describe Billy made. Bless your heart for putting up with him for any length of time. Too bad you didn't ask for hazard duty pay!! LOL

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you - it was fun to do.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Beautiful. Wonderful pics and stories! Thanks for sharing