Two weeks ago, our beloved 19-year-old cat, Ipsie, went to that great catnip garden in the sky. Those who don’t have pets probably don’t understand, but it’s as great a loss as a member of the family. It was time, though–in human years he was nearly 95, and he’d had a long, healthy life. Every time we thought “this is it,” he would somehow find another cat-life and bounce back. I think he used up more than the proverbial nine lives–more like 99 lives.
This handsome orange tabby found us in August of 1991. My husband is involved in shooting sports and one Sunday he was running a match near Missoula, MT. He said he was aware of some women carrying a kitten around, but thought it belonged to one of them. After the match was over, they came up to him and said that they’d found this kitten and since he was the match director, it was his responsibility to do something about it.
We’d just lost our 17-year-old cat, Thunderfoot, a few months earlier, so he called me at work and said, “We have a little problem.” He told me what had transpired, and I said, “What’s the problem, bring it home!” The ladies who had found him named him Ipsc, which is the acronym for the International Practical Shooting Confederation, the type of competition my husband participates in. We laughed, said it was the International Practical Shooting Cat, and I called him Ipsie–an easier name for me to explain.
He was a playful, feisty cat, also known as “Slasher Cat.” While he enjoyed laptime and a good head scratch, when he was done with that he let us know by slashing out with his lightning-swift claws. As he got older, he mellowed and liked prolonged head scratching–as long as his human’s hand could hold out.
Yes, we had some good years with our cat with 99 lives.