A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go snowboarding with my friend Jeff (aka Jefe). Jefe was my roommate in college and one of the first people I met in Boulder. It seems I've known him forever. He lives relatively (2 hrs) nearby now and we get together once every 3 months or so. Anyway, we were reminiscing about some experience that I referred to as "10 years ago". He laughed, looked at me and with a big smile said, "G, sorry but college wasn't 10 years ago anymore." We both had a good laugh as just how ridiculously old we've become and yet there we were, snowboarding in Mammoth, in the prime of our lives, laughing, imbibing, enjoying and looking at the fruits of our labor in our very midst.
And where 10 years seems a distant memory there are events taking place now that hark back to a much earlier time and wrap around in my mind intermingled with vivid childhood memories. Teen years. Innocent times. The kitties I grew up with starting in my teens recently went to Cat Heaven. Bonnie passed away this past Monday, April 6th 2009 and her brother Clyde passed about 4 months prior. Bonnie and Clyde don't seem 15 or 10 or even 5 years ago to me. They have been around so long in my almost-middle-aged brain that I just plain associate them with family. It would be akin to visiting three cousins who you see every year and two of them are't there suddenly. A departure of a true soul. Two of them in this instance.
I could sit here and be sad but I believe it's more fitting to remember them for the feline friends they were. Clyde, always dressed in his tuxedo, ready at any moment for action. He was the 007 of cats. Seemingly innocent but truly sly and ready for a tuna martini and a good game of chase at any time, even at age 17. Bonnie was the cat with the "busy tongue". She licked more than any cat I've ever encountered and her gray body was always ready for the coming of dusk when she could blend into the darkness. Seemingly innocuous with her pink collar and pink tongue at the ready, she would undoubtedly be crowned the resident suburban ninja of fire-fly catching and Montgomery County Vole Catching Queen.
Bonnie and Clyde were my siblings nearly as much as my own brother. They came into my life at age 16 just after my sophomore year in high school when my brother himself was college in another state. This was a time of growth. Suddenly I was the only child in the house, hormones were raging and my guinea pig, GP, wasn't quite a household personality. Strong remembrances of hot Maryland summer afternoons spent in the backyard playing chase (no, believe me, a dog is not required if you had Clyde around). Bonnie sitting under the bird feeder, drooling with anticipation. Clyde going on an mid-day stroll for 4 hours and returning with a necklace made of flowers (not made up, I'm serious). The few days when I skipped school they were home. Constant companions. Times when I was somewhat out of my mind, they were there, thinking of treats, tuna or just a few pets. Times when I had friends over for marathon sessions of Uno during college breaks... yup, Clyde and Bonnie joined the party. Young adulthood? Check. Playing in the basement with my band, check (ok, they weren't too keen on the noise but afterward they'd come down).
I could go on an on. The point is everyone I've known who interacted with my family probably got to meet Bonnie and Clyde. Even Catherine on our last trip to Scottsdale got to meet them. Those kitties were family. I'm sorry to see them go but happy they lived wonderful, experiential lives in some beautiful places in the USA. Bonnie and Clyde fly on, cause some havoc in heaven and paw at a few angels for me.