A Tribute to Willy, the Best Cat Ever

Today, February 29th, leap year, is eight years to the day since our dear kitty Willy died. To honor his passing, I would like to share the Willy selection of the near-complete Matching Pets album.

Matching Pets Album
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Rocky, a nervous dog, was usually cautious around Willy. Willy ignored Rocky for most of his life. But they did match. At least there was only one color fur to worry about.

Matching Pets Album

Forever friends...kind of

Willy was rescued by my cousin the vet tech. She had a female cat named Willy. We stole the name. He happily baked himself in the back window of the car all 4 hours back from Springfield and was found to be a cuddler immediately.

Matching Pets Album

The awkward stage

Although he had no front claws, Willy held his own outside, where he spent plenty of the nicer days. He regularly killed and maimed small animals. Mom always…took care of things…quickly in those instances, and I am still sort of traumatized. She was a farm kid.

Willy also tormented neighborhood houses with multiple female cats, stalking along their outside windowsills until they absolutely lost it and started ripping each other apart. Yes, this kitty was that much of a stud.

Kitty roamed far and wide, too. One day in 5th grade math class, half a mile from our house, I looked out the window to see my big orange cat strutting around in the fluffy dandelions. He made friends everywhere he went, even attempting to enter stranger’s houses, by some reports.

It’s amazing we held on to this animal until he died.

Matching Pets Album

Willy knew how to lounge

This cat liked to snuggle like a sentient heavy blanket likes to snuggle. He would ooze all over your lap and hug you.

There were these peculiar instances, though, when you would notice his paw on your chest. Then you would notice he was makin’ biscuits, and getting kind of gropey. Then you would notice his creepy face, looking like some leering old man. And then you noticed he was…excited. At this point, kitty sort of got thrown.

Such a creepy old man. And he liked my sister the best.

Matching Pets Album

Cuddle slut

Willy liked to cuddle so much, he would attempt to do so even as my mom and I were typing. And you know those animals that seem fat until you see them wet, and then they’re skin and bones? This was not one of those animals.

Matching Pets Album

Not Willy's finer moments

Both of the animals loved snow. Rocky, no problem, except drying his feet. He would plaintively lick your hands as you did so to get you to stop. The most meek dog ever.

Willy, on the other hand, would drag his fat belly on the ground in the snow, accumulating these hard little snowballs all over his fluff. It sometimes took a solid 15 minutes to pick them all off.

He was also a prime candidate for Stuff On My Cat, way before its time.

Matching Pets Album

Winter fun

Willy was a model. When the camera came out, I swear he posed. Snap. Pose. Snap. Pose.

Matching Pets Album

Wistfully pondering a rose

The dog was not allowed in the living room, per my dad, but the rest of us let him in there all the time. Every time we did, though, he would creep around like he knew he was doing something wrong.

On the other end of the Forbidden Zone is a random spot in the house that we cannot rightly figure out what to do with to this day. In the winter, it is where we put the Christmas tree. This is the last existing picture of Willy, to my knowledge. Still king after 13 years.

Matching Pets Album

Willy's final months

And then, on February 29th, 2004, Willy died outside the bathroom when my dad was the only one home. Because he was not sure what to do with a large dead cat, he put him in the basement deep freezer, where all of Willy’s small animals kills went until they could go out on garbage day.

We then had him cremated, and promptly lost his box of ashes for 4 years. They were found in the garage, at which point my mother set up a creepy little shrine in the china hutch with the ashes, his collar and a photo of him. I grew up in a weird house.

Our sweet kitty. I hope you were not haunted by the ghosts of your critter victims after death in the freezer. We will love you always.

Who was your best pet ever?