Tomorrow my cat goes off to his new home - in rural, rather than urban, Appalachia. He has been adopted by one of those classicist friends of mine. I know he shall be quite happy with her but I am going to miss him rather a lot. He is, after all, the best cat that ever was.
The cat is named after Vaslav Nijinski, a ballet dancer with the Ballets Russes in the early 20th century who was famous for his ability to jump and later went mad in Zurich. I saw him be born in a house 2 blocks away from my current apartment back in 2004 and I've had him at home since July 4, 2004. He's the only pet I have ever had apart from some very short term goldfish in elementary school.
Vaslav is an excellent catcher of bugs, which has been very useful since my across the hall neighbors moved away and their cockroach infestation tried to move over to my kitchen (keep in mind that these are Southern cockroaches - 1 to 2 inches long with big black wings that will chase you - not the measlier varieties that I have seen in more northern climes). He has successfully kept them at bay. He likes more than anything else to steal bits of lettuce out of my salads so he gets some as a treat for Sundays. His favorite thing to play with is bamboo stalks, preferably with the leaves still on. He plays fetch, too, with his toy mice and comes running up to the door when I come home. He watches me out of the window when I'm waiting at the bus stop, which is really very cute.
He sheds like nobody's business, though, and that's not so very cute.
He is only a pet, not a child or a friend or a loved one, but I'll still miss him. I just can't afford to bring him with me. I don't know how I'm going to be able to pretend that I'm not talking to myself without Vaslav around. He has been very patient with my ramblings over the years and truly a prince among cats.