Pet Names

Smafter, Moopy, Schmooter, Smaft, Schmooterman, Bob Dole, Smafter-head, Vladimir Schmooterman, Evil Cat, Bad Cat, Evil Smafter, Wafter, Bob Cat, Smaftulater, Warfter


Early February, 1986


November 29, 1998

My Tribute to Vladimir

Below is the tribute I wrote and placed on my website after he died.

For the Memory of Vladimir, my Big Grey Kitty.

He had yellow-green eyes, and loved to play with hot pink pom pons. He was a western cat, and always held a spot in his heart for the first place we lived, the little white and grey house we rented on Grant Street in Fort Collins. His furniture kept disappearing...he owned the furniture, you realize...whenever we moved or when a dog would take it over, or when it got too old to be presentable even for the purpose of a big grey kitty.

He was the smartest cat I knew. He'd fetch bottlecaps (the screw-on kind) and small plastic caps like a dog. He didn't like dogs, however, but he did tolerate the Pug. He was at his element back in Colorado, before the urinary illness, before the move, before the evil neighbor cat, before the dogs. Even when we moved to the house we bought in Madison that was bigger than the little house on Grant Street, escaping the evil neighbor cat from our rented Madison flat, I think he never quite adapted. He had two staircases instead of one, and almost twice the space as Grant Street. But there was something missing for Vladimir. Maybe it was the addition of dogs and a third cat. Vladimir was quite the curmudgeon.

When we first got him, he was tiny, except for his belly. Our first cat, Natasha would beat him up, not understanding we got him as a companion for her. He grew and grew. He'd then beat up Natasha. We put him on a diet. He eventually retained a normal weight. Then he lost weight. And eventually we lost him. This is the hardest death of a pet I've ever dealt with so far in my life.

I've lost cats before. I got my first cat when I was 14...his name was Pepper and had markings much like Vladimir, and he vanished without a trace one day when he was still very young (catnapping)? To make me feel better, my parents let me get another cat shortly afterward. She died of feline enteritis before we were even able to take her to a vet. Then there was the other cat I got several months later, Velveteena, and then her dimwitted daughter that we kept from her one and only unexpected litter. When I moved out of my parents' house I was unable to take them with me to my "no pets" rentals, and they were already established in my parent's house, so by the time they died I was already living far away in Wisconsin with three cats of my own. But Vladimir's death was different. It was like losing a dear friend. I had lost my Big Grey Kitty. He was supposed to be Stan's cat, but he always loved me best.

In His Own Words

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Vladimir when he was about ten years old:

If I Were A Human I'd Be . . .homosexual, intellectual, brooding, a mama's boy, a Jewish Russian philosopher and physicist, highly intelligent, maybe a nerd, angry, evil, demon possessed, insane, fat.

Things I Love. Food; puking; aligning small objects such as bottle caps and then swatting them in order to study physics and bio-dynamics which is supposed to be beyond cats; beating up Natasha; sitting on Ann's lap while she's trying to make art.

Things I Hate. Duh....canines, as a species, should systematically elimated.

The Scariest Time in My Life (at least for my humans). I was living in Colorado in 1989 on Grant Street (still my favorite place) and I was really fat and happy. Then, my humans started putting all my stuff in boxes. One day some people came in a big truck and took all my furniture (even my favorite chair!). This really stressed me out, and I also developed a problem peeing at the same time this was all happening. My humans took me to the vet where he squeezed my bladder. It really hurt, and then they put me on a special diet. Ann and Stan said I had "Kitty Crystals." Not only that, but they put Natasha and I in the same box they take us to the vet in, put us in Ann's car and drove really far for what seemed like forever. We had to stay in two strange tiny rooms for two nights. I felt horrible...I thought I was going to die. Then we arrived at this empty flat with this bully neighbor cat who lived upstairs. Ann and Stan slept on the floor for several nights, because they didn't have my bed. Fortunately, my kitty crystals were clearing up and I was getting used to the new Boring Tasting Science Diet For Fatsos. I didn't like the set-up much; they kept my litter pan in the bathroom. I liked it before at Grant Street when it was in the basement and didn't have to share it with the human's toilet and shower. Then one day, the same people in the big truck who took my furniture away about a week ago back in Colorado, came and delivered all the furniture back to me! I guess they felt guilty or something. I still didn't like living there--the neighbor cat tried to break in the windows to kill me once, but at least my health cleared up. And about a year later, Ann and Stan took me to yet another different place, the same place that I've lived for 7 years now. It's almost as good as Grant Street (except now I have to share it with two dogs)...and I have a basement for my litter pan.


Vladimir, mid-1990s


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