In Memoriam -- Kitty Buttress-Houfek
Miss Sieglinde "Kitty" Buttress-Houfek passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday, January 14, 2005. She was approximately 12 years old. We found her on her blanky in her nook in the outdoor kitty condo, her delicate white paws crossed gracefully in front of her as if contentedly resting.
Kitty had a life any cat would envy. She had the run of Warwick Manor with all its delights. We first met her shortly after Dave bought the house in 1993. Dave and I were eating dessert -- home-made tapioca -- at the patio table, when a shy, dainty black-and-white kitty appeared. From our fingertips we fed her little round blobs of tapioca, which she relished, and we fell in love with her. While it was clear she had been born and reared at the house by the previous owners, she, too, adopted us.
She was the first of five to show up. The next two were her likely brothers, beefy Siegfried and handsome Sigmund. Later came Peep and Squeek, siblings born at the Manor to a feral mother. Nevertheless, Kitty was the original kitty and a true princess, as she made clear by her relationship with these interlopers. She refused to eat with them, insisting that her food bowl be at least three feet away from the other four bowls. She turned up her nose at them on cold nights, when the four were intertwined in a soft pile of gray, black and white on top of the condo. She swatted Siegfried and Sigmund daily and chased them off the patio -- and was often chased back. But she clearly was the boss.
Unlike the others, who roamed, played, napped, and hunted together as pals throughout the Manor grounds, Kitty, faithful and loyal, stayed close to the house, unaccompanied. When I was at my computer, she would push open the office door and snuggle up behind me, between my back and the chair back. Occasionally, she found herself locked in the office overnight; the next morning we would see her anxious face peering through the lowest French door windowpane. She was the only resident cat happy to see visitors, pleading to be petted and soon comfortably sitting in her new friend's lap.
Kitty was always loving, dependent, gentle and ladylike with us, and in the past year or so, we gave her the extra attention she deserved and needed. She increasingly became part of our indoor family life routine (especially since she had stopped drooling and shedding). She now sat behind my back or at my side in my chair at the dining/family room table, or sprawled out on my lap, carefully grooming my hand with her scratchy tongue. If I got up for a moment, I would put her on Dave's tummy, where she was happy for a few moments with his attention; then she inevitably leapt back to my chair, where I would struggle to move the firmly planted cat so I, too, could fit on the seat. And, against Dave's wishes, I often let her sleep during the day on the comfy bedspread in our bedroom. She was very happy, I am sure, and so were we.
She is survived at Warwick Manor by Dave and Sue, her bereaved owners, and by the two Sigs and Peep and Squeek (who may not miss her that much).
A private burial service was held in the Rose Garden at Warwick Manor in San Jose, California, on Sunday, January 16, 2005.
c 2005, Susanne Houfek
Susanne Houfek Gallery