I was ambivalent about writing this post. The last time I wrote about Brixton — a cat named after a suburb — was in December 2022, a few weeks after she walked into our lives. Now I’m writing to memorialize her, just a year later, and a part of me feels like it’s a weird thing to do. But even though Brixton, a.k.a. Brixie, wasn’t with us for long, she was special. She had a big impact on our lives. She deserves a proper remembrance.
I haven’t memorialized a pet since 2020 when Smokey, the Melville Cat, departed this world. Smokey was with me for nearly a decade and while his loss was beyond devastating, it wasn’t a total surprise; the Melville Cat was getting up in years. But Brixton left us far too soon, when she was practically still a kitten. All pet deaths are lousy but this one hurts in a different way.
Brixie seemed completely healthy and serene when I last saw her on Friday evening. Then early Saturday morning I found her dead in our yard, with no outward sign of injury or illness. I suspect she had a sudden heart attack. Anyway she’s gone, regardless of the reason, and Thorsten and I are heartbroken.
Brixie, with her dainty white mustache, crazy eyebrow whiskers, and fat, black tail that often pointed almost horizontally forward toward her ears, endeared herself to us in a plethora of little ways. She was the quietest cat I’ve ever had — I heard her meow only once, on the day she first arrived and was desperate for food. She liked to stand right next to the open dishwasher and gaze into it with a vacant stare. (While brimming with charm, Brixie wasn’t the smartest of cats.) She loved to roll around on her back and never objected to having her belly rubbed. She liked to leap up on my lap while I sat at the kitchen table and also while I sat on the toilet.
Brixie patiently tolerated Trixie’s harassment — Trixie had an irritating habit of hiding around corners and pouncing on Brixie as she walked past. It felt like Brixie was biding her time until she grew up and became Trixie’s equal. After a year of adjustment they were just starting to get along, or at least co-exist more peacefully, and sometimes even slept on the bed beside one another.
I’m sorry I didn’t do more proper photoshoots with Brixton. I thought we would have a lot more time.