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Discussion Starter #1
Today, July 5 2015, is 1 year after my beloved RJ joined his other cat pals at Rainbow Bridge. He and I were together for 12 years or more, and I miss him every day. RJ was a huge cat and gentle as could be, friendly and happy and a real buddy. Check out that enormous tail!



 

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I'm so sorry, katdad. :(
RJ did have one heck of a tail, didn't he? I love that fluffiness you captured in the first shot and his gentleness is seen in the second. He'll be the one and only RJ in your heart that lives on forever.
 

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Oh that must be hard. Days like this its hard to focus on just the good memories and even they can hurt on anniversaries.
Your comment and the photo of RJ's tail made me smile as my lulu has a huge bushy tail too which behaves like a separate animal :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's another pic of RJ w. my girlfriend -- she loved RJ -- and you can see just how big he was. A gentle giant, never bit anyone, hissed even. He was totally friendly and a terrific pal.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
RJ was the most friendly cat I've ever been lucky to be with. He was just like some fun beer-drinking buddy whom you'd hang out with, easy to talk with and always ready for some head petting and cheek rubbing.

When I adopted him from the Humane Society, he was just a kitten and apparently he'd never had much "home training" as my sister said, maybe separated from his mom too early. He'd already been adopted by someone else, who'd had him front declawed (which I hate) and then turned him back into the Society for another adoption.

Sounds cruel but if that hadn't happened, I'd have never met him. I'd had my beloved Vanilla for 17 years, the Cat from Hades, and after she died, I "never wanted another cat!". I used to stop by the PetCo near where I live on the way to the "dive bar" where I hung out and get a few smoked pig ears for the dogs at the bar (a feline-friendly outdoor pub).

I casually walked over to the adoption setup inside and saw him, and it was love at first sight! I immediately registered w. the people - and this group really checked out the adoption people, and I gave them my vet's number and they checked, and the vet said "If Sam adopts a cat, that cat will have the happiest life ever!" so they approved my taking RJ home.

I went over with a girlfriend, and as I was trying to get him out of the cage and into the carrier, he was of course frightened and nipped my fingers. My friend said "Don't worry, little fella. You don't know it yet, but this is the luckiest day of your life!"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How RJ got his name.

His "cage label" name was Jimmy which I thought was a stupid name for a cat. And like most of our pets, they will soon "name themselves" so I just waited.

I took RJ home and he was at first frightened. I'm guessing that he had a rough "childhood" and was orphaned early and didn't have much love yet, so he hung next to the plush bed I'd bought him, scurry to his catbox and then to eat, and hide under the sofa and whatever, for several days. I worked full time and I lived alone in a small bungalow so he had the range of the place but he was of course tentative and still cautious.

Well, one evening I got home and fed him -- he'd been with me for maybe a week or more -- and I changed clothes and was getting ready to watch an Astros baseball game or some movie or whatever, and I was in the kitchen warming up leftovers -- and just casually -- you know how you do it -- I switched on the TV to a random channel before the show I was planning to watch.

Well, on the random channel, was Walker Texas Ranger. You know the show, it had 3 plots: The black deputy is shot and Walker has to go kick tail, or the old deputy is shot and Walker has to go kick tail, or the cute deputy gal gets kidnapped and Walker has to go kick tail. The kick tail sequences are always in slomo.

As I was getting ready to sit down, it was the typical tail kicking sequence, and suddenly, RJ started running around the house, happily jumping on the sofa and the chairs and into and out of the kitchen, and lying down in front of me for petting, then running around again, all over the house. It was at that exact time that he figured out "I'm free! No cages! I'm HOME!" and so he was so happy when the realization had reached into his little cat brain, after maybe a week of gentle care. And he romped all over the house, and that evening, slept in the bed with me for the first time.

Well, I phoned my sister and told her about the incident, how funny it was that the cat was running all over the house with joy at the exact same time that Walker did his thing.

And she told me "Jimmy wants to be a Texas Ranger, too!"

And so his name was "Ranger Jim" or "RJ"! True story.
 

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I loved reading your two posts about how you and RJ met and how he got his name. He sounds like he was a truly amazing buddy.
 

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Katdad,
RJ, was one of those Very Special Friends, that we sometimes, get the blessings to know, and have in our lives...
It is amazing, what they can teach us, when we are 'open' to learning...

Your Gentle Giant, is now helping to show the New arrivals around the Bridge, I'm sure!

We always miss them here...no matter how long the time, we had with them, it is always to short...for us...left behind...♡♡♡♡
Sharon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the kind words. I printed out some photos of RJ and put them up on the wall, as reminders.

He's now climbing trees for the first time, being taught by my other fun buddy Dupree, who went to the RB years earlier, and of course, the Cat from Hades, Vanilla the Feared, who rules.
 
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