The Many Faces of "Louis/Pip", the tuxedo cat
In the summer of 2007, this beautiful tuxedo cat started hanging around my parents' place in rural BC. He didn't play fetch, but in many ways, he acted more like a dog.

It wasn't clear if he had a home, and my parents weren't initially open to the idea of taking him in, but it was clear that he won over their hearts with time. When I visited next for Christmas, the cat was in the house! ("Well, it was cold outside, we couldn't let him freeze out there", etc.)

Erika called him "Louis", Dad called him "Pip", as in "Pipsqueak" - because his call sounded like a squeak moreso than a "meow."

Louis was fiercely independent and sought laps and attention only when he so desired. He didn't like being picked up, but would generally tolerate it. He was an avid mouser who once brought a bird inside, still warm, to finish it off in Mom's office, and came and went from the house as he pleased. He would be out most nights, returning in the mornings to eat, drink and sleep, and play a bit with whomever happened to be at home.

Louis could occasionally be playful, though he wasn't terribly good at it; we think he never quite learned as a kitten. Louis' previous owner was a young man whom when moving, left the cat with his parents - who lived a block or two away from mine.

An established cat and dog at the other parents' house apparently lead to Louis feeling like an outsider, and thus he would wander the neighbourhood; at some point he found my parents' place and started hanging out there, where he must have felt more welcomed.

They didn't feed him initially, but I think Louis had won over my parents' hearts by the time winter came around. I was stunned to see a cat in the house, given we'd never had animals before due to allergies - and yet somehow, we all seemed to be OK with this guy being indoors.

Louis had his routines and would hang out with my Dad in particular - by the pool when working in the morning, on a chair, in bed, etc. He may never fully admit it, but I think I know who in the family will miss him most.

We lost Louis on January 6th, 2011; he was put to sleep about 48 hours after a bobcat attacked him outside of the house around 5:30 PM. The details as follows are what I heard from my parents.

There was some screeching and a struggle heard outside, and upon investigating, it was obvious Louis had put up a fight - but the bobcat, twice Louis' size, had Louis by the head and was flinging him around.

The bobcat was chased off, but Louis was left in really rough shape. He lost an eye and suffered puncture wounds in his head and on one side of his face. They were concerned he may have a broken skull, and/or spine damage. I was told he could stand and move his back legs and tail somewhat, but overall, things still sounded gloomy.

After some antibiotics, painkillers and visits by a local (excellent) vet, it was clear Louis was suffering, in pain and wasn't going to make it - and the difficult decision was made to put him down.

This cat was a fighter and had occasionally come home limping, obviously having run into something during his night escapades. I imagine he escaped a lot of potentially-fatal situations.

While hard to accept, Louis was equally a part of the same food chain that he took from regularly, as a predator, for himself. He was a truly unique, special and independent, yet friendly cat, and will be missed. I hope that he enjoyed his time with us as much as we did with him. RIP, buddy. :'(
21 photos · 10 videos · 459 views