It’s not every day that you fall in love at first sight, but I became smitten with Tsunami from the first moment I lay eyes on Tsunami.
Did you know that this magical moment actually occurred over a photo?
The year was 2007. After a series of devastating losses that included Rainbow Bridge crossovers by our beloved Maine Coon cats Sampson, Adonis and Angelica, my family was finally ready to open our hearts to another kitten. We searched near and far to find the purr-fect kitty and then, one day, I spotted Tsunami.
He was only 3 weeks old at the time, but he was so filled with charisma, brightness, and joy, that he easily stood out among his littermates.
We visited Tsunami when he was 7 weeks old. “Sumo”, as he was called then, stole my husband’s heart by curling up and taking a nap in his flip flops!
From the moment Tsunami officially joined our family when he was 14 weeks old, he turned our lives upside down. He knew we were his family and he totally adored us. He followed us everywhere and studied us for hours on end, watching our every move. He knew our habits inside and out. We watched and doted over him as well, and he loved all of the attention we lavished on him.
Of course, not all of Tsunami’s early antics filled us with joy – he had a few naughty habits in his bag of kitten tricks that we worked hard to break. For starters, Tsunami was an early bird who loved to eat around the clock and was highly intent at getting us up at the crack of dawn to feed him. One of his most annoying habits as a kitten was his daily trick of jumping in the windows behind our bed at sunrise, loudly rattling the shades in our ears, and blinding us with sunlight until we got up!
He also disrupted our work whenever possible. He derived great joy from startling us by popping out of the tiny openings in our keyboard trays when we least expected it. He also had the very bad habit of biting our telephone and keyboard cords in half so we couldn’t talk or type. The naughtiest thing he ever did, however, was break my keyboard tray by zooming down the hall and landing upon it at such a high velocity that it came crashing to the floor with a ferocious thud!
I often get asked how such a gentle adult cat ended up with such an unusual name as Tsunami. If you ever experienced him tearing down our narrow hallway, running between our legs and semi-toppling us on a daily basis as a wild little terror kitten, you’d understand why his name immediately resonated with us!
In spite of his kittenish misdeeds, however, Tsunami was our Little Prince Cat who was totally spoiled and could do no wrong. He loved eating human food more than cat food – his favorites were Thanksgiving Turkey and Costco Chicken – and he preferred being hand fed or fork fed these delicacies like a human. As an adult, he grew to be so tall and long that he could actually stand on his hind legs and countersurf whenever poultry was on the menu!
Tsunami was an extremely sensitive cat with a very high Emotional IQ. If you needed a companion cat because you were in emotional pain, Tsunami was the one who would sit with you, listen to your sob stories, and bear your burdens.
As a kitten, Tsunami loved to play Houdini. When he first arrived in our home, he would disappear for hours on end, which caused me to fret and worry to no end. Determined to find his hiding spot, I combed every spot in our home. I finally found him once I crawled on my back and discovered that he was crawling in a little sac he had created for himself in the underside of the bed!
Speaking of beds, Tsunami had a special knack for being able to find the exact center of the bed to plop in (he was known far and wide as The Bed Hog because he’d take up the entire bed and the covers too and turn himself into dead weight so you couldn’t move him).
Tsunami loved to play games and do puzzles as a kitten – the laser pen and the round scratcher with the ball you could swat in a circle were among his favorites. He also loved hunting stuffed mice and chase toys when he was young – at one point, he got so protective with one of his prey mouse, he began to growl when anyone got near it!
The one skill he never could master, however, was the simple act of opening a slightly open door. Instead of sticking his paw inside of it and pulling it open, he inevitably would lock himself in the room and give us all sorts of grief when we came to rescue him!
Tsunami’s world was rocked a few months later when his new brother, Legend, joined our home. While this was initially not a good thing in Tsunami’s eyes – in his world, every home should have only one Prince – in time, they became the best of buddies. When Legend unexpectedly crossed the Rainbow Bridge several years later, it was a heart-wrenching time for us all.
In December 2013, Magellan – Tsunami’s real-life half-brother – joined our home and Tsunami was an amazingly gracious big brother to him. Even though it took Magellan some time to adjust to the fact that another cat pre-existed in HIS new home, they eventually became friends and Magellan began to look up to his big brother for advice and training in all things cat.
Over the years, Tsunami led a pretty amazing life. He made his debut at Create With Joy in November 2009, when he was 2 ½ years old, and quickly began to amass a fan base. For many years, Tsunami regularly graced us with his presence at our Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, where he entertained us with his antics, educated us about cat-related topics, and served as a Taste Tester, Product Reviewer and Brand Ambassador/Influencer for many of the top brands un the pet industry. In 2019, he retired from the public eye so that he could enjoy his twilight years focusing on the things he loved most.
Tsunami’s 9 lives spanned from April 7, 2007 – August 13, 2020 and he lived each day of them to the fullest. He was a cat who loved life – who knew how much he was loved – and who gave as much love as he could to everyone whose path he crossed for all of his 13 years.
Tsunami will be greatly missed but through the magic of the Internet and through the memories he’s created in our hearts, his legacy lives on.
Farewell, Sweet Tsunami. Our loss is heaven’s gain.
Saying good-bye to Tsunami two weeks ago was so hard, but the heaviness I have felt has been lifted in great part by the outpouring of love that I have received from all of my friends in the blogging community, silver and gold, old and new. Thank you for your love and kindness – I cannot convey how much you have blessed my heart.
I’d also like to give a special shout-out to three very special people within the cat blogging community who have gone out of their way to support me during this difficult time:
- Kevin Hattori at Animal Shelter Volunteer for being a rock, a sounding board, and a source of emotional strength.
- Terry Frum at Brian’s Home for spreading the word about my loss among the cat blogosphere and other acts of support and kindness.
- Ann Adamus at Zoolotry who generously donated her time and her talents to create my beautiful memorial badges!
May God reward your love and kindness one hundred fold!
Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day Blog Hop
The Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day Blog Hop is an annual event that was created 5 years ago by my friend, the award-winning cat blogger and author Deb Barnes, of Zee and Zoey, to help pet lovers commemorate the pets they’ve loved and lost, just as she was commemorating the loss of her beloved cat Mr. Jazz.
If you would like to share about your pets, please feel free to link up below. Deb has left the party open for the next 31 days to give everyone plenty of time to participate.
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