Memories of Rocco
Born on April 5, 1994, Rocco was a domestic short haired tabby cat (probable Bengal mix) with distinctive markings and the runt of his litter. Rocco was lovingly held in his mother's arms as he peacefully entered Rainbow Bridge on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 11:55am after he had showed signs of weakness and respiratory distress after silently suffering from an abdominal tumor for several months. He lived a long and relatively healthy 17 years of life up until the last week of his life, where he was weak, not eating and lethargic. Rocco's final moments that morning were in his mom's loving arms, enjoying the fresh air on their deck and watching the morning birds sing and play. In addition to his mom, Diane, he leaves behind his sister Lexie, a 16 year old Calico stray adopted in 1996.
On June 10, 1994 he was adopted to his forever home. Rocco was strictly an indoor cat and would enjoy playfully terrorizing many family members over the years. Rocco was a very chatty cat, always talking and offering unsolicited feedback, often during the wee morning hours because he was bored. He would carry on long conversations with his Mom and was known to be rather opinionated about certain topics.
Rocco's distinctive ears were a result of Hematoma surgery when he was a young cat. They made him look quite impressionable and were a topic of many conversations for anyone who met him or saw his picture.
As a young cat with a dominant personality, Rocco had enormous energy and was well known for his many antics, which included shredding paper towels all over the house, destroying his Mom's school projects, opening cabinets while helping himself to treats and he once brought mail up the stairs with his teeth.
Rocco also enjoyed pretending he had dog-like status; he came when called (well, most of the time), he often growled at company and enjoyed the occasional morsel of human food. Rocco was well known for hanging out at the kitchen table, waiting for a lick of butter off of toast or a small bite of cheese. Rocco's favorite treat, however, was ice cream. No matter how stealth his Mom tried to be during ice cream time, Rocco could read her mind before she walked into the kitchen and would help himself to a few licks right off the cone.
Sleeping, playing, purring, running around the house, knocking over books, converting boxes into temporary sleeping places, hide-and-attack, flying through the air, hiding in unknown places in the house for hours, swatting flies, picking a fight with his sister, scaring people unexpectedly and talking nonstop were among Rocco's many favorite activities. Rocco's favorite toy was a rubber band, which he would fling through the air. He also enjoyed playing with a fabric ball, which housed a bell inside. He particularly enjoyed playing with it at two in the morning. He also enjoyed eating gourmet cat food, catnip, bird watching and sunbathing by the window.
Rocco was a known "bad ass" at the local vet's office. His vet commented, "he was a character, I'll never forget how it would take 3 or 4 girls to hold him down during a routine vet visit". Not much of a lap cat, Rocco enjoyed his independent status but was always around when the important things were happening (cooking and eating times, mostly). Rocco made sure all visitors were properly greeted. If he liked you, he ignored you. If he didn't, he'd growl at you - in particular if you had been around other animals.
Rocco was known by several nicknames over the years: The Roc, Grumbles, Crabby Patty, Bad Boy, Monster Kitty, Holy Terror, Sweet Boy and Handsome, to name a few.
Rocco will be sadly missed but will be fondly remembered by all who knew him. He will live on in the stories of his many antics over the years.
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Notes from Mom:
My beloved boy. It's been a month and a day since you've been gone and I have missed you every day. I just want to say thank you - thank you Rocco for being my boy. For being in my life. For being the one constant over these wonderful 17 years together. I have loved you so much and always will. I was two days shy of my 19th birthday when I took you into my arms. I held you and you were hiding your paw over your face. You were shy and scared. I looked at you and said, "I'm going to love you forever, baby" and Rocco, I meant that. You were my little guardian angel with fur as we walked this world together. You have been there for me through the most difficult of storms in my life - through the highs and the lows. You saved me, sweet boy. Yes, you did. Knowing you and Lexie were always there was enough to keep me going through all the storms in my life. You weren't always an easy cat - you did have your highly aggressive years when you had severe anger issues and attacked me and scared me many times. The vet recommended pills for you and I recommended love. So love was what I gave you, love and freedom to be YOU, Rocco. During these last few years we moved, first to our first apartment and lastly to our forever home. I noticed a big difference in you when we moved. You became more calm and sweet. I wish I had given you more of that sooner. This big house feels so empty without you. I miss you at the kitchen table at every meal time, watching me cook and waiting patiently for a piece (I always gave in, always). I miss seeing you when I would come home. I miss grabbing you and carrying you mid-air, kissing your sweet face and telling you how much I missed you. You hated being picked up but you tolerated it for your crazy Mama. I miss your constant talking up a storm and telling you about my day. You always offered the best advice, Rocco. Seeing you sick these past few weeks, it broke my heart. I would have done anything for you but I know you didn't want crazy treatments and in the end, there was no cure for what you had. You suffered silently with an evil tumor that wasn't easily detected sooner. I am glad we had those last few hours together, holding you out on the porch, enjoying the fresh air and the birds. I wish I had offered you more of an outdoor life but I was afraid you'd like it too much and never return to me. That's how much I couldn't live without you. You passed away so beautifully and so peacefully in my arms - you left this world exactly how you came into my life - in my arms and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. You were feisty even til the end - that was my Rocco. I miss you, my sweet boy. I am a better person today for having loved you. It was my great honor to have known you, loved you and to have been your Mom here on Earth. Lexie misses you too. There's a spot on the bed reserved only for you. Please come visit us often.
Love you, Mom
I miss you sweet boy. Not a day goes by that I don't feel your loss. It's like a piece of my heart has been torn. Who knew a little guy like you could leave such a big impact on my life. You did sweet boy, you did. To come home and not see you is devastating to me. At least Lexie tries to keep me company and she does come to greet me. I sense that's your doing. Thanks honey, I appreciate it. Til we meet again - it just seems too far away.
Left you a hamburger today, honey. I know how much you always loved grabbing a bite of mine. Miss you. I'm angry you're not here when I need you right now.
I miss you my sweet baby, boy. Two months today. Thanks for sending me your sweet light. It makes me smile.
Missing you today, on the 3rd month anniversary of your crossing Rainbow Bridge. I miss you, my sweet boy. So much has happened during the past 3 months. Know that I think of you every day and miss you so much.
Four months gone sweet boy and not a day goes by that I don't grieve for you or miss your sweet voice. I love you my sweet Rocco. Love was knowing you in this life.
Missing you so much this Christmas, Rocco. My first Christmas without you in 17 years. I can't even imagine life without you and now I have to. I've been so sad lately missing you, your sweet voice driving me crazy every chance you could. I'll never again be owned by an animal the way you owned me.
Sorry I haven't written here lately but you know you're always on my mind and in my thoughts daily. Today would have been your 18th birthday. Lexie and I will celebrate. We even have a cake in your honor. I think you'd love it very much - it's golden cake with white frosting, your favorite. I miss you my sweet boy. Don't stop visiting me.
Tomorrow will be the anniversary of your passing, sweet boy. Not a day has gone by that I haven't missed you and your antics. This house is quiet without your constant chatter. This is the first summer in years I've missed sharing ice cream with you - your favorite. Every burger I've cooked up on the grill this summer has been eaten in your honor, because I know how much you loved meal time with me - always having to inspect everything I made, cooked and ate. I could never resist giving you a bite with those sweet, mischievous eyes! I'm finally ready to think about another sweet baby in my life. I'm going to see a kitty tomorrow. I don't know if it'll be a match or not, we'll see how he reacts to me. He won't be ready til August, whatever the case. It's not a replacement for you because there never will be a replacement for you in my heart. There is a hole, however, and I have to fill it with something and I can only think of one thing that will help - another kitty. I don't know how Lexie will feel about sharing a home with another feline, we'll see. I'm sure she'll want to establish that she's the boss. If it's meant to be, it'll happen. The kitty was born on my birthday - how ironic is that? And I'll visit him the same day I had to put you to rest. Is this your doing, Rocco? Is this a signal from you that I'm ready, that this kitty is the one? We'll see. Thanks, sweet boy. I know you visit me and Lexie from time to time. I always know when you're around - it must drive Lexie crazy not to be able to catch you. Keep visiting.
A year ago today, you left my loving arms as I held you and painfully and tearfully let you go. I miss you so much. There's been a hole in my heart ever since and nothing can ever fill it. I have so many wonderful memories of our time together on earth. Is it selfish to want another lifetime together because one wasn't enough? I love you, Rocco. Lexie and I miss you.
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