I remember the very first day that I saw her. I was ten years old playing a video game when I looked back and saw a little white ball of fluff moving around on top of the couch. She was so precious. I knew that me and her were going to have a close bond. I didn't fully appreciate her when I was that young just yet, but I would soon learn to appreciate such a wonderful gift from God. I can still remember when mom used to have her play on the slide from the swing set I used to have when I was a little kid.
Not too long after we got her, we took her on her first trip; to Cape Cod. We stayed in a small cottage up the cape. It was rather peaceful and a moment I will always cherish with her, even if I don't remember it that well. Her next trip wouldn't be until I was 16, when we went to Niagara Falls.
When I was 13, me and my mom couldn't find her. We searched all over the house and the surrounding areas of the neighborhood. But we couldn't find her. I thought she was gone, and I promised God that if I found her, I would start giving her more attention, love, and affection (which I would later shorten to ALA). And sure enough, she appeared soon after in the living room from out of nowhere. She pulled several other vanishing acts over the years, but those had explanations since she either came out of a hiding spot or was just in an obvious location we somehow forgot to check during those times. One time, she even snuck out of the house and we found her by McDonald's. I guess she wanted a burger or something.
One thing that I'll always remember about Snowball is how similar she was to me. For starters, I am an extremely picky eater. And so was she. My mom would sometimes have to change her food several times because she didn't like the food presented to her at the time. Not only that, but she always liked having a light on around her at night, especially the TV. She was always fascinated by television. She even used to watch WWE RAW and Smackdown with me.
Snowball was always an affectionate cat. Growing up, she used to have a foot fetish. She always used to rub against my feet and have me rub my feet against her face. She purred like crazy. But over the past 5 years or so, she transitioned to my hands, and in the past three years, she loved to rub her face against my face as she purred. Snowball even jumped up to higher places just to rub her face against my own. Plus she always loved to sleep in my bed to be close to me. She loved me unconditionally. I was the only one that could get that close to her and have her be that affectionate. It's no wonder that I took well over 200 photos of my baby girl over the past four years alone.
Mom's relationship with Snowball was a bit different than with mine. First of all, she always went to mom for food. Plus, mom always loved to play with her. Snowball's favorite game was chase. You know, chasing one or the other around the house? She sometimes even hid around a corner and jumped at mom, as if she was playing tag with her. She loved it. And she loved mom. However, she would sometimes, at night, sit by mom's bed, look up at her, watch her, and occasionally jump at her arm playfully. She was always a playful little kitty. She did, however, throw mom's clothes off the bathroom shelf so she could lay there. Plus, every time mom brought home something soft, be it a new blanket or a bathrobe, if she laid it down, Snowball stole it. Laid right on it and went to sleep in the most adorable way possible. Let's just face it. When it came to mom, Snowball ruled. She even got a magnet saying "You are not the boss of me...my cat is."
Another thing about mom that Snowball loved was her cooking. Whenever she cooked something large in the oven, like turkey every Thanksgiving, Snowball came in the kitchen and waited by the oven anxiously for mom to give her some of that good stuff roasting in the oven, even if it wasn't ready yet. Of course, she had to wait, so we just tended to her while she waited. And trust me, she kept waiting until the food was ready.
And she always had that natural sass. She walked around like she was a little princess. One time, mom said something that was like a playful insult toward Snowball. I jokingly said "You gonna take that, Snowball? You should go in the kitchen and give mommy a piece of your mind!" And sure enough, Snowball stood up, jumped off the shelf over the TV, walked into the kitchen, sat down right in front of mom, and meowed. I have no idea if that was just extremely amazing timing, or if she actually understood what i was saying to her.
Snowball also loved sitting by windows, looking out at the world, watching any cats in the neighborhood go by, hearing the birds chirping and singing, just loving life. She always loved life. She definitely wasn't a killer. Never even chased mice. Whenever we got a mouse, she'd just sit there and watch them instead of chase them. She was a bit of a lazy kitty, but that only added to her cuteness.
How much did we give our baby girl? A lot. Right now, I can count over 20 beds that me and mom have given Snowball over the years. And these are in every single room of our home. The porch, living room, kitchen, bathroom, my bedroom, the wood stove room (our home's side room near the driveway), upstairs, she had beds everywhere. What can i say? She loved laying in any spot that she thought was nize and cozy.
One thing she didn't love, however, was baths. I remember her very first bath. She hated it, to say the least. She meowed throughout the entire bath, and she was shivering afterwards. So mom wrapped her up in her blankie like a baby and I held her in my arms as she dried off. I was nervous for her, but I knew she would be okay after awhile. It was just a bath. I mean, even though she was always fascinated by water and watched me swim in my pool back when we used to have a pool, I don't think she was a very big fan of water.
Over the past few years, before she got sick, she was my little fat cat. She was slightly obese, always loved food. Which is, of course, something she sort of picked up form me, I suppose. One time, we brought home a really small pet bed for a stuffed dog mom got at the mall, and Snowball took it despite not being able to fit in it. So mom gave it to her despite her, um, girth, lapping over the side of her "bed".
Back in October 2011, a statewide blizzard hit the northeast, causing massive blackouts everywhere. We were without power for an entire week. And every night that week, Snowball came to the head of my bed, laid down, and curled up next to my head. She didn't want to be alone, and also wanted to make sure that I wasn't alone as we kept each other warm. It was precious, and it was beautiful.
Another way she got close to me is when I started playing Skyrim, which is now one of my three favorite video games of all time, by the way. Anyways, sometimes, I sat down on my recliner and played Skyrim on my TV, she liked to jump onto my lap, lay down, and have me stroke her face and her back while playing the game.
We had several other cats around the neighborhood over the past 4 years or so, and Snowball always wanted to make sure that she was boss. She was extremely antisocial, always wanting to kick some tail and go after any cat that set even one paw on her territory. She even snuck out of the house in front of me and chased two cats up the street. She then proceeded to stand at the end of the street after the other cats took off, showing her dominance, before I carried her back.
Just last year, in July 2013, me and my mom drove with her down to North Carolina. She was a bit nervous the first hour there and the first hour back, but all the time in between the trip there and the trip back, she was peaceful and didn't complain. She watched everything we passed by, and she acted like a good cat.
Snowball was also a good conversationalist. Even though she probably didn't understand a word I was saying, it was like she laid right next to me and listened to every word I said to her when i felt like talking to someone. I've shared things with her that I haven't shared with anyone else. Some may find it weird, but I feel that she wanted to be there for me in that sense.
And most of all, she loved it when I sang to her. She always cuddled up to me, even in her final moments, and listened to me sing to her. The last song I ever sang to her was A Welsh Lullaby. I actually auditioned for American Idol a few months before she got sick, but I didn't make it past the second round. But I know now that i didn't make it that far because I was meant to spend these months with Snowball, when she needed me most.
Snowball was the best cat a father could ever hope for. She was my everything. And I am always going to miss her. Snowball, wherever you may be right now, I just want you to know that daddy still loves you, and always will. And mommy loves you, too. We'll be here waiting for the day when we can see each other again. But for now, my little baby girl, just rest your weary little head and rest in peace. I want you to be happy. I'll love you forever, Snowball.
Little Snowball, poopity-poo
Remember that song, Snowball? Mommy always sang it for me when I was little. And I always sang that song to you. So now I'll say what I said to you every single day:
Always remember that me and mommy love you Snowball. You will be in our hearts forever.
I love you, Snowball. Forever.