Date: April 20, 2002, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: Calling you tonight.
We found a stray cat in the police department [where I work as a clerk]. Now I have to take it to the animal shelter after I get off work at midnight. It’s an adorable cat, very well behaved, and really friendly. Unfortunately, we can’t keep it b/c the apartments don’t allow it. So that sucks. It’s too bad you don’t live closer, I’d bring you a cat.
Date: April 20, 2002, 11:27pm
I probably shouldn’t get a cat until I get a job, as I’m leeching off my parents as it is. Cats cost money to keep alive. But it would have been nice if I could have adopted it. What’s s/he look like?
Date: April 20, 2002, 11:29pm
Subject: Re: Meow
It’s adorable. It has a little black spot on his nose….and a white stomach…..and a striped back. It’s adorable.
Date: April 22, 2002, 5:52pm
Subject: Je suis une petite chat. Meow…Meow!
So I left a message on your answering machine earlier. The animal shelter won’t take Officer Krupke because they have too many cats already. And I can’t keep him, I’ll get kicked out of my apartment. So, my choices are to take him to the Humane society, where they’ll kill him, or find a home for him, or keep him until the animal shelter isn’t as full. So, my first choice is to try to place him somewhere. And you are of course my first choice. So I am going to try to convince you to take him. (if you can’t though…I’ll figure something else out)
1. He is an extremely friendly cat. He loves sitting on laps.
2. He is litter box trained.
3. He has a very quiet meow.
4. He has a cute little black spot on his nose.
5. He routinely helps old ladies across the street.
So please, please, please think about it. He is a really great cat…and I would hate to see him put down.
Date: April 22, 2002, 4:42pm
Got your message on the answering machine and I would be happy to give Officer Krupke a home. Did you say you were free on Wednesday? We could rendezvous in Kokomo to divide up the drive time.
Date: April 22, 2002, 9:15pm
Subject: Re: Une petite chat! Il est beau!
Let’s meet at the southern McDonalds. It is the one across from the White Castle. I will probably stop at White Castle before I go to the McDonalds. I am a huge White Castle fan.
Date: April 23, 2002, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: Une petite chat! Il est beau!
I’m so excited to meet Officer Krupke tomorrow! I hope he likes me.
And that is how Officer Krupke came into my life at the McDonalds across the street from the White Castle in Kokomo, Indiana. And fourteen years and a day later, I’m sad to say he passed on, though he’ll never really leave my life. He overcame hyperthyroidism and a thickening of his heart wall, but he could not beat chronic kidney disease. He died surrounded by people who love him, and I guess that’s all we can hope for when we leave this world.
I’ve spent a lot of time crying about the loss of my little Krupk-cake. I’m talking hysterical, hyperventilating, double-breath, sobbing here. It’s not fun. But I’ve tried to focus my thoughts on all the good memories I have of him and all the photos and videos that I’m so glad we took over the years.
He LOVED to stick his head under the table lamp.
And he loved lounging on the screened-in porch.
There was that time he thought he could get away with stealing an entire steak.
And the time he did a balancing act on the molding in the kitchen.
All those times he lounged on my keyboard and activated the “Cat-like Typing Detected” software
The way he would steal your seat as soon as you got up, and be like, “What?”
“I’m Officer Krupke from the Department of Health. This is a random refrigerator inspection.”
How he could curl up into a perfect circle.
The chair he totally destroyed over the years.
How he liked to explore places he should not be, like the dryer.
And how he’d beg for a piece of whatever you were eating.
And he loved laps.
I loved how Krupke would meet me at the door when I came home and stretch his body out on the carpet as if to say, “You may pet me now.” If he was grooming himself in my lap, I could stick my face out and he would give me rough sandpaper kisses. He was a sweet, sometimes persnickety, but always lovable kitty.
Here’s the final picture I took of my handsome boy.
Krupke was a few months shy of 15 years, born sometime around August 2001 and adopted in April 2002. Krupke was older than smartphones and older than YouTube. He was older than all my blogs and older than my parents’ divorce. He saw me through so many different times of my life, from college to living on my own, from my first real job to working for myself, from shy twenty-something to more self-assured thirty-something. It will be strange going on without him. I was hoping he’d make it to at least 16, but I’m happy for all fourteen years and a day we got with him.
He was also the star of a video I made for school in 2002. I love you Krupke and I will miss your shenanigans. You will always have a furry little place in my heart.
Officer Krupke stars in “Cat Scratch Fever”
By the way, yes, I still have emails from 2002. In fact, when I was looking for these emails as part of my mourning process, I learned I have emails going back to 1997, the year I first got my own email address. I am my own personal NSA.