Benjamin is deceased.
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Benjamin [a.k.a. Ben, Benji-cat, Benji, Angel, Lucky]

Benjamin first came to my attention when I went to the vet to pick up a refill for Kimmy's perscripton.
His story, as related to me by my vet, is as follows. Being a pure white cat, he has the genetic makeup for a congenitally deaf cat. His former caretakers did, in my opinion, a piss-poor job of taking care of him. Who in their right mind allows a deaf cat outdoors. The poor little boy never heard the car coming. He was struck by a car and thought to be dead. Apparently, while picking up his body, he moved. So, they delivered him to the Humane Society who, in turn, brought him to my vet — who, I surmise, has some kind of relationship with the local branch of the Humane Society. My vet was treating him for a broken jaw and various cuts and contusions about his little fuzzy, white head. He also had fleas, ear mites, and who knows what crawling on and living off of him. I wandered into the vet's office to pick up a refill on a perscription, and there he is, sleeping in a cage on their counter top.

I decided to tempt fate (I really had no business taking in another cat just then) and asked to hold him. As he lay in my arms he did something that only Amber had ever done before: he reached up and, ever so gently, he touch my cheek. He just lightly touched to pad of his foot to my cheek and held it there for a few seconds. My heart — which tends to be a little soft anyway (or is it my head that's soft? I forget.) — just melted and I declared, "Ok. I'm yours."

Well, he had to remain at the vet for a few more days while they cleaned up his parasite problem and concluded treatments for his various injuries. But he came home with me a few days later. His mouth doesn't close properly because of his broken jaw, but he eats dry and canned food without any problem. And I thought drooling would be a problem, but he doesn't drool at all. He handles
his injury very well. Most people wouldn't even notice his jaw, and if they did, they'd think it was just a behavioral trait. My other cats had various reactions to him, depending on their level of experience with exposure to new cats. But everyone is adjusting reasonably well. I just can not believe that anyone would neglect such a gentle, sweet-dispositioned cat as my little Benji. I'm just as thrilled and delighted as I can be to have this wonderful little cat as part of my life.

One thing I noticed was that his footpads were tough, calloused, and stained form his walking on concrete and asphalt. In only a few weeks, his pads have gotten clean, soft, and pink as one would expect considering that now he walks only on carpeted floors,
and sleeps on cushioned furniture. I give him the best food available and all the loving he can take. (He's asleep in my lap right now as I type this for my web site. He's so beautiful, and so sweet.) As is apparent in this photo, he really loves to play with the little ball in the donut. He also likes to play hockey in the bathtub with any number of small toys. His favorite bathtub "hockey puck" is the little plastic cup that comes with Niquil.

A little explanation for his nicknames: Ben had the incredibly good fortune to survive being hit by a car, not once, but at least twice, according to my sources at the vet. (Apparently the first time he wasn't hurt bad enough for the stupid people to realize
that they weren't taking proper care of him. Only when it nearly killed him the second time he was hit did they decide that they weren't up to the task of caring for a deaf cat.) Then, Ben had the good fortune to find his way (via the Humane Society and my vet) to me, one who will pamper and indulge him shamelessly, and keep him safely away from parasites, preditors, children, and cars. And, finally, counting from my first cat, Blackjack, Ben's my 13th cat. So, I think "Lucky" is an appropriate nickname.

The next nickname, Angel, requires much less explanation: he's simply got an absolutely angelic personality. He's as gentle and sweet as any cat I've ever known.

Taking a cue form Lucy, Ben's starting to occupy the top of my monitor, when Lucy's not there. Recently, he
decided to help me play Monopoly on the computer. But, for Benji, Monopoly is a full contact sport. He was seriously determined to catch that little thimble bouncing around the Monopoly board on the screen.

When he's not trying to be "interactive" with the computer, Ben likes to sleep on top of the monitor, just like Lucy. As a matter of fact, I'm certain he learned that from her. I remember him cocking his head to one side as he watched Lucy jump up onto the monitor then lay down for a nap. I'm sure he remembered that and took the first opportunity to try it out for himself next time he saw the top of the monitor unoccupied by Lucy


[28/Nov/08] Ben has been dealing with a couple of new additions to the household: Leopold and Angelica have recently become a part of my life. My wonderful little boy has been a bit of a jerk lately. He hasn't been as nasty as Esmerelda has been, but he's been a really obnoxious toward the new cats, especially Angelica.

[25/Dec/11] Benjamin passed away a few months ago. His has been one of the most difficult losses I've had to deal with.

Benjamin's death came at the end of nearly two years of unemployment. My savings were depleted and my unemployment benefits were only a few weeks away from running out. Just when I thought I was going to have to put my cats up for adoption and become a homeless street beggar, I was offered a job halfway across the country. It was in the midst of the whirlwind chaos of packing and moving that Benjamin fell sick and, despite considerable effort and expense, my wonderful little boy died in my arms at the vet's office on September 6th, 2011.

Why is it that the brightest stars burn so quickly out.

As much as I will miss him, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have loved him.


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