I will always and forever miss Ziggy. For those of you who never met Ziggy, he was my cat and my friend for 19 years. I loved Ziggy so much that, after his passing, I wrote a book about him. I fell in love with Ziggy on October 31, 1977. It is the only time I have ever experienced love at first sight! We went through many life changing events together, including numerous moves as I attended college, then graduate school, and embarked on my career. We grew up together, in many ways. Ziggy was big (20 pounds in his prime), fluffy, and most important, mean. He was really, really mean! One of his favorite pastimes was tricking unsuspecting people into thinking he was harmless, then biting them as soon as they tried to pet him. I warned these people to never trust him, but it was usually to no avail. Ziggy was also profoundly entertaining. We had lots of fun experiences together! And, luckily for David, he received Ziggy’s seal of approval when we began dating! When David and I moved to our home in Lighthouse Point in 1992, I knew it would be Ziggy’s final home. By then, he and I had lived in many places, including several that were not too nice, and we were ready to settle down. I informed the real estate agent who helped us find a house that the #1 requirement was a screened porch where Ziggy could enjoy himself. (Luckily, the real estate agent was a cat lover, who understood my #1 desire was to make Ziggy happy!) Ziggy lived a spectacular life, passing away on September 14, 1996. My mom repeatedly said. “There will never be another Ziggy” and she was right. (As a side note, Ziggy never bit Mom!) . Many cats have come and gone in my life since Ziggy, but none will ever have the profound impact he had on my life. Ziggy was born on August 15, 1977 and every year, his birthday is written on my calendar and his life is commemorated. Ziggy lives on in my heart and memories!
Ziggy lives on in many ways. Melissa’s book (available on Amazon) is high on that list. Ziggy touched many people’s lives and his story is entertaining. He was “old” when I met him, with old being relative – he was 9. But he and Melissa were inseparable. He did things his way, like Sinatra. And, we catered to him from installing a window shelf or, much later, a handi-cat ramp he could use after he had a stroke to reach the bed. I was drilled on the importance of August 15 (a date shared by a good friend from 6th grade on). Ziggy got special treats and food on his birthday too, and he probably never understood why he didn’t get the high grade cat food every day. Because he was part Persian, he was fluffy; because he was part bobcat, he was wild and mean. His purr-sonality was such that he was memorable in many ways. Events in Melissa’s life, and later mine, are somehow overlaid with Ziggy’s experiences, and reactions. Like the time he was so curious about the bubbles rising above the bathtub that he just had to jump into them, only to find out that it was water underneath. Or, the time I drove him to Atlanta and put him in a cat carrier, to which he was not familiar, and into the Hilton Hotel to meet Melissa at an American Psychology Association Conference. Ziggy was in the carrier, and got rolled into the large hotel lobby by the bellman where he, Ziggy, proceeded to caterwaul like the wildcat he half-way was. B.F. Skinner was in attendance at the conference. I wonder that he would have thought about such primitive behavior?!