Robin Goodfellow was my cat from 1992 through late 2001. A friend at the time saw somebody pushing a garbage bag out of a moving car into the woods and when he noticed that the bag was moving, stopped and found three kittens inside. One got away but he took the other two. One of the kittens ended up with somebody at Dartmouth’s financial aid department and the other one came to me through my friend Sumiko. Molly and I were living together at the time (if her parents read this we were not living together, I just use that as an expression, to anyone else we were actually living together and I just said that for the benefit of Molly’s parents) and we decided he was a trickster and named him Puck. We realized about 2 minutes later that going out the back door and shouting “PUCK! PUCK!” would not go over well with the neighbors as they might not hear the “P” sound so well, so we got literary and named him Robin Goodfellow, or just Robin.
Robin was a funny cat. As a kitten he immediately took control of the other two cats, Sebbys and Tasha, who were living in our house (Walden) at the time. And they let him. This little two or three week old kitten bossing around these much bigger cats was one of the funniest sights I’ve ever seen. Robin was a prima donna and his favorite activity was looking at himself in the mirror (I also have a picture of him looking at his reflection in the reflective black stove front as well). He literally preened when he walked and you could tell that he was singing “I’m too sexy” inside his head (though, his version was more like “I’m too sexy but have no gonads so whatever.”) Anyway, he was an amazing cat and I could go on and on for hours with various and sundry Robin stories. Those of you who met him know what I mean and those of you who didn’t, well, it’s your loss. He was a great cat.
When Ann, Jack and I moved down to DC we did it in stages. First, I moved down to my friend Chris’ house and lived with him for four months while Ann and Jack stayed with my in-laws in Rhode Island. Both locations already had cats and neither one needed or wanted another, even for a few months. So, I asked my friend Annie if she wanted to take him for the four months. She did and the day I moved down with a car full of junk to Chris’ house, I stopped at Annie’s along the way and dropped off Robin. I think I stopped by to visit him one time afterwards and that was the last time I ever saw him. I never visited again and when we did buy our new house and were all reunited as a family again, Annie had grown so attached to Robin that I didn’t have the heart to ask for him back. And, honestly, we’d gotten used to not having to worry about a pet and thought that, ultimately, Robin would be happier with her where he was. So, we told Annie she could keep him.
I learned from her weblog that he died last Monday. Farewell old friend. And, Annie, I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful cat and I’m glad you got to love him as we did.