July 25, 1992 – November 22, 2009 8:45 AM

We acquired Mohawk from a family in Tenafly New Jersey shortly after buying our first house. Our first cat, Palouse, was clearly lonely in the new home and we felt he might enjoy some cat company. Mohawk’s original name was Rusty due to the somewhat unique color of his deep orange coat.

Mohawk, Palouse, and Chilli were all close friends and played and snugged together often. Of the three, Mohawk was by far the most good natured with a life that seemed to revolve exclusively around play and love. I do not believe Mohawk was even capable of jealosy or ill-will.

Mohawk had a number of endearing traits. When he ran, his head would always lag the rest of his body briefly causing his head to fly backwards when he lunged forward. Mohawk also loved to ride on my shoulder and would happily sit there for long periods of time, periodically nuzzling me. Mohawk loved to drink from sinks, and would hang out on the bathroom countertop when we got ourselves ready for work in the morning. We would always finish up by rinsing the sink and leaving some fresh water for him to enjoy. Mohawk was fascinated by running or dripping water and loved it when we filled the sink slowly, let the faucet drip for a few minutes or opened the drain. Mohawk also loved to watch small items fall and would push coins, nail-clippers, or other small objects off of elevated surfaces just to see them land. Even though he did this often, he seemed to recognize what would break and would not push those objects off the counter.

We had many terms of endearment for Mohawk (as most pet owners do for their pet) We would often call Mohawk: “Mo”, “Molee”, “Molee Mo”, or “Mew”. We also called Mohawk “Tubbie” or “Tubbie Mo” because he was overweight for much of his life. When we took Mohawk out on a leash, he would sometimes hide in the grass, dragging himself forward with his front paws (to sneak up on one of the other cats). When Mohawk did this, we called him “Sluggie”, “Sluggie Mo” or “The Sluggie Tubbie”.

Towards the end of Mohawk’s life, he developed a interest in the sound of poetry and would sometimes appear by the door of my daughter’s bedroom when I read her Emily Dickenson, Dr. Seuss, or Lewis Caroll. One evening I went down to the basement in our house in Fort Collins, and saw Mohawk sleeping on a futon we kept down there. On the spur of the moment, I made up a little poem about him and recited it to him:

Tubby, Tubby, Tubby, Mew.
How I love that Tubby True !
I love that Tubby, oh he's so sweet !
Yes I do !  He makes be bleet:
"That I love the Molee Mew,
I do, I do, I do, I do."

Mohawk immediately woke up, sat up and listened intently with big eyes. He clearly enjoyed it. After that, I would recite similar poems or variants of the poem to him every time I found him on the Futon. Every time, without fail, he would reacted with signs of happiness, pleasure and joy.

Mohawk’s long, 17+ year, lifespan took him from Tenafly and Clifton New Jersey (with visits and stay-overs at relatives on a small farm near Flemington New Jersey) to several residences around Salt Lake City Utah. Mohawk lived for roughly 3½ years in Fort Collins Colorado finally ending his life shortly after arriving, with Palouse, in a small apartment in Boise Idaho (due to a job transfer).

During the last several years of his life, Mohawk suffered from both Hyperthyroidism and acute renal failure that we managed to the best of our ability through medication, diet, and periodic visits Colorado State University. Mohawk refused treatment by us of subcutaneous IV fluid injections because of a bad reaction to Normosol when we first attempted to administer fluids. He would sometimes allow the veterinarian (but not us) to administer lactated ringer. In the end, Mohawk’s renal failure advanced very quickly, going from acute, but managed, to virtually no renal function in about 2 weeks.