On January 5, 2007 a few hours before I was to board a flight back to New York my little brother and sister, Logan and Whitney joined me on a trip to Furburbia.  I had been living in New York for a little over three months and was somewhat lonely so I decided to get a cat companion.

Furburbia is a place in Park City that takes dogs and cats that are in the pound or that the owners can’t handle and find new homes for them.  There were two cats there that caught my eye, one, a larger tabby cat and one smaller tortoiseshell cat.  Furburbia has this room you can go to and spend time with the animal out of their cage and see how they interact with you so I spent probably 30 minutes with each cat.  The tabby was great but honestly I don’t remember much about it, I do remember what the tortoiseshell did though.  She climbed into the cat hut thing and wouldn’t come out, after pulling her out and playing with the feather toy she scratched my finger and made it bleed.  But her fur was so soft and when I pet her in the right spot she would drool.

So it was decision time, which cat to pick?

Well I chose the tortoiseshell, Furburbia had named her Pandora and told me that she was a stray, about a year old who had already had a litter of kittens.  I filled out the paper work and left with my great new friend.  Whitney, Logan and I headed to meet the family for a final dinner before I headed out and then back home to finish packing.  While Pandora is a fine name I felt like she was starting a new life with me and deserved a new name but I still hadn’t picked one.

My mother drove me and my unnamed cat to the airport, on the way we discussed possible names, I was pretty sure I wanted to name her Professor Minerva McGonagall but it just didn’t seem too convenient.  Finally after some internal debate I decided that was right and so it was… the newest member of my family was the Professor.

We made it to New York and started our life together living in a small three bedroom apartment with two lovely lady roommates who cared a lot for Minerva.  We had a good time, Minerva and I, I would leave my window cracked so she could access our private roof deck, hang out outside and watch the people on the street below.  She once caught a bird and brought it in my room only to have Ellen hear the ruckus and steal her catch away from her.

The Professor and I sleeping on 83rd

Minerva and I then moved up to 108th and CPW with Richard and Xaque.  Although Xaque didn’t like her she was still loved and I’ll always remember her running after me down our long hallway every time I left the apartment.

Late 2007 I decided to return to Utah and finish my schooling at USU.  My great friend John found us an apartment and I moved in January 2008 for the spring semester.  John knew I had a cat and I told him she was coming with me but apparently he didn’t believe me so when I showed up with my cat he was somewhat surprised, and although he claimed to not like cats there were many times I came home to him petting Minerva who was sitting on his lap.  He grew to love her and would readily admit it now.

She always found new places to keep watch on me from.

Anytime I sat down she'd hop up on my legs close her eyes and purr.

Helping me with homework... Kind of

Any time I would go home for the weekend or for a break I’d drag her along with me, and although she hated being in the car she always loved being in Park City, exploring the bigger house, getting to roam outside and spending time with Tux, Freckles, Amos and Bella.


My last year at USU I lived in a no pets apartment complex and was forced to leave Professor at home.  She really took to my dad and he really took to her.  Just like with me, every time he would sit down she would pop up on his lap and wait to be pet.  He would spoil her with dog treats, which she eventually figured out how to get on her own…

On Friday, June 4th my father called and said he was worried about her, she rarely ventures too far from home and he hadn’t seen her for 24 hours.  I was worried and knew that there were foxes around our house, we had witnessed one chase our fat cat Freckles one time, but I convinced myself she was just out wandering and would come back.

I always hear little kid’s stories of prayer, asking God to help them find their toy, lost puppy or the match to a shoe – I prayed, I asked God for Minerva to be ok, to return home or to just be locked in a closet, and I for a while I thought it would come true, apparently God doesn’t work like that, maybe I just don’t have the same charm a 5-year-old has, maybe I said the prayer wrong or maybe I just didn’t have the faith.  Whatever it was I got an email on Sunday from my father, he said;

“I don’t think I have to tell you how much I loved Professor.  I treated her like my own special cat and enjoyed being her surrogate owner when you had her stay with us. I haven’t felt good about her being “out there” and not home so today I went searching in the places she liked to go and wander.  Her favorite spot was the Thompson’s field adjacent to our property. After a zig zagging search I found her remains.  I am sure she passed away quickly since whatever took her was large.  I buried her on the fence line inside our property by the Thompson’s.  You saved a great cat and should take comfort that she lived a long life of love and comfort.  She was always happy.  Bella has been always wanting to be outside since Professor disappeared and sits on the step looking for her. It’s obvious she misses Professor like the rest of us.  I will always miss her sitting on my lap and enjoying the chicken pieces.  She gave us a lot of love back and was such a great cat.”

I couldn’t/can’t even make it through the first sentence without crying, I loved this cat.  I’ve never really had a girlfriend and the Professor was something I could always count on, she never held a grudge or got pissed at me for something stupid, she would lay with me until I fell asleep, go off and do whatever cats do at night but always be back laying by me when I woke up.  It’s going to be hard to me, knowing that she isn’t going to be there when I fall asleep, wake up or just need a friend.

I set up my camera to take a picture every 30 minutes throughout the night, this is at about 6:30am, Minerva just waiting for me to wake up.

I hope she liked her life with me, I’m gonna miss Professor a lot…

I'll miss you kitty, thanks for being my companion 1/7/06 - 6/4/10

~ by chj48 on June 7, 2010.

3 Responses to “Professor”

  1. So sorry dude. Professor really was a chill cat, and you are a good man for taking her in. I am sorry I didn’t put forth more of an effort to get to know her. She is now in a wonderful place with lots of mice and birds to catch.

  2. never met the professor, nor do i enjoy cats very much, but I shed a few tears reading this. I might be a wimp in general, but i’m sure you guys were great friends.

  3. 😦
    we’ll miss her too.
    fyi stanton and i were with you when you got her too!
    i can’t believe you forgot that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: