Benjamin Bradbury Peterson: 1995-2012 Beloved Cat/Companion/Friend

By Joanne Peterson | Feb 03, 2012

My cat Benjamin died in my arms this afternoon. A long time ago, I promised Ben I would always do whatever I could to keep him from misery.

That cancelled out the medical marvels that might have bought him some time.

I owed him much more than time. He was my orange fur boy, and I loved him dearly.

So today, my cat boy and I went to the vet’s, and I came home alone.

Seventeen years ago, I stopped by a humane society to drop off some pet food at Christmastime.

I strolled past the cat cages, of course, just to look. (Could I ever not?) When I approached the young orange tabby, he thrust both front paws through the wire mesh of his cage door.

I instinctively put my hand up toward him, and he wrapped his paws around my wrist, big golden eyes staring at me out of his small face. Well. That was that, wasn’t it?

In a heartbeat, he chose me to be His Person and saw me through many life changes.

Six years ago, packing to move to Edmonds from east of the mountains, I discovered Ben sitting in the front seat of my car, half an hour before I was to leave.

He hated traveling, but he was taking no chances. Wherever I was headed would be his place, too.

Benjamin: affectionate, funny, inspirational, trusting, demanding, friendly, jealous, generous, happy, inquisitive and wise. 

One friend said that in a feline world, Ben may have been a philosopher-king. (He’d love that!)

Ben had an unfailing ability to sniff out the one person most allergic to cats—and go straight to her.

One afternoon, Ben inadvertently dialed 911, setting off all sorts of commotion and ending up in the Police Blotter of The Edmonds Beacon.  Oh, he made good use of his nine lives.

A few years ago, Ben entered a local “Cat Mascot” contest. His resume concludes, “…I am orange, which My Person says is the most royal and lovely cat color. I have a great sense of humor and smile often. I am unafraid of heights. I speak Cat English, of course, plus a smattering of French, Nepali and Swahili. I am warm-furred and warm-hearted. In my youth, I was a gifted athlete and won many uphill sprint events. My Person says I now am Purring Champion of the World. She says that’s quite enough for what she calls my Golden Years.”

And so it was. I love you, Benjamin.

(Heartfelt thanks to our loving and compassionate friends at Edmonds-Westgate Veterinary Hospital.)

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