He arrived at the pet store in a crate with another puppy. At first glance he looked like a black tribble, two pieces of obsidian for eyes and a tiny tail that curled halfway up his black. If you looked close enough you would see that this tribble had four little legs. He barely weighed 2 pounds. His cratemate unfortunately arrived with distemper, the bad kind, so I volunteered to take both home and try to nurse the Chihuahua back to health and monitor the health of this little bundle of fuzz. His cratemate was just too little to survive but the tribble thrived. I named him Pookah because he was so mischievous and he over-compensated for his size by being the feistiest critter I’d run into. He would perch on my shoulder while I sat on the couch watching television. He slept under my chin when I went to bed. He wanted to be held at all times and I had to fight myself not to give in lest he not learn how to at least walk. He never did learn how to jump on the couch but discovered he could scamper up someone’s leg to achieve his goal.
When he was about 6 months old a Chow Chow jumped the fence in my backyard to graze on the grass. Pookah, in his ferociousness, charged this beast that weighed 60 pounds to his 5. My first thought was that the Chow was going to enjoy a snack of Pomeranian. As Pookah defended his territory with much yipping and snarling the Chow calmly slammed his paw on Pookah’s head and pinned him to the ground. The Chow then proceeded to finish his salad before looking at the squirming ball of fur one last time before leaping back over the fence. Unfortunately that only reinforced Pookah’s belief in his ferociousness. He strutted around the yard for hours believing he’d chased off the interloper and from that day forward was determined to protect me and the cats from any stranger, human or otherwise.
Pookah was a cat hater yet was loved by all in my pride. He’d go to sleep and they’d creep up and curl up with him. Only when he’d awaken and realize he wasn’t alone did he protest, usually just a token growl. He had to maintain his dignity, after all. He tolerated kittens climbing over him, barely. He’d snap at Max just to reassure himself he was still in charge. He was the king, the alpha male, the self-proclaimed guardian of the home. Provided a fence was there to separate him from others.
Three weeks ago Gizmo, his playmate of 19 years, passed away. On the 12th of August, 2008 we celebrated his birthday. He has now gone to join her and Max where I’m sure they’re romping around Heaven and protecting it from all undesirables. For 19 years he brought joy and delight to my life. For 19 years he was a constant companion and friend. It wasn’t long enough.
I will miss you, Pookie. You will not be forgotten.