Scooter (1998-2011)

Scooter died today.  He was 13 years old, and spent his first eight years as Elizabeth's pet.  Born in Sullivan County and rescued shortly afterward, he was the runt of the litter who managed to march to his own drummer.  The day we drove up to the animal rescue, there were a baby deer, many puppies and other kittens contending for adoption. (Well not the fawn, but she was distracting with loveliness.)  We had been told there was a kitten there whose name should be trouble.  He strayed from the group.  He was a biter.  He got lost, and tumbled down hills.

Scooter with Elizabeth in 1998
Still, we took him home where he soon adjusted to life with the loving Elizabeth.  She let him sleep in her bed.  He was a great companion to all.  His favorite position was flat out on your chest when you were in a reclining position.  He liked to be scratched behind his ears.  Like many other cats of my acquaintance, he did not really approve of reading, and did his best to prevent you from doing it by tearing the newspaper to shreds for instance, or sitting on your book while you had it in your lap and thought you had made it clear it would be better to stop back later after this chapter.

As a hunter, he would bring us shrews and mice he had caught.  He had no use for bats, even though they tempted him and made him take ungainly leaps upward which proved only how difficult it was to capture a bat without a butterfly net.

When Elizabeth died, he seemed to look for her and would sometimes howl with grief. Her last note hanging on our door was "Be nice to Scooter! Play with him!"   We did our best to follow her advice.  His greatest pleasures were lying in bed alongside Richard, and eating fresh chicken Richard had fried. We will miss him most dreadfully.


  1. My cousin, Susan Markert, wrote me today:

    I read your post this morning about the loss of Scooter, your beloved cat. It made me cry (as so many of your posts do) to think of you and Richard experiencing what I know to be a very painful loss. Especially one so closely connected with Elizabeth. Another piece of her has slipped away, and one that was in great need of a loving connection. I think as humans, when we experience loss, we don't always need each other to survive our pain. Sometimes we shut others out, or push away to sit and be blanketed by our own grief and memories. With animals, their need to be touched, fed, and nurtured is so great.....yet they ask for these things with no expectations of talking or explaining or defining what we are feeling. Sitting beside us, on us or near us....they say it all. I am here. I know. I understand. He knew her strokes, as he knew yours.
    You described in another post that he seemed to grieve for her, and look for her after she died. I believe this 100%. When Dad died, our collie Bonnie, would walk to his side of the bed every night and look for him. She would nervously pace into the room with a distressed whimper and stand with her head resting on his side of the bed. She loved him, as he had loved her. Animals touch our very soul and ask for nothing in return....only to love us. I am so glad all of you had the chance to love, and be loved by Scooter.
    Hugs to you,

  2. Patty
    I can not say anything that will help. So sorry about Scooter. He was my favorite Cat! When we stayed at the apartment a few years ago, both Steve and I got such a kick out of him. He purrrred and definitely liked all the attention that he could get.
    Love Mary

  3. Heard a lot about that cat! So so sorry for the loss, but it seems he had a gifted life.

    There is something very lonely about losing a pet, knowing only a few people shared that simple and bottomless love. Thinking of you all.

    Katherine E

  4. I so clearly remember your posting about Scooter yowling after Elizabeth's death. I know that losing Lizzy's pet must seem a cruel blow to you both. I'm sorry.

  5. What a wonderful photo of Elizabeth & Scooter on the porch, thank you for sharing it and your thoughts about them both. Missing all of you and sending much love,
    Molly & Philip

  6. Once, There was a girl.
    To say she was beautiful and didn't know it, well..We know this is common.
    To say she was smart as a whip, this was an understatement.
    She would go everywhere and do everything, and would leave her mark on
    on everyone she touched.
    She was an amazing maelstrom of Life, Love and energy,and today...Today is her birthday.
    Elizabeth Aakre, you are dearly and sorely missed.


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How Dina Aunty relished her memories. Mummy and Daddy were the same, talking about their yesterdays and smiling in that sad-happy way while selecting each picture, each frame from the past, examining it lovingly before it vanished again in the mist. But nobody ever forgot anything, not really, though sometimes they pretended, when it suited them. Memories were permanent. Sorrowful ones remained sad even with the passing of time, yet happy ones could never be re-created—not with the same joy. Remembering bred its own peculiar sorrow. It seemed so unfair: that time should render both sadness and happiness into a source of pain.

> From A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry