Manny

๐Ÿ“† Created on May 31, 2021.
Manny looks up at the camera.
Manny looking up at the camera. This was taken at our home in Texas, in 2018. He loved spending time outdoors.

A few days ago I lost one of my best friends. I've been taking the loss hard as I guess is expected, and I wanted to do something to help me grieve, so I decided to share some of what made my friend so special.

Here's a little bit about the guy I was lucky enough to know: Manny.

Manny was born on May 24th, 2005 in a litter of kittens that my sisters cats had. My sister brought him to me a few weeks after he was born and I've had him ever since.

For a long time I wasn't sure what to call him. Being a huge movie, sci-fi, and comic nerd I had a lot of inspiration, but I wanted something that suited him. Not something I just picked out the air.

The first ever picture of Manny.
The first picture I ever took of Manny. He's about 8 months old here, "attacking" his stuffed doggy toy.

During his "nameless" time, Manny revealed many unique and interesting traits. He would sleep in his litter box, and in the sinks in our apartment. He chewed/ate almost everything in sight, creating a list that includes, but is not limited to:

  • A 4"x4" corner of a shower curtain
  • Numerous computer cables, most notably a DVI cable he chewed so badly that it no longer worked, causing me to spend 20-30m troubleshooting why my monitor wasn't working one night
  • Dozens of pens that now have holes in them
  • 3 pairs of sandals (we eventually learned to hide them from him)
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • My right index finger (I was holding one of the aforementioned pens at the time)
  • Door stoppers
Manny peers through the blinds in my apartment
This is one of my favorite pictures of Manny. He loved to sit behind the blinds and look out the window of our apartment.

At the time there was a saying in Boston of "Manny being Manny" - describing the Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez because he would do incredibly unexpected things and play them off as normal actions for him. I was in the middle of a Stop & Shop when the name hit me.

Manny.

It was perfect.

Manny's father was a fairly large cat and Manny soon grew big enough to fit into a 12mo onesie (picture proof below). His father and mother were both outdoor cats, so they developed fairly impressive hunting skills.

Manny wearing his 'favorite' onesie, from Hot Topic of all places.
Manny wearing a shirt I got him at Hot Topic of all places. It's a baby onesie, for the band Korn.

His father loved to sit underneath a bird feeder that my sister had, hiding in the tall grass surrounding it and wait for birds to slow down as they landed and snatch them out of the air. The feeder was 5-6 feet off the ground, but he had no issues clearing the distance.

We soon discovered that Manny had similar gifts. He would frequently jump from the floor to the top of our refrigerator and he proved himself a good enough hunter to nab several doves, lizards, mice and one time very nearly an adult rabbit.

Manny enjoys his first snowfall on the deck of our first house.
Manny enjoying his first snowfall. While he didn't enjoy the cold he would frequently ask to go outside in the snow to walk around and experience it.

Manny had a love of boxes and bags. As soon as one was placed on the floor he would inspect it and claim it for his. Later in his life, we learned that he wasn't a fan of hardwood or tile floors. We think this was because he had some discomfort in his hips. We placed floor mats out all over the house for him to lay down on whenever he wanted to be on the floor.

Manny had some interesting drinking habits as well. He would frequently play in his water fountain when he wanted a drink, coming away absolutely soaked but happy as could be.

Manny laying on my hand while I work. He loved to be around us.
Manny laying on my hand while I work. He loved to be around us.

In the summer of 2019 we took Manny to a lakeside cabin that my wife's family owns. I believe this was the best summer of his life, he loved every day there, since he could spend all day outside on the screened-in-porch, listening to birds and watching chipmunks smuggle away peanuts that we would leave out on the deck.

Manny sleeping in one of the many boxes we had around the house for him. He clearly doesn't fit, but that isn't bothering him
Manny sleeping in one of the many boxes we had around the house for him. He clearly doesn't fit, but that isn't bothering him.

I hope this has given you a sense of how much of an impact Manny had on me and my wife's lives, how special he was to us and how much we love him still. Thank you for visiting and reading. If you'd like to, you can contact me on social media and share some memories of your own furry friends.

Videos

Below are a collection of videos that we've taken over the years that highlight how Manny lived.