RW SGC Jubob Orion MacFarlane of Pinecoon ("Rion)"
Rion was a red classic tabby neuter, our first purebred Maine Coon. We recently lost him due to kidney failure. He would have been 19 years old in January 2006.
Rion... What can we say about our "Ri Guy"? He was our first purebred Maine Coon. When we began our search for a kitten, Betsy was already passionate about the Maine Coon, due to her childhood cat Winkle, a Maine Coon "wannabe" who defined, for her, what The Perfect Cat should be like. We purchased Rion as a pet through a referral from Carol Pedley of Le Beau Minu. (Rion's breeders, Judy and Bob Tanguay, produced only two litters, then quit breeding; we have always been grateful to Carol, who always gave us as much help and support as if we had purchased Rion from her instead.)
At the time we adopted Rion, David and Betsy were newlyweds and Rion was our first "child." We were as batty about him as a couple of besotted new parents might be about their infant son (but, as we discovered 3 years later, we were far less sleep-deprived than "real" parents!). Our friends were, fortunately, very patient with us; they good-naturedly feigned interest as we showed them roll after roll of "family snapshots" of Rion playing, sleeping, being cute, and generally being a kitten. (Don't worry; we won't inflict all of those photos on you here. They'd take too long to download.)
When Rion was 6 months old, we decided we wanted to try showing him. He got two finals, and we were thrilled -- and hooked! We continued to show him as an alter (neutered adult) and he did very well in CFF (Cat Fanciers' Federation), CFA, ACFA, and TICA. Rion loved going to shows.
He thrived in the limelight and was relaxed, proud, and endlessly good-natured. When we finally retired him from the show ring, whenever we were preparing to leave for a show, he would eagerly climb into one of the carriers in the entryway. After he had been extracted and the proper occupant had been placed in the carrier instead, Rion would sit mournfully on top of the stack of carriers, looking as if he just couldn't believe we meant to go to a show without him.
Rion absolutely loved people -- anyone was fair game. He would head-bump your legs, your elbow, or (if you were trying to type) your fingers on the keyboard, trying to elicit caresses. He was never happier than when in contact with someone he loved.
Unless he was in a box.
Rion's favorite thing in the world, after people, was boxes. Not pretty, decorative boxes you'd want to have sitting out in your home. No, Rion loved cardboard packing boxes, preferably still with the packing material in them. He was on a first-name basis with our UPS Guy, Dale. Rion was convinced that Dale brings boxes to our house for the sole purpose of giving them to him, Rion, to sleep in. When he heard the UPS truck pull up, Rion would come running to the door, and watch eagerly as Dale unloaded a nice big ugly box for him (or two, if it was a really good day). If we were home, Dale would carry the box into the house and put it on the floor in the front foyer. Then Dale and Betsy would both stand back and laugh as Rion eagerly jumped on top of the box. He always gave Dale's hand a good head-bump and a couple of licks for good measure -- he knew who had the good stuff!
Rion enjoyed excellent health throughout the first 18 years of his life, although by the time he turned 18, did move more stiffly than he used to, and he spent a lot more time sleeping than he used to. (Preferably in a box, of course.) Here he is at about 18 years of age:
In midsummer of 2005, Rion began showing signs of kidney failure. Despite medical intervention and a diet change (which he did not appreciate!), we were unable to prevent his health from deteriorating rapidly. Finally, in early October 2005, we decided we had to let him go. Rion was gentle and affectionate right to the end. We miss him very much, but feel blessed by the nearly 19 years we were able to spend with him. His ashes rest in his favorite cardboard box, now buried in our garden.