Rest in Paradise Sweet Rodgey. Jan 2011- June 2017

by LaTisha Conto


Yesterday I said goodbye to one of the greatest friends I've ever had. I had to write a few hundred words because crying doesn’t do justice to the amazing person he was. Yes I meant to say person. To me, and to those who knew him he transcended catness.

Rodger, Rodgey, the Rodge, came into my life six 1/2 years ago from a rescue facility. His name was originally Jerry, but I changed it to Rodger. Thinking back I guess those names aren’t very different from one another, but at the time Rodger seemed perfect and Jerry didn't.  Sweet Rodger had been bullied by the other cats at the rescue, which explains the bullying he engaged in later in life.

My other cat Nadine, a pet store cat (and she’ll never let you forget it) immediately loathed this alley cat from the streets. She was disgusted by his habits, insisting no self respecting cat would drink from a toilet, a glass, or anything other than a bowl.

Rodger, on the other hand fell madly and deeply in love with Nadine. He tried everything he could to be the love of at least one of her lives.

Rodgey shunned the spotlight. No matter how many times I tried he was adamant that a YouTube cat was a sellout cat because no self-respecting cat would ever allow their  human to monetize their awesomeness. But still he was awesome even if it wasn't on YouTube. He was famous for his starring role in the never seen, never made Oscar worthy blockbuster The Paw:

Rodgey lived his life on his own terms. I have an ex who probably hates me because Rodge decided his favorite place was the pile of coats I was supposed to mail to him after he moved out. Rodge, Cohen, and Lil Girl decided in November that the coats were their new favorite hangout. How was I to deny them? So the coats, and the cats, sat through November, December, January, and February. I know how it looks. It seems intentional, and it’s a story I’ll probably never be able to live down. I’ll be known as the bitch who sent the coats in early spring. But I’m a cat person. And the thing about cat people, and this is something we don’t get about dog people, is that we adjust. Dog people set rules for their dogs and then set out enforcing them. Cat people take in a cat and see what the cat’s going to do, and we adjust. I love that about cat people. And I loved that about Rodge. If he wanted to sit on coats in the dining room for 4 months, he did it. If he liked the box the tv came in, and he liked it in the living room – that’s where I left it. If climbing the back of the couch was his preferred method to get on the couch, then I had the world's largest scratching post. He taught me to give up control and work with people, not against them.

He loved to open cupboards. I'm not sure why but I can speculate he believed cupboards were boxes with lids he could open. My favorite moments have been watching the struggle between Rodge and my step dad over his bathroom cupboard. Rodge loved to open it and get inside, sit on towels and enjoy himself. Of course that meant my stepdad had to use Rodge-fur-lined towels and so he installed Velcro on the cupboard to keep it closed. Rodge, unsatisfied with the 18 cupboards in the kitchen he could have opened, decided to engage in a battle with Jeff over that particular cupboard. It ended with industrial strength Velcro, and with Rodge still able to open the cupboard. My stepdad gave in, and from then on considered Rodge was of the coolest cats he'd ever known. 

Rodge didn't just love cupboards; drawers were especially exciting for him. Placing both his paws on the lip of a drawer he would dig his claws into them and thrust his body backwards. Coming out in the middle of the night to the kitchen could lead you to believe you had been visited by a poltergeist.

Rodgey not only loved opening cupboards, but exploring them as well. Now that he’s gone I think it’s safe to share these pictures. Rubbing his belly all over plates and bowls was one if his favorite pastimes. Sorry, to all my former roommates.

His great love of his life will always be Nadine though she wants to make it clear that will always be unrequited as she finds him disgusting despicable and a bully.

His best friend to the end was little girl.

His brother from another cat mother was Cohen. They wrestled, cuddled, and even ganged up on Mumford and Oscar.

We had so many cat cousins come stay with us at the white Oak house, it will always be remembered as some of the greatest times of my life.

His alter ego was batman, and he really believed it was up to him to keep everybody safe. Sadly, he was the bully that everybody needed to be kept safe from. He never understood this no matter how many times I gave him examples. He liked to walk by Nadine and for no reason, much like a bully in school randomly slamming a kid into a locker, he would reach out and box her. I tried to explain how much this hurt his chances with Nadine, but he didn’t get it.

Nobody was better at a profile pic, or a photo bomb. He could also look evil. It was one of his many talents.

His first cuddling partner was Teddy. 

His favorite song was Nick Cave’s Into my arms. This is a video of him listening to it. 

If you ever needed somebody to steal food from your plate; Rodge was your guy. 

If you ever wanted somebody to sleep on your chest and stare at you while you were sleeping; Rodge was your guy

If you ever wanted somebody to pee in your bed just before you went to sleep; Rodge was your guy.

If you ever wanted a lover of all humans and creatures without any expectation of love in return; yeah, that was Rodge. 

Rodgey, Rodger, the Rodge, spent his last weeks living out his bucket list. He free-range grazed on grass, rolled on cold concrete, ate roasted chicken for breakfast and shredded turkey for dinner. He enjoyed saucers of milk (2%!) and lounged in the sun. He was never alone. He had me and his best friend Lil Girl by his side the whole time. 

He is survived by his best friends Lil Girl, Cohen, and Mumford. Also by his one true love, Nadine, though she wants to again make it clear that love was completely unrequited. (Nadine is depressed and has a hard time conveying her emotions) 

And he is survived by me. My soul has been enriched but also bruised because of this guy. I am a better human to other humans because of this guy. I will always be just a bit sad in my heart because of having to say goodbye so soon to this guy.

Thank you for sleeping on my chest every night. It's sorta nice, and sorta creepy to wake up in the middle of the night with the feeling somebody is watching you, only to find out that there is. And it's you. 

Thank you for always taking selfies with me and letting me squish your face. 

Thanks for making 6 1/2 years of my life so wonderful. Lil Girl, Nadine and I will always be your girls, and you did a great job of protecting us… from you. We love you so much Rodgey and though we don’t believe in god or heaven, we think string theory sounds good. So we’re just going to believe in an alternate universe somewhere we’re all still together. You’re sleeping on my chest and I can feel you purring. I love you Rodgey.