Morty (Short for Mordecai, or so I’m told) was the cat who inhabited the bookstore where I work. He lived there for about 10 years, and he was my favorite coworker. He, like many cats, liked boxes – and working in a bookstore, he never had any shortage of boxes to crawl into. I loved opening up a DVD box and finding only half a box of DVDs and the rest filled with a very fat black and white cat.
Morty was also my lunch buddy, as he had a penchant for people food. Especially turkey. Since the break room is always freezing cold, he didn’t usually turn down a warm lap to snuggle in or next to either. Since I tend to take little cat naps on my break at work, he was a nap buddy too.
Sadly, Morty got very very sick last May, and though I and another coworker nursed him pretty much constantly through it, eventually they discovered he had inoperable cancer. As much as I am glad I was able to be there to help care for him, I wish they had found the cancer sooner, as I really think he was in a lot of pain.
This week, I think because it’s the holidays and getting chilly outside, I’ve been missing Morty. I still think I see him around the store sometimes, usually when I glance over and mistake a black sweater or hat for a snoozing cat in my peripheral vision. I ate the last of the turkey soup at work (made from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass), and I couldn’t shake the feeling of wishing he was there begging for a taste. Last year he actually got up on my little tray table and licked at my soup bowl when I wasn’t paying attention (he also stole cheese).
Still, I’m glad I got to “work with” Morty – he was a big source of comfort during the holidays last year, when I was pretty unstable and work was beyond challenging. He was a good cat, and I miss him, but I am glad I got the chance to miss him, if that makes any sense at all.
*For those curious, the store is not getting another cat. Morty was grandfathered into the rules, which now do not allow for store pets of any kind.