We found her in a pet store in Stafford Virginia. We liked kitties but we weren't really looking for a pet. But in a Plexiglas cage this small striped kitten alone took an interest in us. She tried to reach out to us through the glass, touching it with her paw and calling to us. She melted our hearts.
We took her home and she immediately began exploring. She learned where her box and food could be found and never forgot. She was a cat genius, we found out. We also discovered she loved to go for car rides. And she sat quietly in a shopping cart while we visited Petsmart.
Every Sunday we would go to Checker's Restaurant in Fredericksburg Virginia where she would sit with us at the outside tables and maybe have a bit of hamburger. She was always good on a leash and never pulled or tried to get away. Sometimes we would go to a park where she loved to go for a walk, sometimes we would go to Petsmart where she loved to look at the other animals.
She grew into a beautiful, dignified yet loving cat. I've never known any cat like her. Regularly she would come up beside me and gently reach up and touch my elbow. She wanted me to see that she was there. I would then pet her and tell her what a sweet kitty she was and she would give me a head bump and a love bite and then go back to her kitty things. That's the way FloJo was, she didn't impose on anyone, she would only ask politely and quietly.
FloJo was a communicator in blink-talk. I don't know if other cats do this or not, but she had several distinctive blinks to say "hi" or "I love you" or "please follow me" or even "Help!" A fast deliberate blink with wide eyes said "Follow me so I can show you something" while a slow speed double half-blink said hi and "I love you."
When we lived in the city she was kept in the house, but we took her out on a leash. She was great on a leash! She never pulled or fought. She trotted along side me. The first time we took her to a park she was so excited. She wanted to visit everything and everyone, although she never strained at her leash. She was docile, you see, and she knew what she was supposed to do. When it was time to leave she stuck herself to the back window of the car, watching the park recede in the distance as she sobbed to herself. She didn't want to go.
We moved across the country to Boise in December of 2000, and FloJo got to see a lot of countryside! She especially loved downtown St. Louis, MO. She didn't want to leave, she wanted to stay and look at the buildings. I don't know why she was so interested in looking at houses and buildings but it was yet another way in which she showed she was a cat genius.
Later we moved to Pacific City, Oregon where we lived in an RV park that was full of rabbits. FloJo loved to look at the rabbits and all of the people come and go. We'd be there still, and still have our FloJo, but the people who owned the park were not very nice at all and wanted us to leave because we had a teenage child. She didn't cause a problem, mind you, they just didn't like children. That's what they told us. This was one of those cases where a park was built by nice, hard-working people who unfortunately turned it over to their spoiled self-centered children. But back to FloJo's story....
We relocated our RV to my sister's farm at Sand Lake, Oregon in June of 2002. Now that we were on a farm, we thought FloJo could try going outside during the day. She loved it, and she finally got back down to a normal weight. She had so much fun exploring and smelling every day. She adopted a young stray and raised him like he was her own baby. I remember one time I got in the car and the baby ran under it and I thought 'oh great, now I have to wait for him to come out' and then I saw FloJo dashing toward the car, which she never did before, and I thought 'what's this?" The next moment FloJo was chasing the baby out from under the car. She chased him about 10 feet away and then sat down between him and the car. She was truly an amazing cat.
On June 3rd, I was working at home as I normally did and this would have been FloJo's second summer as a part-time outdoor cat. It was a sunny day and I let FloJo out about 11 a.m.. I had a lot of work to do, and I concentrated on that more than usual. Christa called to say she would be home late because her boyfriend was taking her to Lincoln City.
Later when she came home late, I recalled that I hadn't seen FloJo for hours. We looked and looked for her but did not find her. She was never away from the house, so this was very odd. Not once had she failed to appear when called. In fact, she normally greeted us immediately upon arrival. Christa made flyers and took them to the neighbors. We placed lost and found ads.
The days dragged on and on. Each day I looked for her and called her. Finally on Monday, June 9, I happened to be in the orchard to the west of the trailer when I spotted a small patch of gray and white fur under an apple tree, amid tall grass. It was FloJo. My heart sank.
Huge bite marks were on her bloody body. Her eyes and mouth were wide open. It was obviously a dog attack and she had been running for the tree. Perhaps she almost made it, or perhaps she began to climb but the dog snatched her from the tree and killed her. I took her body to the house and later buried her with the help of Christa's boyfriend, Devin.
Flojo had been killed by a vicious dog on her own property. We'd never had a dog around before or we wouldn't have let her out. The dog had killed livestock, deer and cats before but we didn't know about it. The dog was a silent killer, which is why I never heard anything. The sickening lowlife excuses for human beings that owned this psycho mutt apparently took pleasure in their dog's vicious nature.
FloJo was the best cat who ever lived as far as I'm concerned. She was smart, loving, and docile. Her cruel and untimely death was truly a heinous crime and those responsible should rot in hell, if only hell existed. It should, for people like this. The terror and pain she must have felt haunts me every day of my life. I can't go to sleep without thinking about her and what happened.
We loved you very much, Flojo. Without you, I don't feel much like travelling anymore...I wanted to show you more things, I know you loved that. But I have no one to show things to, now. You didn't deserve to die, especially not that way. You were so beautiful, so loving, so smart, such a perfect pet and travel companion in every way. There will never be another like you.
Good-bye, FloJo. We miss you so much!
FloJo Waves Good-Bye