In memory of Eddy


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As many of you already know, the cat known as Eddy was tragically killed recently on the porch of Steady Eddy’s Coffee House. It is very saddening and also angering in its senselessness — but that’s not what I’m writing about today. I could also be writing a whole column about his history, but again I won’t.

Long story short, he showed up as a feral kitten shortly after we opened the coffee house, we started feeding him, he stayed around through four owners and 14 years, he became comfortable with the people and the place, he loved and was loved, then he was attacked by a dog and died.

I don’t mean to sound short or cold about this tragedy because I really am sad and was in shock for the whole day after I heard, and I cried when I had to break the news to my wife. But as a writer/columnist, the thought I was having was about the need for most people to memorialize the dead, especially the tragic ones.

Now if you hadn’t noticed, I’m not like most people. As a matter of fact, in my mind I have this joke motto that I live by, “Ignorance is Lis.” In other words, I don’t want to remember or be reminded of things that cause me pain or sadness. The reason I bring this up is because as of this writing, I haven’t stepped back onto the porch at Steady Eddy’s because I’m not sure I can handle it without turning into a blubbering idiot.

You see, the reality is that even though I sometimes come off as cold and indifferent, I’m actually very (maybe too) sensitive and empathetic. Let me give you a few examples that aren’t about a cat because I have so many that do involve cats.

Recently Christopher Mendoza was tragically killed on Interstate 505 down by Vacaville. I didn’t know Christopher other than when he was in high school and was a customer at the coffeehouse. In the past few years, I would pass him on the street since he was always out walking, and we would make eye contact or give a nod of the head. So, after I heard the details of what happened I dreaded making my weekly drive to Vacaville.

The first time I drove it, I got queasy and felt sad as I came up to the spot on the freeway with the bright orange CHP marks on the pavement showing the point of impact. I can imagine what the scene was like, but I don’t want to, I wish I didn’t know, and I wish I didn’t have to think about it every time I drive to Vacaville.

Another tragedy I wish I didn’t know about, but am reminded of almost every day when I walk from work to the post office is the shooting death of Leslie Pinkston. I walk past the spot where she was parked and the tree that was painted purple in her memory but is now faded and will probably be cut down when the hotel exterior is being finished.

The morning she was killed, I heard the shot and what I thought was a scream but it didn’t register because it was so out of place in the usual quiet morning of downtown Winters. Once I saw her car (that I recognized) with the shattered window and all the people rushing around it, I realized what had happened but I didn’t go out and look because I didn’t want that image in my mind — remember, ignorance is Lis.

Let me give you one last example of how warped my feelings are as compared to normal people. Thirty some years ago, my wife and I had a dog that was blind. She was so special I can’t even begin to explain. She also had terrible seizures that would last for a few minutes and when she came out of them, she would be disoriented for hours but would eventually return to normal.

Sadly, in the end, she went into a prolonged seizure and had to be euthanized. I wasn’t there for that — the reason being enough to fill a whole other column and something I regret to this day. But my point is about what I did when I got home from work that day (before my wife): I went around the apartment and picked up and put away everything of hers. Her leash, her bed, her toys, everything, because I couldn’t stand the pain of seeing them.

When Diane got home from work she was furious with me and pulled everything back out so she could grieve like a normal person, because unlike me, not everyone thinks that ignorance is bliss.


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