Memory
Pepe Le Fox Oreo

May 1995 - May 2010
Do you remember the first time we saw one another, Pepe?  It's as clear in my mind as if it happened
yesterday.  Your future daddy and I had been walking at the local high school campus the summer of 1995 and
noticed numerous cats here and there.  We soon figured out that they were a group of ferals, and that several
of them had litters.  We were admiring them as they ran and played, some going into openings under the school
building.  As I watched them disappear under the building, out popped the cutest and most beautiful one of them
all, you, sweet, little Pepe.  You looked at me and I looked at you, and we both froze for a few seconds.  You
looked about two months old.  Your markings were similar to a male cat named Pepe that your future
grandmeowmie had years before.  I had no idea if you were a boy or a girl, but that was how you got your name.

During the next three months we visited the school nearly every night bringing food to you and the others.  I'd
always be sure that you got enough to eat, and the choice pieces.  Yes, I was spoiling you right off.  Out of all
the cats and kittens there, you and one other were the only long hairs.  Not only were you cute and beautiful,
you were also smart, and a very happy kitten.  I remember how you'd get so excited to see us that you'd run in
circles around me as I walked toward the feeding station.  Your future daddy would laugh about that.  And even
if we went very late and the rest had given up and left, you would always be right there waiting.  You really did
stand out in the crowd in many ways.  You started to become tamer than all the rest and it wasn't long until I
was able to touch your soft fur as you'd eat.  This gave me the idea that you should come home with us.  I told
future daddy that I wanted you sleeping on my pillow.  I just couldn't see such a beauty as yourself living
outside.  I knew you'd need lots of help with your lovely fur, and I was anxious to adopt you.  I know that's
what you wanted too.  Like I said, you were smart and saw your opportunity to have your very own humans to
take care of you, so you made it happen.

By fall I knew it was time to bring you home.  I was afraid that with more people around after school had
started, there was more danger, so knew it was time to make my move.  I was concerned about being able to
actually get you into a carrier, but one night I took the cage along, as well as my gardening gloves.  I set the
cage down near the feeding station, and as soon as you started to eat, I scooped you up and into the cage you
went.  I felt bad to scare you that way, and hoped you understood that something much better was waiting for
you at your new home.   We felt like kidnappers as we left with you, all the while I kept telling you that you
wouldn't be sorry and to hang in there, you'd see that I was telling the truth.  At first you tried to get out of
the cage, banging around on the sides, but settled down and were quiet on the drive.  You were such a brave
baby, and I think you understood that you were going home.
Since I had no experience with ferals, and you didn't
have much experience with humans, we got off to a real
interesting start.  I'd prepared a small bathroom ahead
of time for you to stay in at first.  I had thought ahead
and had taken everything out of the room that might get
broken, however, I found out that I shouldn't have had
the food and water dishes out right off, or the litter
box.  Another mistake was, I didn't think to remove the
bathroom curtains.  When I got you into the room and let
you out of the carrier, I had visions of you looking
around, liking your little bed that I'd made for you,
having some food since you'd been so rudely interrupted
earlier, but instead I was shocked and horrified when you
flew off all four walls spilling the food and water, and
making litter fly all over.  You finally came to rest
hanging on the curtains.  Luckily you were tiny and
lightweight so the little claw marks were easily
repaired.  Your new daddy had heard all this commotion
from outside the room and was afraid of what had
happened.  He slowly opened the
The first time you spent the entire night out of
the bathroom went fine, and that next morning
when I woke up and saw that you had found your
way to rest on top of me, I knew that we'd bonded
and that you were happy to be with me.  Another
way I knew was whenever I'd come home from
somewhere, you'd come out from wherever you'd
been to see me.  Even when your daddy had been
home with you, it was when I came home that
you'd get up.  I would joke with him that I was
your number one best friend and he was number two.

You loved your daddy too.  I remember how one of
the first nights we had you out of the bathroom
with us to watch t.v. you were resting on the bed
with your daddy and I was taking video of you
two.  You were reaching out towards him so
delicately, touching his face as if you were amazed
that you'd found such a wonderful human to take
care of you.
It took you awhile to realize that you'd never be hungry again.  Every time I'd get something to eat for
myself, you'd climb on me to get to it, and if I had toast in the toaster and you heard it pop up, you were
there to grab it right out of the toaster.  After awhile you could see that you'd always have a full bowl of dry
cat food sitting out, plus canned food served every night, so you got over that behavior.
One of the first things I found out about you was that you loved to climb trees.  When I first took you into the
backyard I had to hold you back because I was afraid you'd get up the tree and I'd never get you back down.  
Maybe that's also why every time we'd open the closet you were right there trying to sneak in.  You sure
wanted to climb the clothes.  One thing that made you so excited was if I'd hold you up and let you reach out
for the clothes.  You wanted to climb so badly, and at times I did let you much to your daddy's displeasure.  
You also loved getting into drawers and the linen cupboard.  You looked so cute and happy there.
While you were getting used to everything, if you
started to get apprehensive about something, or
unsure, you'd run to the bed where we slept.  I told
you that was home base, and you seemed to
understand.  The bed remained one of your favorite
places and that's where you'd receive the grooming
which you loved so much and demanded more and more
as the years went by.  You took to the brush right
away, especially when I'd do your neck, you loved
that.  Your fur was so gorgeous so I was glad that
you loved being brushed so I could help you keep it
that way.  The only thing was, you didn't allow your
tummy to be groomed.  After I'd brush you awhile,
then we'd communicate with one another.  I'd pet
your head and face and rub your nose, and if I did it
just right, you'd stick your little tongue out and then
I knew I had done it exactly the way you liked.  I'd
look into your beautiful eyes and tell you how much I
loved you and how special you were.  You'd purr and
close your eyes, and I'm sure you were saying those
things back to me.
You had many nicknames over the years: Small One, Small, Child, Munchkin/Munchkin Face, Bubbles, Joyful One,
Foo Foo, Foofie.  For awhile your daddy called you Pepsi.  Sometimes we called you Ms Pepe.
Your favorite things to play with were toy
mice.  I knew the two that you liked the
best, and when you'd ask to play I'd get one
or the other out.  I called your green one the
St. Patty mouse.  You were so good at
catching it when I'd throw it to you.  You'd
jump in the air just like a baseball player.  
The smaller mouse had something inside it
that made a noise when it was shaken.  That
one was kept in a special container in my
bathroom.  Your eyes got big when I'd get it
out and shake it.  You liked it placed in the
bathtub with a small towel over it, or for me
to take it to the bed and throw it onto the
pillows for you to run and jump on.
When I'd hear you banging on the hanging scratching post on my bathroom door I knew you wanted to play, or
were trying to hurry me along.

Another of your favorite things to do for play was run up and down the hall, especially if your daddy and I were
in the den and I was reading aloud to him.  For some reason that seemed to excite you, or maybe you just
wanted attention and thought we weren't paying enough to you at that time.  I tend to think you liked the sound
of my voice when I was reading because it was very strange how your running would start very soon after I'd
begin to read.

Once in awhile we'd hear a noise and go looking for you and there you'd be way up high on the corner knick knack
shelf by your daddy's desk.  It was amazing how you ever got up there.

Many times at about bedtime you would decide you wanted to go outside in the backyard which was okay because
it's a safe yard, but to wait till almost bedtime was very strange.  We'd always let you go and just stay up a
little longer.  Most times you'd only stay about ten minutes and then be ready to come back.  Sometimes
though, you'd feel extra frisky and climb the tree and not want to come back in.  We'd have to talk you down.  
Sometimes you'd tease us and come down and then run up the second tree.  I'd call you the feisty one then.  
Your daddy would tell you that the boogie man was going to come after you and say "booga booga" in a low voice,
and you must have believed him because you got to where you'd head to the house when you heard that.  It was
very amazing.
You loved cat nip, in fact, there wasn't much that you
didn't like.  You fit your nickname of Joyful One for
sure.  As you got older you would just play for a
short time, maybe twenty seconds, but you did it full
out, jumping into the air, all four feet off the ground,
and enjoying every moment.

When you got older, for some reason you decided that
you weren't going to eat your dinner in the patio with
all the other kitties.  You made it clear that you
wanted to eat in the house instead, so I started
feeding you inside.  It was very strange because
you'd always eaten in the patio.  You loved your Fancy
Feast, and for treats you'd been having appetizers by
Fancy Feast during the day whenever you'd ask.  
When you wanted some, you'd sort of wiggle your
body while holding your beautiful tail high, and we'd
call it your hula dance.
You were very sweet, not demanding, just softly asking.  You'd gotten into the habit of eating extra when our
kitty, Mickey, had gotten old and had health problems and needed extra food.  After she crossed, you were
used to the extra treats so they continued.

Another favorite thing you did was rest by the open front door looking out of the security door.  You spent many
an hour there in the fresh air.  Lots of times
we'd use another door if we had to go out
because we didn't want to disturb you.  It
was always so relaxing to see you resting.  
You were beautiful.

I looked forward to the cold weather because
that's when you liked to sit with me, but just
for about five minutes at a time.  I loved it
when you'd rub your body and head on my
sweatshirt as I held you in my arms.  That
was the only time I could rub your tummy
too.  Many times you'd decide to do this when
I was having my dinner.  If I'd try and
continue eating while you were in my arms it
didn't work out well because even if a minute
piece of crumb fell onto you, you'd look at me
funny, so I got to where I'd just let my
dinner sit until you were ready to get down,
and then I'd eat and didn't really care if it
was cold by then or not.  Having you sit with
me was worth it.
Pepe, you left us much, much sooner than we wanted.  We had visions of you living to be at least twenty years
old.  It wasn't meant to be, and now we have to find a way to go on without you.  We miss you so much.  You
basically ran the house, and we wouldn't have had it any other way.  You gave us way more than we gave you,
our sweet, dainty, perfect baby.  I imagine you still lying in your favorite places, and at dinner time there's no
one to tell me what time it is.  The other cats just wait till I get around to getting their food, but you always
let me know it was time by sharpening your little fingernails on the scratching post next to your daddy's chair
and giving me that look.  Speaking of scratching posts, when we'd come home from being out late, you'd always
be so happy to see us that you'd run to that scratching post and sharpen your nails.

I miss the little sound you'd make when you'd jump onto the bed, that little chirp kind of sound.  I miss
everything about you, my beautiful and precious one.
door to see if I needed help and I carefully unhooked your little nails from the curtains and spoke softly to you,
trying to reassure you and I both that all was well.  You relaxed in my arms, probably too tired to do much else
after that.  After you were completely calm, I handed you to your new daddy while I cleaned up the mess, and
you also relaxed in his arms, and from that moment on we would never have known you were ever a feral.

At that time we were finally able to determine that you were a girl.  I knew that the name Pepe was more for
a boy, but we'd called you that since we first saw you so the name was yours, nothing else fit.  You were used
to having a big family so the six cats we already had didn't faze you.  All of you got along and they accepted
you into the family.  I choose the date of May third as your birthday thinking back to when I'd first seen you,
and that was also my grandfather's birthday.