If you have ever been over to the DeBrino household, you have met Paws. He would greet you with the loudest, and weirdest sounding, meow he could muster… again, and again, and again, until you sat down to pet him. And once you started petting him, he would head-butt you repeatedly.
He was the weirdest cat. And maybe one of the most annoying. But he was also the most loving- and a DeBrino.
We got Paws in 2001 shortly after moving to Bothell, WA. We went to a house down the road from us and picked out his brother first, and I asked mom and dad if we could get him, too. I don’t remember if it was hard to convince them but we came home with two little kitten brothers that day.
Being young, Jenny (my sister) and I gave them the best names ever: Lip and Paws. Jenny named Lip because he would constantly kiss you, and we somehow came up with Paws.
I can remember countless nights, especially in high school, having to open my bedroom door for Paws because I wasn’t allowed to sleep without him. If I tried, Paws would put a paw under my door, and shake it until I went to open it. If that didn’t work, he would scratch at it for as long as it took. And once that door was open, he’d go straight into the bed and lay on my chest.
He was obsessed with milk, and with hunting. He’d bring in all kinds of animals: bunnies, lizards, mice, rats, birds, ducks- whatever he could find. I’m also sure he is probably the reason we ended up with a weasel in my room!
My sister sent me a text this morning asking about my school schedule and it was followed by a phone call. I knew what is was right away- the last few times I had been home I knew he wasn’t doing well. We all did. My last trip home was during Thanksgiving and on my way out of the house I took a picture with him, held him for a bit, and cried because I figured it was goodbye. He actually would do this thing when you pick him up where he would give you a hug: he’d wrap his paws around your neck and hold on. It was the best.
Being the stubborn, annoying cat that he was, I wasn’t surprised he lasted so long- that cat was not a quitter.
I was planning on getting Paws back once I found a house so he could be my cuddle-buddy again. It makes me incredibly sad knowing that I won’t get to experience that anymore.
Knowing Paws, he’s up in some kind of kitty paradise feasting on a buffet of mice and milk and getting all the attention in the world.
My sister, Jenny, also wrote something to say goodbye to our favorite little black cat:
Paws was my little buddy, my sidekick. My sister and I always fought over who he belonged to, but really, he was the family cat. He sure knew how to annoy the crap out of everyone, but you could never really be mad at him because when it came down to it, he just loved everyone so intensely and you knew that.
One of my memorable things about Paws was how if he was ever at head level with you, he’d head butt you. I remember at times being so mad at him because it hurt so badly, but he never did it with intent to hurt, just to connect with you, to love you, to get you to pay attention to him, to feed him and all other things cats want you to do for them.
If you picked him up, he would wrap his front paws around your neck and snuggle his head in as if he knew what a hug was and what it had meant.
Paws had a meow that was not only obnoxious and loud, but also unique and funny. Friends would always comment on his meows.
I could go on and on about you little guy, but I’m afraid these tears are making it harder and harder to type. I love you Pawsy, I hope you’re happy in kitty heaven. We miss you.
Andrea & Jenny DeBrino