Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

January 16, 2017

RIP Clancy Lee Johnson

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 6:40 pm

Clancy Lee Johnson died at on January 9. He was 12 years old.

Clancy came to us at 3 weeks old. He was standing on the corner at about 131st and I-75, a privacy fence behind him and a highway in front. He went for the highway. Over and over and over again. He weighed less than a pound, so when a car flew by, the gust of air threw him a few feet back toward the fence. When a semi went by, he hit the fence.

Along came Jim, who picked him up and called me. $300 later, Clancy was de-flea-ed, de-wormed, de- exotic parasite-ed, and ensconced in a Kitty Tent in a room with me for two weeks. So we could bond.

Two weeks later, he came out of the room and ran straight to Jim. He was supposed to be a me-cat, but he was a Jim-cat. Of course, when you get down to it, most cats are Jim cats. He works harder than anyone I’ve ever known, but when he sits, he sits. Hours at a time, layers of cats on him. For 12 years, Clancy was the foundation of that layer.

He followed Jim like a dog. He knew the sound of his truck and met him at the door every night. If Jim went outside, Clancy ran from window to window to keep an eye on him.

Clancy was a little high strung, and he didn’t like anybody except Jim. Nonetheless, when visitors came to call, he was the only cat in sight. He sniffed everyone, repeatedly, and gave them come-hither looks, but extending a hand to pet him was an invitation to a hiss, at least, and a bite, at worst.

He had a special dislike for me. Maybe because I kept him in a room him for two weeks.  People say a cat can’t think deeply enough to hold a grudge, but I have to disagree. I don’t know how else to explain the fact that I came home from Seattle at 11:00 one night, put my suitcase in the hallway up stairs, and by 11:03 Clancy had urinated on it. Or that he peed on my absolute favorite pair of cowboy boots. Or that he peed on my pillow. Or that he peed on my coat, which was hanging on a coat rack! He had to go up the stairs and back himself between the balustrades to accomplish that one.

When he had to be put down, Jim said he couldn’t do it. I said I would. It’s little enough to do for a man who digs up your favorite dead cat and brings it to the new house and reburies it. So I took him. The last thing he did before he left this world was bite me. That was just so him. (I’ll let you guess which cat is Clancy).clancy

I said I wouldn’t shed a tear when he was gone, but I was wrong. Every time I leave a room and realize I no longer have to close the door to keep him out, I tear up. When I start back downstairs to put my iPad in a pee-proof spot then remember I don’t have to do that any more, I cry. When I take the marshmallows out of the cabinet for hot chocolate and he doesn’t scramble into the kitchen to get one so he can lick it then leave it on the floor for me to step on, it makes me sad.

In spite of everything, he was a pretty good cat.



  1. It’s rtge hardest thinbg we do for our companions, but one of the moist important. Amazing how we love even those we didn’t think we did. So sorry foir yours and Jim’s hole in your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Noma — January 16, 2017 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  2. What love he had from you both…he will be waiting for you. My heart feels for you and I know that ‘missing’ feeling. Lily

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Lily Miceli — January 16, 2017 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  3. Lovely obit. So sorry for your loss. Sally

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sally Bright — January 16, 2017 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  4. 😦 so sorry to hear


    Comment by Marc-André — January 17, 2017 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. My most recent loss was Javelin, a lovely white long-haired van cat, who always dashed out the front door first thing, and was sitting in my driveway when I left for work. A month later, he is still missing. Some luckless person stole him, but the missing is there for me as well. He was a crank, a bully in the neighbourhood, and shed white tufts of hair onto all my black clothing, on my purple sofa, and in my salads.


    Comment by pony-tale girl — January 17, 2017 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  6. The yowling one in the picture has to be Clancy. Although he detested you, he somehow wiggled his way into your heart. Cats are that way. My JC is a difficult cat to live with. Any petting, patting, loving only happens after she requests it. Otherwise, “Don’t you dare, Judy.” The right arm of my recliner is hers. If I happen to be sitting in it with my right arm on the right arm of the recliner, I get stared at. I get kitty grumbled at. If I say, “Okay, you little turd,” and move my arm, up she comes to curl up in her favorite place. If I suppose to touch her in any way, I hear a low rumbling growl and see flattened ears. Could I ever place her in my lap? Hell, no. Trying to would find me at the doctor’s office trying to explain all my wounds. But, if I stay up later than usual, she yowls at me from our bedroom. If she sleeps with me, she is either on top my head or nose to nose with me. The second one I cannot take. Kitty breath does not lead me to sleep.


    Comment by Judy Leeds — January 17, 2017 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

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