Thursday, May 3, 2007
Saying goodbye to Cinnamon
Cinnamon Eastman Ranzenberger, the regal Siamese cat who trained teenagers, disdained other cats, stole the covers and generally ran first the Eastman household, then the Ranzenberger household, died Wednesday at the age of 12.
Cinnamon was a native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He picked out Kissy Missy as his staff shortly after he was weaned. (Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.)
His first home was an apartment that didn't allow pets, but that didn't bother Cinny. It was here that he learned the "fling the kitty" trick that trained his staff that closed doors simply were not acceptable.
He accompanied Kissy Missy as she worked in radio, and later television, in the U.P. He was her constant companion, and they were very protective of each other. When Cinny met Karen's future husband, the cat was skeptical, but went along for the ride.
Arriving in Lake Isabella, he hid in the closet for the first month. The noise of youngsters, and mostly the evil ceiling fans, appeared to make him nervous. Eventually, he came out, joined the family, and soon was running the joint.
Cinnamom trained every single family member to turn on a dribble of water in the bathtub when he wanted a drink; all it took was a slightly disgusted, slightly expectant look aimed at whomever was closest. Declawed as a kitten, he took great pride in whacking Katherine when she got out of line. And though he was always underfoot, he was seldom stepped on.
At Lake Isabella, he was always interested in the wildlife, especially the squirrels, which he would watch for hours out the patio door.
But he was an indoor cat, and that was the secret to his long, luxurious, well-cared-for, well-loved life.
For all his regality and apparent standoffishness, he was, at heart, a loving kitten, remaining kittenish and playful -- on his terms -- all his life. He would wait on the back of the couch, very patiently, for us to come home. Often it would be Robert who was the first home, and Cinny would greet him, then yawn and go about his business.
In the last few days of his life, he seemed to be a little cranky. He was off his food, but a new kind of food seemed to perk him up. After he cuddled close to her most of the night, Kissy Missy kissed him goodbye, as always, Wednesday morning.
But Robert came home and found Cinnamon unresponsive, in Cinnys' favorite sleeping spot on the bed. The cat apparently had simply gone to sleep, and did not wake up.
He was in peace.
There were many real, deep, heartfelt, hot tears for him. His family built a box of faux pine, and buried him with his catnip pillow, his favorite cat toy and a can of his favorite kitty treats. He was laid to rest after dark in an impromptu candlelight ceremony, in the back yard beneath a budding oak tree. A wind chime over his grave will ensure he is remembered every time the wind blows.
He'll live on. "Cinnamon, the big Siamese tomcat," is the subject of a question dealing with the proper way to identify animals on Style Quiz 13 in CMU's "Introduction to Writing for the Mass Media" class. (The answer: Identify animals with names (Cinnamon) or identifiable genders (tomcat) with gender-specific personal pronouns, such as he or she, rather than it.)
So he'll continue to teach. Cinnamon taught us all a lot about dignity, loyalty, love, expectations, and how to grab the best spot in front of the fireplace.
In Kissy Missy's words, "He was the best kitty in the whole world."
We love the Cinny.
Posted by Mark at 12:31 AM