Saturday, December 7, 2013

Goodbye Kitty Bob

We are saddened to report the passing of our friend and dive-shop mascot Kitty Bob, on this day the 7th of December 2013. Oh Bob, who appeared mysteriously one day already missing his tail (and keeping mum as to how), you wormed your way into all of our hearts: Staff, crew, customers, and random Kawaihae-visiting shoppers, campers, and paddlers. Somehow friendlier than the other Kawaihae cats (or perhaps just confident? Insistent? Fearless?) he had no fear of us and would just walk calmly through the front door, setting off the doorway buzzer. He would meow for food and a bowl of cold, filtered water. And he would get it! Satiated, he would jump up onto the newly windexed glass counter and promptly bathe himself atop a divers halfway-filled-out liability paperwork. He favored nap spots in display windows, or freshly folded shirts. Last week he made a quite comfortable bed in the fluffy cotton "snow" in our Christmas window.
Bob had his active times, too! Did you ever see him run up a palm tree? Quite a fast and lithe ascent. A few days ago we watched him stalk and capture a green gecko, parading off with its limbs protruding from his Cheshire grin.
Non-divers would often stop in, year after year, to see how Kitty Bob was doing. Children liked to guess about how he lost his tail (Drunken bar fight, Shark attack, Lost a bet, jealous kitty girlfriend...) and each tail tale could have been the truth. Fishermen stated that Bob knew how to read the fish flags, appearing at top speed if it was an Ahi flag, and more leisurely if it was "just" a lesser fish. That was our fish snob! After his snacks of fish trimmings, Bob liked to refresh himself with a drink of water straight from the hose, or to the delight of divers, by jumping aboard the Kohala Diver and drinking straight out of the Mask/Camera buckets! He never took us up on the offer of going to sea, preferring, I think, the free trimmings brought back to him in tribute.
Oh mysterious Bob, telling no tales, moodily swiping at kids, leaving cat hair on merchandise and legal paperwork alike. You made us crazy! But you also reminded us, every day, that no matter your history or the strain of your nightly toils, one can find a warm spot of sun, a beautiful view, a bite of fish from a friend, and a family to adopt you, to love you, and to cry at your passing. Wishes for fishes in kitty heaven to you. We will miss you, Kitty Bob.