Bumshiqua: 2002 – 2016
If there ever was a cat that eked the most thrills out of the nine lives bestowed upon her kind, it was undoubtedly Bumshiqua Gandhi-Shepard.
Sadly, it was neither a tussle with a dog nor a fall from great heights that the slender and social Tortie succumbed to, but rather complications from kidney failure. Bumshiqua, who died Feb. 3, was 13 years old.
Found among a litter of three under a skate ramp in the St. Louis suburb of Olivette, Bumshiqua and her brother Lewis were adopted by their most favorite human, Benjamin Shepard. As kittens, the uninhibited siblings were notorious for drawing their bitty claws to grasp onto Ben’s clothing and climb to his neck – a place of safety, warmth and snuggles.
A fan of a view from the top, Bumshiqua scaled screen doors and nonchalantly perched atop door rails with ease and poise. But the daredevil had to give up her affinity for the latter in 2008, when, in a rare moment of klutziness, she lost her balance and fell into an open moving box. It was her left canine tooth that caught on the cardboard and broke her fall but also left her one tooth short of the standard 30. Speaking of falls, to this day no one knows how the Tortoise-haired beauty, svelte as a ballerina, survived a spill out of a third-story apartment window. So we will chalk it up to one word: magic.
Bumshiqua was fierce as she was sweet. She was the dominant personality compared to her goofy brother and later declared herself the alpha cat upon introduction to her stepsisters, Gizmo and Sidney. She wasn’t one to take any guff from dogs either. When approached by friendly pit-bulldog mix Buddy, Bumshiqua raised up on her hind legs and threw a half-dozen haymakers to his face to make clear exactly who was boss. Fast-forward to around 2011, when Bumshiqua was spotted in a confrontation with a neighborhood dog that trespassed into her back yard. The standoff escalated into a snarling, hissing blur of fur until, several seconds later, the suspected Yorkie Russell pup scampered away dejected.
Bumshiqua’s family is grateful for her boisterous and serene moments of companionship throughout the years. She is survived by her stepsisters, Gizmo, 13, and Sidney, 12; pet brothers, Amir, 5, and Rajan, 1; and guardians, Benjamin and Minal. In lieu of whatever you were thinking, the family asks that you wish for her soul to be reunited with Lewis’s and bid her adieu with a simple, heartfelt “meow.”