Sancho Panza Popik

Sancho Panza Popik

Cats and husbands—if you are lucky—share many sterling qualities. They are warm, comforting, and there when you need them—at least cats are. Husbands, like other human beings, are subject to pressures of work and all kinds of life responsibilities like earning a living and pursuing goals. Therefore, it is to our beautiful Maine Coon cat that I turn again and again for a steady, calming force in my life.

Sancho Panza Popik has been one of my main guys for 16 years. I bought him as a consolation when our oldest son left for college. In those years, my husband traveled for work a great deal and Sancho made up in a small way for his absence. The cat, our younger son, Nate, and I were the constant core of our family. In my husband’s absence our trio endured ice storms, basement leaks, falling trees and an earthquake. Sancho matured from a rambunctious kitten to a dignified, reliable presence. This is not to say that he was a pushover. When I set up an alarm on his (and my) favorite chair, I came home one day to find he had directed an impressive amount of pee into the heart of the device, enough to disable it permanently.

For the most part, however, he was a very good cat and his contented purr lulled me to sleep at night. Cats have habits, and his habits steadied me. Now our lovely kitty has reached the end of his long life and I will miss him. Which brings me back to husbands. More volatile than cats and with fewer steady habits, nevertheless they, and other constant friends, help us abide. Now if they could just learn to purr….



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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