It’s Over for Zima

Some of my friends who are reading know that my feline companion of fifteen years, Zima, was not doing so well in late September / early October and, frankly, I was a little scared he might not be with us to see the new year.  Thanks to a terrific veterinarian, who takes a holistic approach to pet care, he’s gaining weight and performing as sprightly as I expect from my old friend.

At the same time, the powers at MillerCoors were plotting ways to announce the demise of my kitty’s namesake. Yes, as much as D likes to deny it, his wife named the cat after a malt beverage.

Zima - the Cat
Zima – the Cat

It was an inebriated moment in 1993 on the night just before getting the kitten “fixed”, and there was that bottle of clear, sparkling beverage sitting on the bar at The Old Corner Hotel. The rippled glass with a distinctive and, compared to other bottled beverages in the bar, distinguished silver and metalic blue label got my mind churning.

Zima - the Beverage

Zima - the Beverage

While I really didn’t want to name my cat anything, the vet would insist he have a name. And there it was before me. He’s a Russian Blue, and Zima is a Russian word (well, actually, I knew it was Polish and assumed it might be the same.) The beverage Zima has a silver and blue label, my youthful Russian Blue kitten was a beautiful silver grey. My brain made connections, and the cat was named right there in the bar.

Jump ahead 15 years, and found myself with a sick cat named Zima. And the Associated Press released the news on October 20, ten days after Zima, the beverage, was officially pulled from the MillerCoors line-up. Judging from my Zima the cat’s health in the last two weeks, I think he will be with us for quite some time. For those who enjoyed the beverage, you’re not so lucky. If you find it, buy it, because it isn’t coming back.


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