I've had many cats over the years, and they were all special to me. This is a remembrance.
When you are a cat
person, there is no reason.
Just let them love you.
I have a long, somewhat tortured, history with cats. The first cat I had, when I was about six, got stepped on by a cow. I can still picture in my mind where she is buried. A few years later I had a chance to get another cat. The only problem was, well - we had a dog. He was a big, beautiful collie who looked just like Lassie. He was a wonderful dog, but, still - I wanted a cat. Finally my folks agreed to let me bring home a kitten. As soon as our dog saw the kitten, he went right after her. The kitten bolted for the nearest safe harbor, which was under my bed. We spent all night trying to keep our dog and the kitten apart. The next day I had to take the kitten back. Too dangerous for her, I was told. It probably was, but I really, really wanted that kitten.
That was the end of my relationship with cats for a very long time. Many years later, my husband and I were building a new house and staying with his parents while it was being finished. One day a little handball of fur wandered up to their house. Cutest little kitten I ever saw. I got all the normal protests, but I was smitten. I eventually wore my husband down on this one, and she moved in with us in our new home. He ended up just absolutely loving her. She was his baby.
Over the next years, cats were a big part of our lives. At one point we had five, a direct result of my son’s begging and my inability to say no. One of the cats, in particular, totally stole my heart, and I still keep his ashes and a picture of him on the bookcase. He was a stray. We always thought he was dumped in our neighborhood, because he didn’t look anything like all the other cats that roamed around here. He came one day, and he never left. Oh, God, this is hard to write about.
Our little ball of fur lived a pretty long life - I think she was about 14 or 15 when she became sick, and her kidneys failed. We knew she was very sick and we were going to take her to the Vet the next day. She was uncomfortable, though, and kept getting up and moving from place to place. All night long, my Big Galoot, as we sometimes called him, stayed right next to her. If she moved, he would move with her, and lay down as close to her as he could. Over and over, all night long. It was pure, unselfish love. She died at the Vet’s the next day, and we buried her in the back yard. It was cold and dark and snowing and the ground was frozen, but my husband was out there with a spade and we were all crying uncontrollably. She meant an awful lot to us. I know some people won’t understand that - but I think a lot will.
Big Galoot lived a very long life, but eventually his time came, too. We took him to the animal hospital to try and get help for him, but it was his time. He was suffering. I didn’t think it would be something I would ever be able to do, but I held him while he was put to sleep. I’m so glad I did, even though it was very, very hard. I just wanted to be there for him, like he had been for me many times when I needed comforting. I want to believe that he understood, and I miss him so much. He was a really good friend.
We have two cats now - sister and brother. After Big Galoot was gone, we decided that we weren’t going to have any more cats, but we would get home from work and the house was just so quiet. Much too quiet. So we adopted these two when they were just little kittens, and they are wonderful. I love both of them, and the house feels like it should again. I’m hoping for a long happy life for them.
My little sweetie is sleeping on a chair beside me as I write. She’ll stay there all day, only getting up every once in a while to remind me that she’s still there and needs some loving.
I’m always happy to do that for her.