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Gratitude Friday -- Goodbye, Mrs. Cat

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It's Gratitude Friday, a day when many bloggers, inspired by Diana, think of things for which we are grateful.

Tonight, I'm feeling a lot of sadness, but also a great deal of gratitude for my short but interesting friendship with Mrs. Cat. She died Wednesday, alone and in pain, and that haunts me.

So I'll think about the good times instead. Mrs. Cat, a stately Tuxedo cat, was adopted by eldest brother Robert several years ago. Her past was a great mystery -- she was feral, probably middle-aged even then. She skulked around his workshop for some time, painfully thin and suffering some nasty wounds. Clearly she had been on the run for some time and always remained quite nervous and jumpy, even after she allowed us near her and then gradually, took over. I suspect she didn't have much of a kittenhood; she never learned how to play, and her awkward attempts in her senior years clutched at my heart. She was terrified of brooms.

She and Robert got along extremely well. He adores animals and Mrs. Cat really became Mrs. Fat, very sleek and I think very happy. He will be heartbroken when he learns this news.

I still laugh at the memory of one near-disaster a few years ago when I was visiting. My brother had several lawn chairs and an old rocking chair on his back deck and one very sunny morning I was sitting with a coffee and Mrs. Cat settled in beside me, stretched out to her full length on the very hottest spot that she could find.

My elderly Mom came out with her coffee and was just about to sit in the rocking chair -- which she loved -- when I saw that, naturally, Mrs. Cat had arranged herself such that her tail extended under not one, but both of the rockers.

I yelped and Mrs. Cat, likely terrified, was off the deck in a single bound, just as my mother sank into her chair, sending the rockers forcefully rolling back exactly where Mrs. Cat's tail had been. That could have been extremely unpleasant. Especially for the poor cat!

My brother Robert is a truck driver and was on the road this week, so I don't know yet now long Mrs. Cat had been sick. My younger brother Kelly found her yesterday lying outside, very ill and shaking. He wrapped her in a blanket and tucked her inside because he had to take my mother to see her cardiologist about heart tests result (thank God, all is well on that front.) But when he returned an hour later, Mrs. Cat was dead. It's not clear what the cause was.

I'm glad I had the chance to know her, at least for a short while.

Comments (20)

Oh Sandra, I'm so sad to read this. Bless her little heart. I can imagine how sad your brother will be. But I'm so glad that she did have a home and someone to take care of her for part of her life after the hard times she had early on.

I'm glad to hear the good news about your mom.

sandrac:

Thanks very much, Annie. It is nice to remember that she had a very happy home for at least part of her life!

And, lest I sound hard-hearted about my mother, her tests are done regularly so it wasn't an emergency -- but understandably, she and my brother couldn't stay to take care of Mrs. Cat.

I'm so sorry about Mrs Cat, but that you have your memories of her to be grateful for. I'm sure she was grateful for all your brother did for her over the last few years too.

VickyP:

Remember how the "house cat" at Taverna del Fori Imperiali jumped on your lap? I think you said you were either allergic or hated cats...and that they always gravitated towards you. And now this story about Mrs. Cat and her having stretched out next to you made me laugh.

Your brother did a great thing with Mrs. Cat--I hope he feels good about it. My condolences to him.

Barb Cabot:

Sandra, I'm sure you made her life most wonderful. These losses are so very difficult. We love our little furry pals. RIP Mrs. Cat.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs. Cat. After all her past hardships, it sounds like she found a really loving home with your brother and your family and she was able to enjoy her life in the end. And that is a wonderful thought. I'm sorry that your brother will have to come home to the sad news.

I'm glad to hear the good news about your mom too.

Take care,

Sandra, So sad to read your entry, but glad you had the chance to get to know Mrs. Cat.

Kudos to your brother in taking care of all our feline friends who seem to be forgotten. menehune

sandrac:

Thanks TS, it is comforting to remember the sweet and funny moments our animal friends have given us!

Hi Vicky, I had forgotten about the Rome trattoria cat!!! I actually like cats very much BUT I do have allergies to them. So I can visit with a cat, but after more than few days in close company my allergies really flare up. I doubt that I'll ever be able to live with a cat, so it makes visits with them all the more special!

Thanks Barb, we all tried to give her a good home to try and make up for a past that couldn't have been very nice.

Hi Kathy, it really bothers me that she was alone and sick for probably a few days before she died.And I think that's going to really trouble Robert -- we'll just have to focus more on how much fun Mrs. Cat must have had running his life in her final years.

Thanks menehune, my brother really, really loves animals. It's one of his many great qualities.

Sandra,
I am so sorry. I am very glad , however, that after what sounds like hard years for her, she found a home and the love she deserves. Your brother has a great heart.

dana:

I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs. Cat. Her time with your brother sounds like it was wonderful.

Mindy:

Sandra,

I'm so sad right now. Mrs. Cat, may she rest in peace and now have fun being a kitten at Rainbow Bridge. She's running around and will never live in fear.

thanks for people like your brother who showed her love and compassion. My condolences to your brother.

Mindy

Nim:

Sandra,

I'm so very sorry about Mrs Cat.

sandrac:

Candi, Dana, thanks so much.

Mindy, that's a beautiful thought, that M. Cat is a kitten and won't have to be afraid ever again.

Nirmala, welcome home! When you feel up to it, give me a call.

Hello from Athens

Sorry to hear about Mrs. Cat! Thank goodness Robert was able to bring some hapiness into her life - even if it was far shorter than anyone would have wanted.

sandrac:

Thanks so much, Jerry.

I hope Athens is fascinating -- I'm going over to your blog now to see how things are going there!

nancyhol:

Oh, Sandra, I am so sorry to read about Mrs. Cat.

I know you and your brother will remember the happy times she brought you.

Sandra,

I am so sorry to read about Mrs. Cat. I am sure she appreciated the love your brother showed her over the years she shared her life with him and although she died alone, she was given some tender loving care by your younger brother her final day, which I am sure was very much appreciated.

I am also glad to hear all is well with your mother.

Sandra, I am so sorry to hear about Mrs. Cat. She looks like the twin sister to my son’s cat, Tux; she probably already met him in kitty heaven. My heart goes out to you and especially to your brother.

Anne:

Sandra, I am just reading this now and my heart goes out to you. What a beautiful story though, of taking in this stray cat and giving her a loving home. Your words remind me of a phrase I heard recently: "the haunt of grace". I choose to believe that, in the end, Mrs. Cat went out with grace and peace.

(Interesting to hear she was afraid of brooms too...my Winston is the same way! I will now be reminded of Mrs. Cat each time Winston scurries away from the broom.)

sandrac:

Thank you Nancy, and Girasoli, I appreciate your kind words.

Maria, tuxedo cats are so beautiful aren't they?

Anne, thank you for that beautiful thought!

I wonder if Winston will ever get over his fear of brooms? Poor guy! Maybe Polly can help him relax!

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