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.