Friday, November 22, 2019

It's Tough Being Adored

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

I have been lucky to have a string of wonderful cats. In fact, I came across a saying just yesterday:  "No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat." They were all special, but one stands out:  Fred.  He was my son. My little prince.  My sweet puppy boy. I adored him from the day I first saw him at Pet Smart. It took me five months to convince Mr. L to finally let me have him. (The store stipulated that he MUST be adopted with his brother, which is why they were both there for THIRTY-NINE WEEKS.)

Unfortunately, George didn't work out. He was a runt, but he was also a bully. He attacked the other cats, and even I was bitten (and my thumb started to turn black), but when he viciously attacked our Betsy, that was the last straw. He had to go. (And believe me, it was a tearful decision. We'd never had a cat failure.) Luckily, Mr. L's cousin's best friend was looking for a cat. George went to live in Buffalo and the minute he saw Cindy, it was love at first sight. He's still with her and he has not only tolerated her other cats, but been best buddies.  Go figure. (We learned the hard way that five cats strains the system.)

After George left, Fred became my boy. He was the most cheerful cat on the planet. All I had to do was look at him and he would purr. He loved for me to throw him over my shoulder and dance. He came when I called him. He wasn't much of a lap cat, but he'd sit with me for at least five minutes every evening. I loved that cat with all my heart and he loved me. I'm still broken-hearted that we lost him to kidney disease 20 months ago.

But loving Fred did not prepare me for Emma.

We got Emma and her sister nine months ago after 11 sad months of being catless. Not that we didn't look for cats. We looked for cats all the time visiting shelters and pet stores. None spoke to us. We wanted babies, because all of our previous cats had been elderly and we didn't want to lose new ones for at least a couple of decades. (We had three cats that lived to be 20.) One of my readers fosters cats.  She told us about Poppy and Emma.

At first, Emma was aloof and Poppy was the lover. (She still is, but on HER terms.) It took Emma a while to warm up to us. She's only now learning to be a lap cat (and it seems ONLY when I'm sitting in the family room editing the day's work. Go figure.)  But over the summer, Emma decided that I am her human. She is with me at least 22 hours of the day. She sits beside me (in the other chair) in my office. If I get up, she gets up. She follows me like a puppy. If she's out of sight and I call, she immediately comes running.  At night, she sleeps either at my feet, or next to my pillow.

Lately, we noticed that the normally silent Emma only talks when I go into the kitchen. For the rest of the day, she's as quiet as a mouse. Here's a video I took of her just yesterday.

I often feel sorry for Mr. L because Emma snubs him. Just yesterday, I walked into his office (which adjoins mine) and Emma walked past him (on his desk) to jump to his other office chair, climbed on top and begged me to make a fuss of her. She would love it if I made a fuss of her 24/7 telling her what a beauty she is and how much she's loved.

Yeah, she (and her sister) is a keeper.

Have you ever had a very special cat?


Tom Burns said...

We lost our 15 yr old cat Finnegan a couple of months ago. We really miss him. He had an incredible range of vocalizations and would actually talk to you.
We still have his littermate, Flannegan, and we recently acquired a Maine Coon kitten, Harrigan, to keep the number of cats in the house constant. Our other two cats are Gilligan and Mulligan.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I'm so sorry to hear you lost Finnegan. They take a little piece of our hearts with them.

Meg85242 said...

My Mamacita passed over January 2018. I still miss her greatly. She was always with me. She watched over me through my chemo treatments.
My son brought home a kitten a year ago and he has been a joy. His name is Phred and he talks and snuggles, and can be VERY demanding when he wants his "Phred time"! He looks just like my Mamacita and has many of her personality traits. ❤

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I'm so sorry you lost Mamacita, but happy to hear you have a new companion. What a great name!

Lee Rowan said...

This will sound a little crazy, but I think George had one job: make sure Fred went to YOU. He had (as Tolkien might say) another path of his own to follow. But he had to get Fred to YOUR home and the only way to do that while your Mr made up his stubborn mind was to get into that "pair adoption" hookup.

It wasn't a failure. He got where he needed to be. And so did you and Fred.

I hear more weird stories about how cats get to their soul-mate humans... and that's exactly what this sounds like.

Yes, I am weird.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

Thanks, Lee. I like to think that Fred was my kitty soulmate. We had this wonderful connection, and George didn't even look back when we tried to bid him farewell. I guess you're right. He was where he was meant to be, and Cindy is lucky to still have him to this day. I sure wish Fred had had a little longer on the planet. I will never get over losing him. He was not perfect, but he was my tiny son.

P.S. You are not weird. I've always listened to your wisdom.