One sure-fire way to tell something is up (and not a good sort of up) with my beloved cats is to see when I last updated my cat blog. I’ve had cats all my life and usually more than two at a time.
That’s a lot of cats!
It’s also a lot of laughs, a lot of love, and… sadly, a lot of loss. If I disappear from here for a few weeks, you can rest assured that a furry member of the family is involved.
One of the sweetest cats I’ve ever loved or had the pleasure of calling “family” was Hannah, pictured here. Most cats are sweet – in fact, all of my cats (well… maybe not Carly!) have been uncommonly sweet. Some (like Prissy, Queen Fatima, and Bo) were so sweet they’d all but leave sugar in their footsteps. Our inside cat, Alexa, is a total sweetheart. She also comes with a side of sass (after all, Carly was her mom, so how could she not?!)
Then there was Hannah. I can’t put my finger on it – and goodness knows I’ve tried – but she was the very definition of sweet. It oozed from her. She was also a bit of a clown and would gyrate into the most bizarre positions just to make me laugh. Then she’d lie on her back, purring, watching me laugh.
She was also kind of mischievous and, like all cat parents know, cats can be just like toddlers. I brushed her daily because she tended to shed quite a bit – plus she enjoyed it even more than I did, so it was a special time for both of us. It also made her hair extra shiny, which I loved… while it lasted.
Here’s where the mischievous streak came into play. I would brush her and, of course, tell her how beautiful she was, then she’d inevitably find the nearest pile of grass, gravel, or dirt and roll in it but good – seldom breaking eye contact with me. There she is doing her thing in the picture above.
She’d also love to torment people when they came in and out of our back door. She’d always lay on the top step and wouldn’t budge an inch for anyone but me. I’m pretty sure she only moved for me because she knew my coming and going was associated with food, water, and brushing.
Besides, she tormented me enough with the rolling.
I can picture all my family member’s gyrations as they tried to squeeze in and out of the door without disturbing her. I’m pretty sure that each time they twisted, wiggled in and sarcastically said, “Don’t let me disturb you, Hannah.” – she got a little kick out of the production and thought, “I win again.” She became VERY set in her ways in her golden years. As far as she was concerned, it was HER step and how dare anyone keep intruding on it.
Never-mind the fact I had her a big comfy chair, wooden “penthouse” complete with heated pad, and even a “tent.” She preferred the step – at least during the hours family was coming and going!
She also knew the sound and sight of my car as well as my husband’s. She’d sashay right in front of us as we were driving up the driveway. Then she’d stop. I’d have to get out of the car or come out of the house to pick her up and put her, sweetly, in her big comfy chair.
She was one of a kind and words can’t describe how much I miss her, her purring, or her antics.
(Continued beneath Hannah’s picture…)
She came into our life years ago – just when she and I needed one another the most. I’d just lost two also much-loved cats (Bo and Svenn) and was feeling about as down as down gets. She had been abandoned by a family that had just moved. Being jerks, they simply turned her out. At least we live in a rural area, so they didn’t turn her loose on a busy city street or anything.
I was sitting in the front yard and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a beautiful tuxedo cat with huge, beautiful green eyes. She was obviously scared and hungry and wanted to approach me but was – at the same time – afraid to do so.
I bolted inside for some leftover turkey and sat down on the grass near her. With enough “baby talk” and coaxing, she was soon in my lap eating turkey from my hand. I fixed her up a spot on the carport and offered her a forever home and endless love. She took me up on the offer.
The forever didn’t last nearly long enough.
On that first day, I noticed right away that she’d been de-clawed. When she played, her little front paws felt more like powder puffs than paws. She also had a few teeth missing – I din’t ask about those, I just pretended not to notice. I actually chose the name Hannah for her as I was running in for turkey. Hannah (in the Bible) received an answer to prayer and since this little tuxedo cat seemed like an answer to prayer, I thought the name fit perfectly.
I am so thankful to have had the many years I did with this beautiful little girl – but I’m not at all ashamed of being greedy enough to have wanted many more.
I’m also thankful that, on her last day with us, I was able to hold her and tell her how much I loved her. Funny, isn’t it, when we’re saying our “goodbyes” to a pet, we always tell them how good they were too, don’t we. I must have told her what a “good girl” she was a million times over her last few days.
This loss (just like previous losses) hurts and it hurts really bad. Anyone who has loved and lost a cat knows that the pain doesn’t just go away. You simply learn to hold the tears in until no one else is around.
Or until you’re writing a tribute to your “good cat” on your cat blog.
That’s why I’ve been putting off updating Cat Pause. I knew I’d see reminders of her absolutely everywhere – as well as her name and precious face. I guess, subconsciously, I put off working on my cat blog because I was waiting to return when I could do this without tears. My subconscious isn’t too smart.
I took the picture of Hannah, below, through the back door’s window – so it isn’t very clear. I looked outside that afternoon to see what Hannah was up to and she was sitting like that – looking right at the door. I looked around to try to figure out why she looked so bewildered and saw that a momma skunk and two babies were at Hannah’s food dish.
She DID NOT approve… even though she did think highly of their handsome colors.
(Final thoughts beneath the picture…)
The updates will come regularly now – in fact the next post is about something Hannah LOVED.
Cherish every minute you have with your cat(s). Play with them, pet them, and let them know how much they’re loved. Ironically, I have one (Alexa) demanding my attention right now… so you know what that means. It’s time to finish writing and begin playing.
Life isn’t the same without this funny little cat, but it wasn’t the same with her either. It was filled with a lot more love and laughter because of her and I’ll be forever thankful to God for bringing her into our lives and grateful to her for consenting to stay.
She’ll be in my heart forever…. rolling and purring.