December 27, 2014    IMAG0064

There will be no more life lessons from Little Cat on the blog. Sadly, she passed away on my lap last Sunday morning, while I stroked her fur, talked to her and offered her every enticement I could think of to postpone  that last journey.  Alas, she could not.  A neighbor helped me bury her in the backyard near the garden, under a shrub where she often enjoyed refuge  from the summer heat.

She was really my son’s cat, if one can be said to own a cat.  He found her in an animal shelter – a one-week-old, six ounce ball of white fluff – almost fifteen years ago.  When we bought the house, three years later, she became our cat, even though she lived downstairs with him.  And last year, when he moved to California by motorcycle, he left her with me out of respect for her advancing age and she became my cat.

On the whole, it was a mutually beneficial relationship.  I provided her with food, shelter and a clean litter box; she helped keep my blood pressure in check by allowing me to stroke her fur and scratch her ears while we watched TV together in the evening and made this large house seem less empty by feigning rapt attention to my one-sided conversations.

Over this last week, though, I was a little surprised at how many accommodations I’d made to this friendship once I no longer had to make them, how routine they had become and how little bother most of them had really been, in the grand scheme of things.

For example, I could leave the library door open, knowing she wouldn’t climb into my favorite, nubby-textured chair to scratch her back by rolling around in it, leaving it covered in a tangled film of long white hairs.

I could walk down the hallway without fear of stepping on her, as she dashed between my feet to see where I was going and whether there might be food involved.

And, I could finally move the big container with my spinach and lettuce to those spots where it would get the most sunlight in my back room garden, rather than a place where she couldn’t jump into it  because she was certain I’d given her a box full of dirt – complete with a carpet of grass-like stuff – for her to sleep in.

I also realized, she probably had her own list of accommodations that she’d made over this year. (She did finally eat most of those dreadful cans of  cat food I bought, when I couldn’t remember her favorite brand.   She did catch several mice that wandered into the back room, last winter, even when I kept snatching them up in a paper towel and rudely tossing them out the back door while she was still playing with them.  She did help me cement several good friendships over this last year with her charming ways.  And she did accept that, though I was only a poor human and not  a superior species such as a cat, I was a worthy friend.)

So I suppose, dear readers, that is Little Cat’s final life lesson for us all – that the larger part of any good friendship is  mutual accommodation to our differences, whether you’re a cat or a human.

Happy new year, everyone.



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6 Responses to Friendships

  1. Patty says:

    Beautifully written as always and a loving tribute at the passing of a friend. Thank you!

  2. Silvia TIC says:

    Sorry to hear that Linda…at least she passed on your lap and with your love and not isolated or suffering.
    I have two old cats (if I believe the shelter where I adopted them from, they are now 18 years old!) and can’t stand at the thought they will eventually pass away. My garden is too small to bury them and I wouldn’t be allowed either as I live in a townhouse. This is one of those thoughts we try to push away and “to the future” (same as climate change and collapse) because they are too heavy to think through…
    My deep condolences: I know what cats do to your life. Hope you find a new friend soon, although we never forget those who left

    • pendantry says:

      Add my condolences, too. It’s not nice to lose a friend.

    • theozarker says:

      Yes, it would have really haunted me if I’d not been able to be with her. And I’m glad I could bury her here at home. It was comforting.
      They really do change your life. Hopefully this spring I can get out to the shelter and find another friend – though I’ll never forget Little.
      I hope, when it is their times, your cats will have an easy crossing, too. And you will find comfort for having taken them into your life. Big hug.

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