Posts Tagged "cats"

Things come full circle

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Things come full circle

About one year ago, my family and I said farewell to an old friend of ours. Our cat, Jake, who had been with us for fifteen years, died of old age as her heart failed. I posted the blog post on Oct. 24, 2011, and the one-year anniversary of that post is in just two days. This post is meant to be an homage to Jake’s fond memory through new, happy news. It seems that, for me and my family, things have truly come full circle. The two momma cats. Just under a month ago, my Dad came home to find a pair of sister mother cats and their respective litters of kittens–6 in total–hiding under the cabin in the lower lot. For a man who loves cats as much as my father, this was a pleasant surprise. For about a week, he took good care of those cats and kittens. He fed them and cleaned up after them, gave them a roof over their heads and gave them all the love and attention they could ask for. I went down to visit and was getting ready to decide which kitten would come home with me. The decision was impossible–six sweet kittens, and all of them with their own lovable traits. Absolutely impossible. Just under a week later, the cats vanished without a trace. We were all devastated and concerned. Maybe something got to the kittens, or the mothers moved them somewhere else. I hadn’t decided which kitten to give a home to, but I was excited about the prospect of another cat in the house. Regardless of this, the safety of the cats and kittens was our foremost concern. My parents searched for a few weeks, but to no avail. As time stretched on, we began to lose hope that we would see them again. Nonetheless, my parents kept up the search. One day, without warning, the mother cats came back, alone. Dad caught wind of people adopting the kittens, which made me happy but a bit sad. I was happy they got homes, but obviously, sad that I couldn’t be the person to give them one. Dad started feeding the cats and they hung around outside the house, giving the place a new life it hadn’t seen since Jake died. The night the mother cats returned, I had a dream. I dreamt that the cats appeared at my parents’ house, with one of the kittens in tow, and that I took that kitten home with me. That kitten was orange and white, like four of the six kittens in the litter were. It wasn’t a strange dream to have, to be honest; I was already thinking about the cats so of course I dreamed of them. I woke up and told Dad about my dream, then, to my surprise, discovered that he had the exact same dream. That night, my phone rang. I answered, and my Dad, on the other end, frantically relayed a message that the cats appeared as Mom was on her way up to town… with two kittens in tow. I couldn’t believe it! But then, he told me that they had flea collars on, so they obviously belonged to someone. He asked me for advice so I, without being able to hide my disappointment, suggested that he call around. He said that he would and he would get back to me. Not long after, my husband and I were sitting down to have supper when my dad called back. The kittens, it seemed, belonged to the neighbors, and as did the mother cats. It certainly explained why they were over so often! The good news, then, was that they would be visiting, considering they were indoor-outdoor cats and, well, they were just next door. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of disappointment as I hung up the phone. The cats had homes, and they were nearby. I should have been happy. I never thought I’d see those cats or kittens again, and they were just next door, and, it seemed, more...

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Goodbye to an old friend.

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Goodbye to an old friend.

Losing family isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter what relation they are to you: if they are gone, they leave behind a hole in your heart that can never really be filled up again. Not all family members are blood family. In fact, not all of them are even human. Yesterday, we lost a very dear family member: our cat, Jake (short for Jaqueline), who had been with us for fifteen years. She was old, and her heart couldn’t take the strain anymore. There was nothing we could do and she wasn’t in pain, she was just weak. So, Mom and Dad brought her home for the last time. She died very quietly and peacefully yesterday morning, to the sound of water from the open window. We buried her later that day in Alma, near a spot by our house where she used to go mousing. She was an indoor-outdoor cat, and she loved to hunt. She also loved us. Jake was very much a people cat. Her best friend was my father, whose nose she would bat with her paw in the morning to wake him up. She would follow him everywhere like a loyal dog and would scold him if he left for too long. She had a very big personality and was vocal; Jake’s thoughts were never a question, and she certainly didn’t need any words to let her opinions be heard. I’ll never forget the last night I saw her. It was just the other night, in fact, after they had brought her home from the vet. She was so weak, and she couldn’t move more than a few steps without getting tired. I approached her and saw her lying in her basket, staring off in the distance. When she heard my footfalls, her head popped out of the basket to meet my eyes. She greeted me with one of her classic meows, as if to say “You’re here! You came! I’m so glad to see you!”, and she didn’t sound hoarse at all, even though she was so weak. She didn’t give any hint to how tired she was with those meows. They sounded reminiscent to the older days, when I would come home from school or work or university, and she would greet me the same way. I patted her and she gave the same happy purrs she would when she was healthy. I’ll miss the sound of her purring. It was how I could tell which cat had just jumped on the foot of my bed when it was dark. Her brother, Mira, didn’t have quite as distinct a purr as Jake’s. Mira left us many years ago, a very sick cat. Jake was healthy up until about a month ago, when her heart started to fail her. She was responsive until the end, though, and her eyes would dart about wide and alert the whole time, as if she didn’t want to miss a moment of it. Jake wasn’t just family, she was a friend. She always knew me, even when I left for many months for university, and always greeted me the same way when she saw me: the same as when she saw me the other night. Some people would think it strange to mourn the loss of a pet so strongly, but I don’t believe that. You don’t need words to build a lasting bond. You don’t need to speak the same language to miss the sound of someone’s voice, or to be understood. In fact, sometimes the lack of language makes the communication that much stronger. It eliminates the need for words altogether. Sometimes it can make the bond that much deeper. So, thank you, Jake. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for always being so vocal. And thank you, especially, for holding on until we could see you at the very end, and purring the whole time. Thank you for that one last fond memory I have and will never forget. To finish, I’m going to add in a poem that my father, Allan Cooper,...

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