Saturday, April 9, 2011

Feline friends

As you may notice, my Flickr photostream features cats. They are usually Derby & Beckham, my two male tabbies. Derby is 9 and Beckham is approaching 4. Their less photographed older sibling is Chipwich, a silky black & brown tabby. I initially named her Chipwich because her stomach had very distinctive black spots and they reminded me of the ice cream sandwich. She is 11 & has trouble jumping up to her water bowl. But she can move quickly - she has been a scaredy cat for 9 years and lives in fear of being caught. When caught, though, she will submit to petting and we try to scratch her back as well since she's 13 lbs & can't groom that well. Her legs are really short and "girth" is easily defined when looking at her. So I have two cats that are "geriatric" - many cats live until 18, but my childhood cats had thyroid problems & died around 14. And Beckham has changed from a kitten into a cat - he displays a lot less playfulness (which in many ways is great!) and is a sweet lovebug even more often. Luke told me that when we look for another cat after one passes, we can get a Maine Coon like my first (on my own) cat, Mischka. That cat will not be my Mischka. But it won't be a tabby. I am conflicted. I do want a fluffy, long-tailed cat full of personality. But I love the stalwart stolidness of the tabby. Writing this reminds me that while death is a horrible part of living, the world is so big & rather than constantly focusing on the loss, look forward. I will never forget that I asked the vet to put Mischka to sleep when she was suffering and watched her die. I will never forget the way the Mischka drooled on us when she sat on us & purred. I will never forget how the Mischka refused to give up her mama when Lil joined us - I can see her figuring out where to jump on my lap when I was nursing my "second" baby girl. I remember hearing horror stories about pets & new babies & knowing Mischka wouldn't be mad. When I had to put Lil in the bassinet or crib & Mischka was there & I had to remove her, she didn't get mad at me. She just waited for me to come back to bed so she could sit on me, her ultimate target. And drool.

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