A few entries ago, Katie Isabella asked, in relation to my time spent holding Tucker at the kitchen window, what sort of rituals I may have had with my cats who have gone on ahead.
It’s funny how habits with some cats are clearly defined, but with others, their presence seems too pervasive to allow for specific routines. That’s how it was with Tungsten. It may have been because she was my first cat, and she had me to herself for a year and a half before another cat joined the family. Tungsten and I were always together: she would meet me at the door when I came home from work; she would curl up in my hand - or between my legs - at bed-time; we would play together; she would wait on the bathmat while I showered. Our lives were inseparable - until it was time for them to separate - so there was no special ritual to recall; our lives were the ritual.
Bear-Bear - the BB - wasn’t with me long, compared with the others. But he loved talking to me. He was very loquacious and wanted to discuss everything. “Raa”, he would say, or “rao.” His tone was always conversational, and cheerful. I liked talking to my long-cat. I valued that he wanted to talk to me.
Cammie had quite the repertoire, but our special moment would often come when she jumped onto the bed at night, walked across me, then turned back and lie across my neck. She would instantly start purring, and I would stroke her back. I could feel her heart beat, and maybe she could feel my pulse. Even after she went blind, she would climb up the stairs to the bed, and lie across my neck. My princess.
Parker and I, as Katie guessed, loved our walks outside together. Those were very special times for us. He’d allow me to put his harness on him - though sometimes he was so eager to go that he couldn’t stand still - and we’d be off on our adventure. It was a mild adventure, but we enjoyed it. Puck would would talk as we ambled, telling the world that he was outside. He would stop to speak with his admirers; we would sit on the grass or on the warm concrete of a sidewalk, and I’d point out things that might interest him. He would purr the whole while.
Raleigh had a number of adorable habits, but, though I delighted in them, his scratching at the corner of wooden furniture when hungry, and his sitting bolt upright when he wanted more food were just second nature to him. Our lap-times were enjoyable but what we both looked forward to were his chest-rubs. After snacks, in the evenings (rarely after dinners), I would clear away the dishes and come into the sitting room. Peachy would amble over, let me pet him for a moment, then topple over. I would rub his chest as hard as I could; he would close his eyes and purr.
As for Josie, my old lady was, like Tungsten, all encompassing in my life. She always seems to have been there, so everything she did was our time. She was like the housekeeper who had been employed in the home so long, she had become a partner in its welfare. But she did love her chin-rubs, and I tried to make sure there was a moment in each day for that. Sometimes she’d ask first: I’d be at my desk and I’d hear a re-arrangement of old cat bones. Sure enough, my Chubs had lie down in her saddle-topped cat-tree and was looking at me expectantly. It was impossible then not to stop what I was doing and spend our time together.
These moments are not always the ones that stand out in greatest relief when my mind’s eye reviews the monuments of my memories. There are sometimes other reminiscences, some bad, most good, that show themselves more strongly. But these are the moments that helped create the bonds that I had, and have, with my cats. They are our lives and times.
we N joyed thiz post guyz; lurnin a wee bit mor bout each of eweReplyDelete
and dad picked out grate fotoz az well ♥♥♥♥♥
Another, beautiful post, John. I think "bittersweet" best describes it. I'm always amazed at how well you know your cats, and knowing them well is important. As long as we keep the cats we have lost in our hearts and memories, they are never truly gone.ReplyDelete
Cats certainly train us to enjoy their company in so many different ways.ReplyDelete
Such a sweet post about those beautiful memories!ReplyDelete
It is nice to remember those that have gone before us.ReplyDelete
I loved learning more of their personalities and their preferences. Each had a distinctive personality. I enjoyed learning some facets of their personalities and how they interacted with you and their siblings as well. Each had a time that they could claim as their very own with you. Something they could look forward to, expect, and enjoy. They always give back. It takes someone who sees them as they really are. Unique, loyal, loving to a fault sometimes (but I'm not complaining) and beautiful, peaceful companions. I'm starting a blog here...sorry. Thank you for taking time to speak of them all. I never met Tungsten. Or Bear-Bear. Good to see them and learn their ways. P.S. I intuited that Josie was like that. I called it!ReplyDelete
Kitties as diverse as the furs that they have and that we can identify them with. Thanks for sharing them with us.ReplyDelete
Those were a lot of special memories, unique to each cat's habits and relationship to you. I enjoyed reading about each and every one. Thank you for them.ReplyDelete
It is the same here. Skeeter was a Mighty Mouser and slept under the blankets; LC was devoted to him and she would curl up next to her protective Big Brother at any opportunity. Ayla talked to me constantly and liked going outside to hunt mice. Iza also talked a lot, but was a dedicated lapcat, she was seldom far from me, and slept draped over my hip. Marley is much like Skeeter was (I think it's an orange/white male cat thing). Laz is talkative, a mouser, and sleeps on the blankets but pressed against me like a cinder block.
The differences are wonderful in both past and present. I have never regretted having one or more cats in my life. And even better, I think they all feel/felt the same.
As individual as people, and twice as pleasant to know.Delete
I really enjoyed reading about the different ways the cats enjoyed your company. Eric and Flynn always wanted to be close to me indoors. Flynn would have told you he never went on the countertops. I had my laptop case on it nest to the PC so he would curl up on it. Strictly speaking he was not on the counter surface! Eric would lie across the computer desk and I usually ended up using my leg as a mouse pad.ReplyDelete
Of course when Ivor came in and sat in his chair, Eric would desert me and claim his lap.
I've seen pictures of your boys on your computers. How you ever got any work done is a wonder to me.Delete
Since you've had so many cats living with you over the years, and some of them together at the same time, certainly has allowed for you to see their different interactions with yourself. The thing about the ginger cats, I find them to be the most talkative. I've had orange cats of my own, and my neighbors, and the ones that I currently meet on the bike path all seem to be very talkative just like your Big Bear and Parker. I always enjoy knowing how other humans get along with their cats and the different habits that come along. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I like Roberta's comment; you've written another poignant post, John. I, too, am always amazed at how well you know your cats.ReplyDelete
I still don't know what Derry might want when he "talks" to me, because to my ear, most (not all) of his sounds are so similar. Food? Treats? Cuddles? Of course I get the message when he sits by the food bowl or in the kitchen. LOL. I certainly knew Nicki's "I'm up to no good" voice, though! He used it often. :-D
It is always nice to read about all the cats.ReplyDelete
They all have different purrsonalities and quirks and mum and I enjoyed reading about these special cats :)
Cats do leave pawprints on your heart.
People who don't live with cats have no idea of how quirky and individual they all are. It's one of those things that makes their company so interesting. And as you suggested, John, they are company far superior to most humans.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for sharing this bits and pieces of life with each of these very distinct felines. They seem ever present at times and then when they have the mood disappear. Timmy liked when I put my fingers around his neck as he lay on his back. I would say "Grrrr" and shake him from side to side. He would try and reach down and bite to grab the web of my hand between thumb and finger. We were both pretty animated when he was young and we did this for years when he would run into the bedroom or on the floor. He would kick, hard too, but never a claw. As he aged it got to be a rub under the chin with his eyes closed and a loud purr. What great memories we haveReplyDelete
Thank goodness for the memories. I have to remind myself that my beasts are aging, and can't do what they once did.Delete
What a sweet post John. All of your cats that have gone ahead have been loved deeply and in return loved you too, no matter how long they were with you. You bring their personalities to life in your words for all of us and I feel I knew them too.ReplyDelete
What beautiful remembrances. I am paraphrasing but Mitch Albom had a quote about sharing stories as a way to remember our departed loved ones, and I for one am in total agreement. I think to keep their memories alive we share stories, even ones we may have shared before to keep those special moments from being lost. I can see as I age how much memories mean even more the older I get.ReplyDelete