When I was growing up we had Twinkie, a gray and white tom. And there was Mo, named after Ringo Starr’s wife at the time, a tortoiseshell—the cat, not the wife. We also had the twins: Kirby and Scott, named after a popular DJ in Baltimore back in the 60s. Kirby and Scott were eventually adopted.
But it’s not like having your own kitties. Like having your own home.
There were to be no cats in my married life until Heather got sick and her father promised her anything when she got better. “I want a kitten.” Enter Bert the tabby. More than 30 years later, Heather has a tabby named Ernie. Thereby completing the famous duo.Then there was Sasha, a lovely Persian who we finally gave to my mom.
By the time Bert was elderly and ill, Heather was in college and I was divorced but ready to marry a burly gentle cop with heart issues. He went with me for Bert’s last vet visit and when I told him that Bert went to sleep peacefully, he said, “I hope they’re that good with me.” They weren’t.
After he died, I came home to an empty house and everyone told me I needed a cat. I went to a coworker’s farm to look at new orange tabby kittens and one hopped on my lap. I’d been chosen. Heather named him after one of her favorite bands, Motley. During Motley’s tenure, Heather came home from college. While living with me, she took a female cat away from a friend who never got her spayed. The poor thing didn’t even have a real name…just “Kitty”…and kept having litter after litter. “Give me that damn cat,” said my daughter. When we took her to get spayed…yep, she was with kittens.
Heather kept some of the kittens and adopted out the rest and of course, we kept Miss Kitty (after Gunsmoke’s famous bar owner), now spayed.I eventually got one of Miss Kitty’s sons, Murray, my big gray and white wussy cat. Motley and Murray lived together in loving harmony. And then Motley developed liver cancer and at the age of 9, he went for his last vet visit. Heather and I were devastated. “If I’m going to take a life, I’m going to save a life,” I said.
We went to the local shelter and found Huusker, an odd name but a great tabby. He was four when we rescued him and that was in 1998. He’s had a long, loving life, my Huusker-do. And as I write this, he is sleeping his last sleep, so deep he doesn’t flick an ear or eye, just long deep breaths.
No one will be able to take his place. But, now that I’m married and living with a loving man and a new dog, there are other kitties around me, along with my Murray. Callie, our 17 year old indoor/outdoor and Lenny, the polydactyl long hair who bolts outside and stays out as long as he can. There are the barn kitties, Momma Cat, a tortoiseshell and Bluie a gray stripedy boy—both will soon be neutered.
My life in cats will continue…hopefully for a long time. And at the end I know they will be waiting for me on the other side of The Rainbow Bridge..