I found your “farm animal” catnip toy yesterday. For the first time since we parted I was able to smile. It was fun to remember you carrying it around the house while you spoke in tongues and looked for us in your anxious moments of separation. You were so cute, embarrassed to be seen in a desperate moment of needing humans. Not the usual look of one of God’s most successful predators. It’s been cleaned up and I took a needle and thread to the hole in its back where you chewed through to get to the nip.
The catnip in your backyard has begun to flower. You did an awesome job getting the seed from one little plant spread around last year. Catnip is coming up EVERYWHERE: in the raspberry bushes, under the deck, between the deck stairs, in my ice plant, the purple cone flowers, the dianthus, spirea, everywhere. Some of the stalks are so tall you could have found shade behind them or a new hiding place from those obnoxious Magpies who had the nerve to visit your yard in the first place. You did yourself proud, it is a shame you aren’t here to enjoy your bumper crop. If you could work some magic, send somebody by who could use a little pick-me-up, just so long as it is not a mountain lion.
The house has been terribly quiet. We miss your persistent whining, snoring in your sleep, and the occasional swear words uttered when you found yourself underfoot. I haven’t hit the deck stumbling over your speed bump of a body lying on the dark rug in the dark night. I secretly crave the feel of your silky fur on the skin of my feet or to find one of my slippers in some off location.
My free time has opened up. I no longer have you plunking yourself down in the middle of the floor for one of the 30 or so daily massages you squeezed out of me. I find myself ready for the day on time or even early. Yet I would give my tail to see you again shoot up the stairs like a bullet, run to that favored spot to fall over, and give that look which said, “Well, what’s the hold-up?”.
Both of us are terribly sorry you had such a rough go as you began to ‘pack-up’ to leave. Rand saw the changes in you before I did. Truthfully, I wanted to hide behind a curtain of denial. You had stopped playing with thing on the end of a string and showed zero interest going outside with me in the mornings. You had stopped cleaning up the dry kibble we left for your overnight munchies. The last of it was thrown in the trash, I know you wouldn’t have wished that awful prescription diet on any of the neighborhood cats who had the nerve to hang out or pass through your yard. I did you a solid.
You were a great cat, Tabatha. Unlike most of your species, you loved unconditionally, especially when we ate ice cream and with the exception of our feeble attempts to clip those talon like claws. There was rarely a time when you were not willing to show love to us, generous with your head bumps, one of my favorite ways to be woken up.
We miss having you hold us down in our laps, greeting us at the door when we come home to then fall over on your side in submission following with a steady murmur of purring. You left us with many happy memories. We are grateful you chose us, sorrowful at your passing. The place you reside in our hearts is yours to have forever.
All our love,
Janet and Rand