Monday, June 28, 2010

Shifting Gears For A Moment . . .

Okay, I don’t mean to bring anyone down, but I lost a wonderful friend last week. I debated whether to even post this, but I feel I owe it to her for every great minute she gave me.

Some of you know that the Queen of Fairview, my special cat Lucy, died last week. Rather than dwell on her last days, which were heartbreaking for me and not at all good for her, I’d like to mention what made her so fabulous.

She was smart. That Lucy, she figured out how to open the interior doors in the house except for the pocket doors to the bathrooms. You couldn’t have a private moment in there either—she’d come and pound on the door until you let her in.

She was attracted to shiny things. She’d “borrow” jewelry, hair clips, paper clips, etc., play with them for a while and then move on. I once searched for a gold ring for days before I found it under the recliner.

She loved a good high. Lucy on catnip was great fun. She wasn’t tidy about it but she always demanded and got tuna for her munchies.

She was funny. I’d be standing in the kitchen, and she’d walk in and yell at me, then run away again, daring me to chase her. I’d catch her, scoop her up into my arms and cover her face with kisses and let her go. Then she’d twine around my ankles and start the game all over again.

She never clawed the furniture. She was the first cat who ever owned me who actually used all the scratching posts I bought for her.

She kept me company. Lucy would sit in her office chair while I wrote, hour after hour, content to be with me, never bored. She’d sleep, I’d work, and didn’t mind that the dog wandered in an out.

She was so loving. Now and then she’d wake up, jump on the desk and tap my arm with her paw to give me a straight-on look of love so meaningful, I’d always stop to hug her. At night, she’d jump on the bed after I turned out the light and flop against me to let me know she’d arrived, and she’d begin her bath.

She was elegant. While the dog and my other cat Josie think the laser pen is a lot of fun, Lucy never bothered. At first I thought she might not be able to see the red dot, perhaps due to some kind of color blindness. Then I realized she could see it just fine—she’d lift her chin and look away with haughty disdain for those so easily amused.

And she was an elegant lady to her last moment. When she reached the end of her thirteen years, with shaking hands I sewed Lucy into a linen pillowcase I’d once embroidered with my initials on it. I hired the landscape guy to dig a three-foot-deep hole in the back flower bed, and some kind friends and I gathered to lay her to rest. I have lost people in my life (who hasn’t?) and losing her was every bit as hard. Aside from the consolation of knowing her all those years—still too few—I also know where she sleeps with a lovely garden angel watching over her.

Oh, but I miss her. I will miss her for a very long time.

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