Values for Living: Requiem for a small kitty | Columnists |

2022-05-27 23:43:09 By : Mr. lucy LU

In very early May, in the year 2012, my husband Robert, got his coffee and went out to his lawn chair.

In the completely closed up garage, he discovered something that was not there the night before. He called me to see what he had found. It was a long haired black and white cat. She was obviously pregnant. Someone had come in the middle of the night, opened our garage, put her in, and closed the door.

She lived in the garage for a few days since, of course, Robert was feeding her. We called her Lotus because her favorite place to sleep was Robert’s brother’s sports car, a Lotus. About mid-month we moved her to the screened porch so we would know when the babies came and where they were.

On May 14th, she gave birth to two little black and white boys. The first day I picked one of them up and it barely fit the palm of my hand. It made a tiny little, “Keek, keek!” sound. I said, “I’m really scared. I should put you down.” And from that day Lotus began to train her little boys.

We designated them Muffin and Dumplin. They were tuxedo kittens. Muffin had a full white chin that went into a white chest; Dumplin had what looked like a milk dribble that went into his tuxedo shirt.

One day, Dumplin peed a quarter sized puddle on the porch floor. Mama Lotus grabbed him up, put him in the litter box, and scolded him.

Then the day of the vole. Dumplin caught it and would not allow Muffin anywhere near it. Lotus however coached him on how to “play with your food before you eat it.”

Dumplin grew long silky hair and Muffin’s coat as plush and luxurious. Muffin went to live with friends in Indiana who called him Beardsley. Rascal (Dumplin) moved in with us..

About two years later, I was directing Bell, Book, and Candle for the RoundTown Players. A cat was called for in the script. Rascal was volunteered for the role of Piwacket. He did fine during rehearsals, but opening night he slipped his leash and went AWOL in the theater. It took the cast and crew over a half hour to find him. And by then his long silky fur was covered in dust, sawdust, and theater debris.

We cleaned him up in time for curtain, but all that mess transferred to my clothes. And I was the one who had to do the welcome/bathroom speech covered in that debris. He was a great trouper throughout the show and the audience enjoyed meeting him after curtain call.

Some of you dear readers may remember several years ago I wrote an article The Cat In The Blue Baby Onesie. To refresh your memory, Rascal had licked his belly raw. And a baby onesie seemed like the only way to keep him from making it worse. And it worked!

Over the years little Rascal and I developed a bond different from the other kitties. He had to have “Mommy Time” every day. Mommy Time consisted of Rascal jumping in my lap, putting his paws around my neck, rubbing his face all over mine, and then purring himself to sleep in my arms.

And then there was bedtime. He liked to sleep on my head and put a paw across my neck. And he would purr me to sleep.

Recently, my little Rascal became ill. No one seemed to know what was wrong. He lost weight, was dehydrated, and had diarrhea. (He always made it to the litter box. Because his mother scolded him, that one time, he never missed again.)

He left us nine days shy of his 12th birthday. Cats (dogs) give us 10-20 good years and one really rotten day, but it is 100% worth it.

Go to a shelter. Find a cat to own you. It will be worth it every single day.

A retired United Methodist pastor, Susan A. Perkins is a member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association.  

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