Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My last cat

I was quite overwhelmed by all the sweet and sympathetic messages about Grace. I felt a little guilty, receiving all that kindness, when, in fact, my feelings about Grace's death were mixed. Don't misunderstand, she was a part of our family and I felt great sadness on losing her, but I also believed it was time and she had come to the end of a pretty great life for a cat. And I am ready to live without a cat, at least for now. Maybe Grace was our last cat.

We have had some wonderful cats in our family. I much prefer cats to dogs. They are lovely creatures. I used to love having a warm cat curled up next to me or stretched across my body while I napped or read. But several years ago when my allergies were really getting me down, I went to an allergist and was tested to find out what my sensitivities were. Pollens, cats, dogs. It hardly seems fair or very satisfying to have a cat that you can't comfortably share space with. I do love that there are neighborhood cats that hang out in our yard and sleep on the porch. A yard without a cat, seems rather empty.

There used to be a shop down the street from our house that had the most interesting stuff. The woman that owned it was rather eccentric, with wild and crazy hair. She had dark, tattooed lip liner and she never bothered to fill in any lipstick inside the lines, so that gave her quite a bizarre appearance, but I loved her shop. She had an eye for exactly the kinds of things I like. I bought many, many gifts from her shop, but never anything to keep for myself. When she was selling out, preparing to close, I decided I would see if she had something that I would love to have, just for me. It only took a moment to choose the Chinese cat above. He has kept watch over the goings on at our house for at least ten years. Not as warm as a real kitty, but he'll do for now.


  1. Hi Terri,
    I know exactly how you feel about losing your cat. I too am a cat lover but when we lost OUR last cat nearly a decade ago, we decided to go it alone as a pet-free household. Now that we're retired, we travel more, and we also have two houses to deal with. We've never had a cat that didn't hate the car, and simply not having to deal with cat sitters, cat litter, cat fluff everywhere, and cat-allergic grandkids has made life so much easier that we have yet to regret our decision. I do love a good cat snuggle, but your lovely Chinese cat is a great substitute. I know you'll have your withdrawal moments, but there IS life after cats after all, no matter what we used to think.

  2. Grace was a beautiful cat, from looking at your photos. Also a lovely name, my grandmother's American name - I've always loved that one.
    So sorry for your loss. It's always difficult to lose a member of your family. I put my lost ones into quilts and that somehow makes happy when I look at them.

  3. I'm a dog person and just the thought of being without a dog terrifies me. We had a break of a couple of years after a particularly trying pair of vizslas. At my 6-year-old daughter's insistence we tried every imaginable rodent as a substitute and eventually got another dog. It's been dogs ever since.

    I love your Chinese cat, no litter required!

  4. This sculpture reflects so much of the sceptical and cautious nature of cats, their pride and independence. -- I couldn't get another cat either, I'm allergic, too. Funny how this can happen although I loved my cat so much.

  5. After Jinx left us I was resigned to let the two elder cats abide. A month after I had giving up looking (but not grieving) Sweetie fell into our lives and lifted my heart out of it's hole.

    Somehow they find you - even when you are not looking, so don't be shocked when a cat or kitten turns up in your life needing a home.

  6. I know what you mean about mixed feelings. Our shepherd is in much the same circumstances.

    A while back you wrote about choosing your interactions and being more mindful of how your time was spent. (You know - that little rant we all agreed with. :) )

    My dad just sent me an article about how psychologists had found that happy people were those who had substantive conversations rather than small talk and it reminded me of that.
    Here's the link:
    Interesting concept in an age of Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps they are the junk food of psychological nutrition?