why Flashlight pulled a Fergie Sunday morning...yup, you read correctly. She climbed up on to the couch, right beside me. Whoo hoo, I thought, finally I will cuddle my cat in quasi-public. No more rumors that this bitchy cat doesn't like me. People will see that she does! Then, she scratched and dropped her butt to the couch and tried to pee! Yes, again you've read correctly. I grabbed her before too much could ...uh, spill (?). Thank God for Ikea slipcovers - off, into the wash and back on the now-cleaned couch in less than an hour. I'm still a little flabbergasted at the incident. She gave me a filthy look as I picked her up and tossed her onto the floor - gently, mind you. She is an older lady, you know but where do you buy kitty Depends? We think that she's pissed off (ha ha ha yes, I did say that out loud ha ha ha) because our old nemesis, the stray cat known as Matou is back, peeing on our front door and driving Pablo & Lightie to distraction. Bastardo! This mangy, old cat looks better and better every time he appears in our driveway. He'll disappear for more than a year, only to reappear the next spring. If he was one of neighbours, I'd think that he was incarcerated for some petty offence and 'got sprung' for spring.
Saint Pat's day has come and gone. At least we no longer mourn our beloved Bert, lost on this day 7 years ago. Our sailing, tennis-playing wild cat who taught himself how to use the toilet and who gave us such intense and unwavering love during his time with us. His feet had been crushed and never mended properly. I used to cuddle him when it was cold and hold those broken little feet in my hands to keep them from cramping. He'd purr, in thanks. When one of the boys would be 'in trouble and sent to their room, I'd catch Bert sneaking in to comfort them, like a gentle brother, a kind friend.
When we moved here, we discovered that we had a nest of raccoon cubs who entertained me (but drove some others to heinous acts). Bert would join them on the sloping barn roof, watching my boys and their friends play in the yard, usually around dusk. Bert would beam as he sat alongside his wild cousins, almost as if he was showing off his family. The 'coons would chirp, in conversation as they watched the human cubs and it was easy to imagine them asking the older 'coons questions ("Why do they run around like that? What is that white round thing that they're kicking about? What's a 'goal'? Oh look! the Big one has brought them snacks!") It's still one of my happiest memories of this house...
My neighbour was tired of the raccoons and complained that they were always in her garden (yeah, because I can control wild life!). A little rat poison and without warning, we were without our wonderful raccoon-babies...and our Bert. It was a long, drawn out death that I wouldn't wish on anyone and it broke our hearts to see him suffer so. At his burial, my sweet little (and ancient soul) son, K the younger urged us all to hold hands so that he could deliver an eulogy. "Dear God, please take care of Bert. He is very special to all of us here. You have to know something:Please listen. He was wild when he found us. He was sorta wild until the end. You kinda gotta like that in a guy". Through our tears, we smiled at each other, our little family. No better or more heart-felt eulogy was ever delivered. A life spent in loving is a life well lived.