Because there are documented benefits to a regular practice of gratitude, I take Tuesdays to give thanks for all of the wonderful things in my life.
Today I am particularly thankful for my kitties and doggies. It is amazing how much joy they bring you and how hard it is when they leave us. We have them for such a short time.
My Peach cat, originally named Bruna because she looked like our cat Bruno but quickly renamed Peach because she was fuzzy like a Peach, has been with me for almost 17 years. In August, I believe, it would have been 17 years.
She was a tiny, tiny little thing. Only about four weeks old. She came from a former boyfriend’s sister’s barn. Peachy’s momma had been gotten by a coyote, and we’d been thinking about getting another cat to keep our elderly Moose company. The Sneach almost didn’t make it home with me when I went to pick her up at Kathrine’s. We were driving home on Pyramid Highway, with the kitten loose in the car. At some point, she climbed up onto the headrest, and the next thing I knew, her tiny paw with its razor sharp claws was making its way to my eye. One of those little lasers made its way into my eyeball, and if I could have caught her, she might have wound up in the middle of Pyramid Highway (have you ever had a cat claw in the eyeball? It. Hurts. You react instinctively).
We forgave each other that rough beginning, and she’s been with me ever since. She used to travel with me. Before there was the Blackberry, Peach cat was happy to ride across the country with me. She used to do well with it. She would ride in the back window, sleeping in the sun, purring in the passenger’s seat. I’m not sure when travel got difficult for her, but it was like a switch flipped. One trip she was fine and the next she was a yowling, terrified mess. Benedryl didn’t help her. Prescription sedatives didn’t help her. Overdosing her on Rescue Remedy Pet DID work. But once I knew that she didn’t enjoy traveling anymore, we didn’t travel together unless absolutely necessary.
Although that does remind me of the time my mom allowed her to escape the car. We were on the way home from a trip to Missouri and stopped at a truck stop outside Toole, Utah. The cats had harnesses, and while the cats got to roam free in the vehicle when we were in motion, when the car stopped, the leashes that were around the gear shift got attached to the harnesses so the kitties couldn’t escape. Somehow, a door got opened before Sneachy was properly attached. The next thing I knew, Mom was chasing the cat across a truckstop. The same mistake was not made again.
Mom did her penance for that when I moved to Missouri, and she was stuck transporting the two cats from Nevada to Hattiesburg. Peach screamed the entire way.
After the Moose passed and I moved into my condo in Sparks, I remember vividly her waiting for me to come home. I’d starting working a second job to make some extra money. I’d leave home at 6:00 in the morning and wouldn’t make it home until after 11 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Those nights when I came home late, the Peach cat was waiting for me. She was standing at the sliding glass door, her front paws on the glass, panting. Waiting. Frantic.
She first wore the cone of shame after I started working a second job.
Her anxiety issues followed her from that point forward. Occasionally she needed to wear the cone of shame or she needed to take kitty Prozac. She didn’t come out to play like the Blackberry did, and when I brought the Cobbler doggie home, she really never forgave me. The Bourbon doggie almost ate her, so for the last six months, Peachy has been scarce.
But about a month ago, she and I spent an afternoon napping together. I knew she was in decline. I knew it might be a few months. I didn’t know it would be this soon. I am not prepared, and I don’t know what to do.
Peach cat spans the eras of my life. She was with me when I was with Dax. She was with me as I figured out who I was on my own. She was there when I moved to MS alone and forged new relationships. She was with me in Kentucky. She absolutely loved Matt, and she’s been with me through this transition to marriage and yet another new path in my life.
I’m not sure there will ever be another kitty in my life. There is the Blackberry. But after her? I don’t know. (and between you and me, I’m worried about my Berry. She’s awfully skinny these days)
My sweet Peachy is gone. 🙁
My sweet husband created a lovely resting place for her, going around the yard and collecting flowers. She looked so peaceful and lovely when I got home. We’ll take her home to Gumbo Acres this weekend, and she will rest where the other beloved furbabies in our life rest. But I will miss my sulky friend.
Rest well my Sneachy.