Monday, May 17, 2010
A loved and missed companion
For nearly twenty years, I had a lap cat. He never really had a name, he was just "little kitty". Over the course of half a lifetime, I have had many cats, all had names and all died far too young.
When I adopted Little Kitty from the shelter, by not giving him a name, I thought I would protect myself from the heartache of losing him. But in the end, he did have a name, it was Little Kitty, and sometimes we called him Fred!
He was my companion in everything I did. He sat in my lap when I watched TV, read a book, quilted or did cross stitch. He also helped a lot with the last two. If you could call grabbing the thread out of the needle helping. If I was in my studio, so was he. Curled up on some fabric somewhere taking a nap, but always close by. He often asked that I take a break and play with him, and nearly always I did.
He was about three months old when we got him, and shortly after we brought him home he got a respiratory infection. He sat on my lap every night, burning up but trusting me to help him. At night he slept on the bed down by my feet.
When we had had him about a year, my mother in law passed away and we had to drive 1800 miles for the funeral. Little Kitty went to a kennel for a week. He was so happy to see us when we picked him up. For the next six weeks he slept under my arm, curled up in the space above my elbow, holding on with his little paws wrapped around my arm for dear life. He waited for me to come home from work and was never aloof if left alone for very long. He would just drag a pair of my sweat pants out of the closet and leave them lying in the middle of the floor as it to say "You weren't here, I missed you so I grabbed your clothes to stay close."
Little Kitty loved peanuts and chocolate, any kind of chocolate, milk, white and dark. So you had to keep an eye on him when you had any or it would disappear.
It was a hard day when I had to say goodbye. We live so much longer than our pets, there are so many goodbyes, and they don't get any easier. It doesn't stop us from adopting other animals into our lives. They add so much to our existence.
This painting of Little Kitty was done a few years after we lost him. It makes me smile to think of all the joy he brought into my life. I have three cats now, and not one of them is a lap cat. I miss that in the evening.