This has been a rather difficult summer for my animal family and myself. I helped my sweet little black kitty “Snap” pass on in June and then a few days ago, I did the same with my wonderful Himalayan boy, “Chunie”. Losing two animal family members within weeks of each other is very hard, to say the least. Both kitties lived with me for a number of years and were each special in their own way. So, how do I recover from such an emotional blow to my heart? This week, I found that the answer was there right in front of me…she has four little legs, white paws that look like she’s wearing bobby socks, gray and white fur, mischievous green eyes, an overly friendly personality and answers to the name of Patti.
This wonderful kitty is only about a year old and came to live with me in June. It was apparent from the very beginning that Patti was special…and into everything. I was warned by the women at the veterinarian’s office where I adopted Patti that she is a busy, busy little girl. I remember saying to myself “how bad can she be?” Well, in the two months that she’s lived with me, she’s almost been washed three times in my front-loading washing machine. Each time she was fortunate enough to have peaked out over the clothes to let herself be known. Otherwise, she would have gone for a wild wet ride. Then there’s the time I was calling her to let her know I was putting some shredded cheese in her bowl. Patti loves shredded cheese as I found out when I was giving a small handful to my dog, Charlotte, one evening. Patti nearly grabbed all of the cheese out of Charlotte’s mouth! From then on, Patti got her own cheese in her own bowl. This particular evening as I was calling Patti to come and eat her cheese, I found myself baffled and concerned that Patti was nowhere in sight. I called a second time and a third. Imagine my amazement when my refrigerator door opened and out jumped Patti. She nonchalantly meowed and made her way over to her food dish to eat her cheese…like jumping out of a fridge was something a cat does all the time. Obviously, Patti jumped into the refrigerator when I reached in to get the cheese. She was so fast, I didn’t see her. What she did in the fridge when the door was closed, I have no idea. But I do wonder if it’s possible to teach a cat how to clean a refrigerator…a chore I really don’t like to do at all.
I could tell you many Patti stories that would make you smile for the rest of the day. But, this blog would then be pages long. So, I’ll just move on to how Patty saved the day this week.
After losing Chunie on Monday, the house was very quiet. Charlotte just laid in her bed staring off into space. Pip, Pollyanna, Ginger and even Patti did the same. I spent the afternoon in my garden which has always been a refuge for me. I needed to work through the heaviness in my heart and my mind. Tuesday passed in much the same way except the kitties were a little more active, playing with bugs in the windows and giving each other baths. Slowly the house started coming back to life again. And guess who the leader of the pack was…Peppermint Patti of course.
On Thursday morning around 6:00am, I was sitting on the sofa in my family room. I was involved in reading my newspaper plus my coffee was tasting extra good so I wasn’t paying much attention to what the animals were doing. My family room has a vaulted ceiling with four decorative beams that run between the walls. The top of my entertainment center is about four to five feet below the beams. Patti loves to sit on top of the entertainment center and look around. Two weeks ago, she made several attempts at jumping up to one of the beams. Each time she tried, she fell down. I just shook my head and told her to give it up already… there was no way she was going to jump onto that beam. As I sat reading my paper on Thursday morning, I heard a funny noise above me and then got a glimpse of a gray and white kitty with four white paws and green eyes walking across one of the beams. Patti had made it! I watched her proudly walk from one side of the beam to the other side like she had done it every day. After a minute or so, Patti decided it was time to come down. So, she simply jumped onto the entertainment center, then to the floor and then calmly walked to her bed. It was time for a nap.
I can’t tell you what seeing Patti up on that beam did for my spirits. And I don’t really know how to explain it except to say that seeing Patti accomplish something she’s been trying to do for a while made me realize even more that loss and sadness are but fleeting moments on an animal’s timeline. They experience a lot of the same things we experience. But, their timelines don’t become static. They keep going. Animals are ever evolving, moving and living their lives to the fullest. It was time for me to move on as well.
Thank you Patti for making me laugh at you, it’s helped me to laugh at myself. Thank you also for helping me to move on from the loss and sadness I felt so deeply. Do you want some cheese? Patti? Patti? I better go and find her. She may be in the freezer this time.
Blessings to you and your furry friends.