My dearest, sweetest kitten,
I’m going to tell the truth.
To the blogging world, you were the ever cynical, ever snarky, furball-hating Angry Cat, but to me, you were always Audrey. Dear, sweet, little Audrey, the best kitten in the world, and I want the world to know.
I remember many years ago — many in human years, even! — when you first adopted me. You were a scared little thing, hiding in furnace ducts, certain I wouldn’t understand your dread fear of doorways and brooms. I loved your funny little tail, kinked a full quarter angle at the end, and your cracked maa â€“ aaaa of a meow, which, if Dad were here, he’d insist I write phonetically — mæʔæ — just because. We had a different house then, and you had a brother, long lost now. I miss him too.
When we were losing Dad, you sat by his pillow like a temple guardian and soothed him with purrs. When Dad was gone, his pillow became your bed, and Mom became your constant companion, and for that she loved you, even when you typed silly nothings across her keyboard.
Oh kitten, these last days were rough for you, I know. Losing eyesight, and strength, breath, all of it slipping away so sudden when before this time we’d never fought anything more fierce than a hairball or an occasional pack of fleas.
I suppose, in those final hours, you were indeed Angry Cat, angry at your ancient, failing body, angry you couldn’t speak and tell me exactly what to do to ease your pain. And me, your miserable, inadequate human, could only reach back to memories of Dad and bring the same small comfort I knew from before; a drop of water, a warm blanket, a song sung quiet in your ear.
You are my Audrey, my only Audrey.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You’ll never know, cat, how much I love you…
Sweet, silly, broken-voiced cat, I once had a crazy notion you’d live forever. Those nine lives of yours outlasted so many others â€“ cats, fish, our dear little guinea pig, and even crazy Elvis the mini rex who once chased you up the plum tree. (Yes, my Audrey, I do have to tell the truth â€“ you were never as tough as your alter-ego. Me neither.)
And now, little one, I have another secret to share. It’s a vision and it goes like this: I see a rocking chair on a weathered porch on a warm island day. And a lap â€“ Dad’s lap â€“ and the best little tabby in the world, perched, regal as a temple guardian. She raises her chin for a skritching, this magnificent cat, and Dad obliges. And then he sings to her, and she sings to him — mæʔæ — and no one, not anywhere, is angry.
Your devoted human,
End Note: Dave and Mishka and I wish everyone the best for the new year, and we hope there are indeed new beginnings on the horizon. 2006 was a rough one. May 2007 take us beyond choppy waters and deadly shoals and out into the tranquil sea. Peace to all.
(See more Weekend Cat Blogging over at Lisa’s Champaign Taste and give all your kittens extra skritches for me!)