I have been honored to open my home to many animals over the years. Some of them came very young, others were already old. Some of them left much too early - although it is always too early - some of them accompanied me for many years. Some of them I miss ... forget it, of course I miss all of them.
There are so many memories, good ones, bad ones, happy ones, sad ones.
Today is World Cat Day and I want to take the opportunity to thank all the cats in my life. There were times when you drove me nuts because that's what is in your job description, but there were and are all those precious moments too when you snuggled up against me when I was sad, when you made me laugh by doing something silly or made me squee when you were being so cute that I just wanted to squeeze and hold you.
I'm using past tense which really isn't fair as Ponder and Gundel are still here to drive me nuts and make me smile.
Here's to all of you!
Dude - the gentlecat from California who started it all taking my heart by storm when I first laid eyes on you and spent four hours under the lemon tree just holding you in my arms while you were dribbling on my shirt, so starved for love. We hadn't planned to come home to Germany with a cat, but didn't regret it for one second.
Mim - the cat who had been returned to the shelter twice for "being mean", who was not a lap cat, but the sweetest cat with no (!) mean bone in your body, who had to learn to trust people again, who always had to be where we were. I'll never forget how your dad went under the shower with you wearing his fencing clothes to apply some "milk bath" to your irritated skin because the attempt in the basin had gone so wrong.
Jester - the one eyed kitten so full of energy who only gave us a few months. I wish we would have had more time and I could have given you more. At least you didn't have to live on the streets where you had been found and you were loved.
Magica - the kitten who slept with me every night to suckle on my shirt. You came to us with Jester and unfortunately carried the same disease. You left us much too early, my sweet girl.
Gandalf - we got you the day after we lost Jester because Magica was too young to have just two older cats for company. That you only had one eye seemed to be a sign. You were so shy at first and appreciated your privacy when you grew up, but you really came around, and honestly, you were the only cat to ever hump my arm! ;-)
Merlin - my heart. You slept in my arm every night after we "stole" you as a kitten from a rural backyard (with permission of the house owner whose tenant neglected the cats) not knowing that your family was to be picked up by cat rescue the next day. You were the calmest, most laid back cat I have ever known. You were the glue in our little cat society, the mediator, and of course Meffi's and my great love.
Mephista - you were the queen and very much a daddy's girl before he left us, very much my girl afterwards (thank you again for giving him the cold shoulder once). Merlin and you were a dream couple, the big tux guy and the little tabby lady. After he passed, you were very alone, but at least you had me.
Greebo - the eternal kitten. You were so much my baby, snuggly and cuddly and playful, almost to the end. The only time I really saw the predator in you was when I brought you chicks home. You were the one sitting under a table for fifteen minutes with it in your mouth growling at me! You were also a paper nibbler and the best rubber band fetcher within miles.
Esme - you were my princess, my gorgeous girl. When you had your five minutes, though, you could turn into a monster, if I dared to whistle for example. Thanks to you I still think our vintage dresser was possessed by a ghost because it made you freak out when I went too near it (good thing your dad took it). You were a daddy's girl as well, but learned to love sleeping spread out against my leg with my arm on your belly.
Ponder - you, mister, are the loudest cat of them all. You never took no for an answer, not even as a kitten. Quarantine? Heck, no! You started your career as an escape artist at a very young age. You take what you want. You are big and bad, but behind that is a squishy little heart. When Gandalf passed, it upset you so badly that you licked your whole belly naked. You are my big boy.
Gundel - sometimes I think you are a mix of Meffi and Esme with a twist of your own. You are adorable and you make me laugh. You are so sweet I could eat you. Thank you to my sister for bringing this little stray into my life.
Okay, I did have a good cry while writing this. I miss them all so much, but they made my life so much better. I'm not ashamed to admit that.
Do you have a memory you'd like to share in the comments? I'd love to hear them! Happy World Cat Day!