The Cat I Loved
Her name was Tigger. She came to be by coming to me as a gift. A gift I didn’t even know I wanted.
I started to reject her before I saw her. A neighbor of mine who wore a ring in her nose was trying to make amends for offending me by making light of what I had said about another neighbor who had gotten rid of another cat I had made friends with. I was so angry.
When I had learned that he had killed it, I went knocking on his door to express my disgust. Another friend of mine, this time human, had stopped me. I’m glad I no longer live in that neighborhood.
Paula brought Tigger to me as the runt of the litter. I took her. She was such a comfort. I had been mourning my son for twelve years. When she sucked on my earlobe, she brought back my son. Somehow I began to heal.
And now I mourn her. That’s the way life is. I carried her around Ventura. I put her on a leash sometimes outside of mass. What a joy!
I remember when I had a camper how she had gotten in a drawer. Down behind it, she was. I couldn’t find her. I thought someone had taken her like someone had taken my son.
I was sitting on a barstool when an acquaintance asked me how I was doing. I just started crying as I told him someone had taken my cat. With an expression of puzzlement, he said, “Why would anyone take your cat?” I felt some relief having cried and given expression to my grief. I went back to the camper and all was quiet. I began to hear a faint whimpering. I found her! She was all sooty, but a delight.
I remember taking her into Wal-mart the first time. However, the next, they were ready for us and would not let me bring her in. Same thing with Target. Oh well, such is life.
When I had come home from work one evening, I made the mistake of parking on the side opposite where we were renting. She crossed the road to greet me. A car came down the hill at a fast rate of speed. The car went over her, but it hit her. I thought she would die and that was that. That nothing could be done. But an invaluable neighbor told me, “Get her out of that” (referring to what I was carrying her in) and take her to the vet or she’ll die.
I did as I was told. She lived. Thank you God. She lived.
But this time, even though I had a hunch she should come and be with me instead of another cat, I let someone bring another friend. Oh my God, what a mistake. She’s gone, but her memory lingers on. And I thank you God for that and for my journeys with her.