I first noticed Meow-Meow nibbling at some bread crumbs I had thrown out for the birds. I felt sorry for her. When she saw me, the petite calico cat was quick to greet me with her pretty little face looking up at me. I was allergic to cats, so never much cared for them and had dogs instead for most of my life. But when I grabbed some gloves to put on to pet her and she let me, she stole my heart. Shortly thereafter I starting buying cat food to feed her. We lived in a rural area with neighbors few and far between, and I asked around but nobody claimed her. From then on she lived outside our house under the deck and meandered around the yard. She was content.
I finally decided I should get her spayed and neutered if she were going to stay. The day I had the appointment I couldn’t catch her. The next morning I found her – along with her newly born kittens- all males. They were in a sheltered place and safe, so life went on. Once I bought the kittens some little toys that looked like mice. The next morning I found a real mouse (dead) lying in front of them. Meow apparently was trying to outdo me!
My brother unwittingly adopted two kittens, and I just kept the other two. They were all neutered and spayed and given shots. Time passed, and the cats eventually moved inside the house. My allergies somehow subsided, and the gang came along with me through two moves.
Meow-Meow was smart and serious and pretty and ruled the roost. She kept everyone in their place – even the dogs. She watched over me quietly and was attuned to all my moods, sitting with me and comforting me when I was sad or sick or unhappy. Vocally meowing when she wanted my attention – never really demanding much except love and affection.
She outlived all of her sons and just left this world at the age of 16.
So today my heart is aching, and the tears fall for this precious little girl who came into my life and stayed with me through some pretty tough times. Who sat in my chair snuggling with me as I read, wrote and watched TV. Who cuddled up with me on my bed nightly, even feebly on her last night. I never really felt alone with her since she was always, ever so quietly, present with me.
People say you shouldn’t feed stray cats. But if a cat finds its way into your life, isn’t it something you should do? Because if not you, then who? And if the worst thing people can say about me when I die is that I took in stray animals and cared for them, then that’s something I am proud of.
I’m one of those people who believes that I’ll be with Meow-Meow again in heaven one day – running around and batting her sons with her paws in a lush green garden. Until then I’ll think of her with fondness until the day she sits quietly by my side again, warming my heart with her gentle purring.