This is Lucy.
Lucy came into my life, along with her sister Lola, on a sunny August day in 1998. Born in Seal Beach, California – they arrived via United Air and a work mate that was coming into town on business. I loaded their travel bag into the back seat of my Saturn and they yowled from the airport to my office in downtown Portland….all 20 miles of freeway. Heaven in the backseat is having two 8-week-old kittens letting you know they have arrived.
Lola [left]and Lucy [rt] 2001
Lucy was from the beginning, my lap cat. Come to find out – any lap would do; however, as I was single and lived alone…my lap was filled with her small, gray, furry self whenever I was in ‘lap’ mode. It would only be later that I would learn that if there was ANY lap available she would occupy it until she discovered that mine was empty and she would vacate one lap for mine. That is love. She loved me. (It was reciprocal.)
Lucy was privileged. She had luxury problems. Human Servants to brush her, feed her, keep her company and clean up any messes. We also promoted catnip as a form of relaxation, because, well – life is stressful.
House cats became trailer cats. Lucy and her sister were international travelers having visited Alberta and British Columbia, as well as Baja Sur, Mexico…and lived happily with her sister Lola for 6 weeks on the beach near Mulege. (January 13, 2012 Lola transitioned to CAT Heaven). WA, OR, CA, ID, AZ, NM, TX, LA, KS, UT, NV, NE and OK were some of the states she was lucky enough to visit as a trailer cat. She became an expert at riding in the center of our bed….less rough road felt there, frequently hidden behind a pillow or two.
Her favorite non-traveling spot (non lap mode) was the back of the sofa for it offered her a view of the outside and whatever animal life crossed her landscape. That’s her…napping in the sun. Lola is on the cushion. (2010)
Lucy loved chewing on plastic bags, licking the shades in the trailer (?), drinking water out of the bathtub (toilet lidded) and getting brushed every morning as she laid on the kitchen floor after eating her breakfast. Mike and she bonded over a daily ritual of him brushing her softly as she rolled from side to side at his feet.
There was not a splash of sunshine that she did not find and was happy to nap in until something more suitable appeared to entice her to move. She was content to sleep often, eat frequently and exercise only when motivated by the rattle of a ball toy. Which didn’t happen often enough for she had batted most of them under the sofas.
Lucy purred at a decimal that one could hear across a room. Not just loudly, it was frequent and soothing.
Lucy’s favorite place in the house was our linen closet and she had learned she could open the door should there be a gap large enough for a paw. Dark, cozy and soft towels – I mean seriously, how could she resist this temptation? (Could you if you were her?)
We have known for about a year that Lucy was failing. “Failing” meant that things got/are messy and scary. She couldn’t tell us if she was in pain so I spent a good deal of time consumed with thoughts of whether she was suffering after each event. Although she was slipping she continued to crawl into my lap each evening and find a comfy position to nap while I read or watched TV.
The signs became more noticeable for she no longer sat on my desk while I worked at my computer, or laid out across the scratch box laced with catnip and lounge, as if in a “TV-depicted-opium-fed den-like pose”, higher than Mars. She was unable to jump up onto our bed and frequently lost her balance whenever she did jump up and/or down from some chair. There were other tell-tale signs that time was near.
A friend suggested that we talk to her and let her tell us when it was time. She did that over the course of the last 10 days or so. It is never easy to lose a beloved pet. In my adult life, she is the fourth to go.
I thought it would get easier; given my experience …. I am here to tell you it does not.
I am heartbroken. I miss you already.
I love you Lucy, I hope you know that you were well-loved.
Ciao, your human MOM.