Saturday, January 09, 2016

Accidental Cats

Since moving into our home here in Falls Church, VA in 1969, not a year has gone by that we didn't have at least one cat living with us. None of them on purpose.

For a few weeks one time, we had eight!
Fortunately, I was able to find good homes for 7 of them, and only kept the Mama cat.

Other than that one "blessed event," all of our cats have been ones that just came out of the woods in back of our house and adopted us. All but two, were black, with a small white patch of fur around the neck area. I thought that a bit unusual, but perhaps not. Maybe that's the most common combination of colors for alley cats in this part of the country.

Common, was certainly the word that described our cats.

All but one, that is. My youngest son, David spotted him coming out of the woods one day, but couldn't get close to him.  He was just a kitten, but would not let a human near him. For a week or so, David would place food in the yard, and gradually the cat warmed up to him. A couple of weeks later, David coaxed him into our basement...and eventually Jessie became a member of our household.

(David named him "Jessie," after Jessie Jackson because as he explained, our new cat was black...and talked all the time.) It was true, he did "meow" around the house more than any other cat we had ever had. He wasn't in any pain or anything, he just liked to "talk."  We were obviously the first humans he had ever known, so perhaps he thought that was what he was supposed to do.

Bottom line is, Jessie was the most frustrating, demanding, contrary, ....and loveable cat we ever "owned"...or, perhaps more realistically, ever  owned us. In spite of the fact that David had a dream one night that "Jessie had a son,named Larry, who had come to live with us," Linda and I had both agreed that Jessie was going to be our "LAST CAT."

"Larry" became a buzzword in our family.  We often articulated such things as, "we sure hope Larry doesn't show up today" and "...on top of all this all we need is for Larry to appear at our door."  

Jesse passed away at age 16, and as sad as we were loading that empty "cat carrier" back into our car, we were both relieved, in spite of our sadness, that we would no longer have to keep the furniture covered to protect from claw marks and include veteranarian appointments and bills along with our own Doctor appointments, etc....

As we started to pull into our driveway..... lo and behold, like a Biblical vision, sittng beside our mailbox was....Jessie!

No, that was impossible.  Jessie was deceased.  And I don't believe in ghosts......but the cat sitting beside the mailbox...obviously waiting for us....could have been his twin. a white spot on his neck.....feeling right at home.

Almost in perfect unison, Lnda and I both exclaimed, "IT'S LARRY!"

It was.

Larry passed away last night, 12 years after we first met him that day at our mailbox.