I’ve had cats for about 30 years now. They have been long-lived and loved at my home. Before I met my husband in 2000, I had two cats. A huge (20lb) Himalaya mix (half Himalaya, half passerby) named Ratface, and a yellow cat named Punkin. Ratface had died of old age in about 2005 (1994-2005) so Punkin was our only cat.
In the fall of 2006, my husband had left the door open and Punkin ran away. It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t expecting a totally house cat like Punkin to get out. Punkin was declawed and after a few weeks into the winter, I was sure he had passed away.
This bothered my husband so much that he went to the shelter and picked out a new cat, Missy. He said that Missy looked elegant, and when they met eyes he knew she was the one. At first, Missy would hide all day, and sneak out at night after we’d gone to bed to eat and potty. But after a while, she became the queen of the house, Until…
In May of 2007, my husband had a heart attack and emergency quad by-pass surgery. One of the days that I came home to change clothes I saw a yellow cat across the yard. It was Punkin!!! I don’t know where he had been all winter, but he had come home! It was strange, though, that he would not come up to me. I had to coax him with food at first. It was like he knew to come home but he seemed confused and didn’t remember me.
I left food out for him and coaxed him every time I would come home during my husband’s hospital stay. And after my husband came home, I decided to take Punkin to the vet for a wellness check, and update his shots so I could bring him back inside.
OMG, Missy had a fit. We had become her people and she was not one bit impressed that her long-lost brother had come home! Punkin was confused because he knew he belonged there, and he knew that Missy was NOT Ratface, so it was pretty loud for a while. Thank God they were both declawed so there was no real bloodshed. But once Missy accepted him, they became great friends.
We moved into our current home in 2011 and Punkin passed away of old age shortly after that. From then until now, Missy was the lone inside house pet. She enjoyed sitting with me while I watched TV, crocheted, used the computer, or anything else I or my husband tried to do. She was pretty stealthy sometimes because you would just be sitting there and all of a sudden she’d be in your lap, like magic.
She was the reason I was on time (when I was on time) for work because her alarm went off at 5am no matter when my alarm clock went off. She knew me so well that she would sit on the edge of the bed before she would jump down. Too many times she had jumped off the bed and headed to her food bowl and I went back to sleep. She’d have to come back and insist again that I get up and follow her. So she would wait to make sure I was following her to her food and water bowls and to give her a drink from the bathtub. She didn’t meow much, but if I came home without going straight to her food bowl she would give me a sharp “Maho” and lead me to her bowl.
She hadn’t been herself for quite some time.
So I knew it was just a matter of time. She didn’t feel well, night before last and I warned my husband that it was probably time. I talked to the vet who assured me that it was ‘old age’ just as it had been with my other cats.
Last night I held her most of the evening, and when I woke up this morning she was gone. Quietly in her sleep, which is the best way to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I won’t be putting this on my Facebook feed because I don’t want every well-meaning friend I have offering me cats that need a home. With all of my husband’s illnesses, I am not sure starting over with a new cat would be the best in the world anyway. We promised Missy a forever home when we brought her from the shelter, but for now I think we will just rest without an inside cat.
My husband and I are sad and tomorrow it will set in when my 5am alarm goes off and no one is there to hussle me to her food bowl.
Rest in heaven, Missy. We loved you.