My familiar and I in March 2014.
Bob and I are missing our cat Lulu. She was our first cat, our senior cat, and she lived with us for sixteen years. She enjoyed the time she had. She made the best of everything, even when Teeny bullied her into living upstairs in our bedroom for eighteen months. That was the low point.
Near the end of that time, Lu decided she was ready to come down, at first for an hour or so at a time with me there constantly — she would sneak past Teeny and we’d go into the backyard, and then she’d sneak back into the house and back upstairs when she was ready — and then downstairs with us 24/7 again.
Bob was remembering just now how, several months ago, when he started using a squishy silicone toe spacer to protect his broken toe, Lulu was entranced with it (doubtless by the funky, animal smell of the thing). When he took it off, she would find it and hunt it all over the house, “killing it” again and again, bumping into furniture and making war cries as she did this.
Mostly this happened between two and four a.m. Bob had to start hiding the toe spacer when he took it off at night.
I felt, and feel, terrible for her death. If I’d been paying closer attention, I could have gotten her to the vet sooner and maybe made her more comfortable, if not extended her life.
But just now I got a message on Facebook from our former neighbor Dean Holt: Buddhist, web designer, yoga instructor, multi-talented guy [renovated-his-100-year-old-house-including-installing-new-copper-linings-in-all-the-box-gutters talented], and kind neighbor. What he told me blew me away:
“I was walking with Hilda McClanahan this morning and she had a Lulu story. As part of her Hambrick Ave. forays, Lulu would go into Hilda and Ed’s yard . . . and was friends with Hilda’s Great Dane, rubbing herself on the Dane’s legs and getting a little attention from the humans, too. Now that is something from Lulu’s Secret Life that I would not have expected to hear.”
Lu roamed as far as Hilda‘s house? She liked dogs?
Who knows what else we never knew about her?
This story really woke me up. Lu had more power to shape her life than I gave her credit for, and she used it. Her life was richer than I will ever know.