Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Just a Cat

She came to us just about 3 years ago in a bittersweet time -our beloved Aussie, Selby who was only 12 years old had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only weeks to live. We were making the best of our last weeks with her living each day as if it were her last not knowing how many tomorrows we would have.

We had decided that barn cats do better in pairs and had decided to get another kitten to keep our little orphan kitty Tootsie company out in the barn. I had seen an ad on Craigslist for some super cute looking kittens and decided to go see them. It was kind of odd when we went to see her. We knocked on the door and said we were there to see the kittens, the little girl who answered basically shoved the kitten into Katielyns arms and then we were sent on our way. No small chat was exchanged, just a rather cold "here she is" and we were seen to the door. I'm not even sure if we really had a chance to say no!

Baby "Amy"

We christened our new addition "Amy". She was supposed to be 6 weeks old, but did not look a day over 5 weeks, if that. There was no way she was going out to the barn to fend for herself, so she was ensconced in the house until she grew up and was big enough to become a barn kitty. Annie our youngest Aussie was quite taken with her, and Amy, the kitty, with Annie. Annie became her foster Mom -the little kitty even tried to suckle on Annie. She would climb up onto Annie and snuggle into her fur. And Annie was ever so gentle with her licking her clean. I was almost afraid Annie would lick her bald! We never had any trouble finding the kitty, she'd either be snuggles with Annie or Annie would be following her around, sometimes with a look on her face that said "Could somebody please control this child?"

Amy and Annie Snuggling

As Amy grew up it became apparent that she really wasn't barn cat material. She lacked the lithe action of a barn cat, and for a cat was rather clumsy. She would jump up onto my desk, and miss, and fall to the ground taking with her an avalanche of papers. She'd then get up, shake, and strut off as if saying "no-one saw that, did they?"

Amy and my daughter became bosom buddies. When I'd go into Katie's room at night to read to her, Amy would follow and jump onto the bed, purring like a finely tuned sports car. It was as if I were reading to them both.

Nobody who came into the house could ignore Amy. She'd jump up onto our dining room table and proceed to lie down on anything they had brought with them. She loved to crawl into boxes of papers my accounting clients brought with them. And my assistant, Ronda's laptop carrier-that was a truely beloved spot to hide!

Typical Amy squishing her pudgy self into a tiny space

As Amy matured she really became a pretty cat, with long mottled orange, amber and white hair and sporting the stripes of a tabby within her calico coloring. Her big eyes expressed her amusement with life, and her long eye lashes made her irresistible.

Sadly this past labor day weekend, it seems Amy slipped out of our lives. We're not sure what happened. We always brought Amy in each night. I used to jokingly call her "coyote bait as she is so happy go lucky and totally unaware that danger could lurk around the next corner. I can envision her now strutting up to a coyote and saying "Hi, I'm Amy". Sadly that vision may have come true. One evening she was here and then the next morning her presence was missed. We think she must have slipped outside unbeknownst to us.

We have posted fliers around town, at the schools and put them in mailboxes. I asked the mailman to keep a lookout for her as well as all the neighbors. I've walked our acreage and all the adjoining parcels, and nary a hair to be seen. I've looked up every tree and crawled under anything that a cat could possibly use as a hidey hole. The shelter and local vets have been alerted to her loss and an ad placed on craigslist and in the weekly newspaper. It seems that she's disappeared without a trace.

On one of the days shortly after she disappeared, my husband (not a cat lover) told me "It's just a cat" -he's lucky I didn't divorce him on the spot. More false words have never been spoken. Amy truly was not "just a cat".

I keep hoping to her scolding "mrow" in the morning, telling me off for leaving her out so long, but alas, each morning there is silence. I look out on the back porch where she'd pat at the door knob wishing she had thumbs, but there is no Amy there. I beg the phone to ring with someone saying they have her. As each day passes my hopes fade a little more but they won't die. Just today I was reading on Google about a cat that was found in NY city 5 years after it had disappeared from it's home in Broomfield, Colorado. Can you imagine that? The cat was 1600 miles from home, if only it could tell it's story, what a tale it could tell! Truly inspirational.

We've only had Amy just shy of 3 years, but how she has woven her little self into my daughter and my hearts (and Annies too). Amy wherever you are, you are very missed, I truly hope there are more snuggles in our future.

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