Exactly one week and a day before Christmas, 2003, was one of the worst days of my life. My son was home sick with the flu, my husband was going into the hospital for back surgery and my beloved cat, Reepicheep (named after a character from The Chronicles of Narnia), was very sick.
Reepie had been steadily losing weight and we were very concerned for her. I had dropped her off at the veterinarian’s office in the morning and anticipated picking her up later in the day. Exhausted beyond reason, I had just gotten into bed for a nap when the vet called. Reepie had terminal cancer and the only humane thing to do was to put her down. Well, I just started crying. Dr. C. wanted me to come to the office but I explained my exhaustion and inability to drive in such a state and asked him to take care of things. The whole family grieved for a very long time because she was one of those special pets who gave love as well as receiving it.
Fast forward to this past spring. My wonderful daughter is now living with us and her ex, who got custody of their two cats, has to move and can’t take the cats with him. Will we please let them move in with us? Oh, no! I don’t want any more pets to fall in love with and grieve over.
The pleading continued until, in a weak moment, I agreed. Unbeknownst to Himself, Jasper James and Toby Ray arrived in the dark of night to live with us. Himself was not happy. I will not go into detail except to say that he now accepts the critters and even likes one of them.
The one we all love is Jasper of the one blue eye and one green eye fame. He is a big, easy going guy who loves to be around people. The best thing is that he is not a lap cat, like Reepie was, so I don’t have to deal him climbing all over me. He just goes with the flow and is a pleasure to have around.
Toby is another matter. If you were to look up "scaredy-cat" in the dictionary, Toby’s picture would be there. He is all black and he has big golden green eyes and they widen at the slightest movement or noise. He hides in dd’s room or in the rafters of the basement ceiling. Sometimes he lets us near him but only if he is extremely hungry and we don’t move fast.
It had taken me a very long time to rid this house of all of Reepie’s fur. Oh, well. It’s a good thing I have a vacuum.