July is a hard month. After waiting months for summer to take hold we are suddenly bombarded with 90 degree temps and high humidity. Some days it is hard just to breath. But then we are rewarded with weeks like the one forecasted next week: clear skies and highs in the 70s!
|Thai, my mom's Siamese, and Gabbie|
Life is like that. Just last week I was struck by the irony of July 8th. It is a day for celebrating Gabbie’s entrance into my life in 1977 just one day after the day that was supposed to be the end of the world (7-7-77). She was, at most, 3 weeks old and a spitfire of feline fur. She quickly became my best friend, closer to me than any human could ever be.
But July 8, 2008 brought an end to my physical life with Effie after 16 years. I’d spent nearly 12 years trying to convince her that domestication was way better than her feral life. When she finally agreed to give it a try we had only 4 years left together for a close friendship. I was so lucky that she had already given me her best with her babies, Mewdy Blue and his siblings.
|Pixel in 1998|
Today is the anniversary of the day in 2000 when Pixel’s pancreatic cancer invaded her brain and I had to let her go. Pixel came into my life as an adult in the feral colony but didn’t stay feral long. I’d trapped her for spaying but afterward, when I opened the carrier to change her bedding and add food and water she purred and rubbed against my hand. She’d taken almost no time at all to choose domestication. I’ve a much longer story about her life but for now just know that she was a special girl.
|Only picture of all 6 of Tiggy's babies|
In 1980 the clinic I worked for took in the stray animals from local animal control and many of them ended up on my family’s acreage. We all thought that Tiggy was already spayed because we’d felt what seemed to be a spay scar on her abdomen. Only a few weeks after she “appeared” on the acreage I realized how wrong we’d been. On July 12 she delivered 6 unusual kittens. Lando Calrissian and Yoda developed normally to robust longhaired cats. Pirate, Figaro and Zeit Geist, however, suffered from muscular dystrophy. (Princess disappeared at only 2 weeks of age).
|Tiggy's babies all grown-up|
My sister adopted Pirate and Figaro died early from Panleukopenia (he was vaccinated). Yoda had been the runt of the litter but with my TLC he became the largest of them all. Unfortunately Yoda disappeared only a week before I moved into to my first apartment. Lando and Zeit both experienced mast cell tumors and yet they both lived to old age. Zeit even had a urethrostomy at one point but lived to 16. Lando was my longest-lived cat, to date, finally succumbing to his mast cell tumors at age 19.
|Zeit Geist & Yoda|
Then there’s July 13th. What else can I say except that Sunday will be the one-year anniversary of the day Mewdy Blue left me. How does one cope with such a traumatic, dramatic loss? I remember a line from the Lord of the Ring movies spoken by Frodo, “Some hurts go too deep.”
|Effie and baby Mewdy Blue|
|Baby Mewdy Blue|