Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Missy & Abe

Missy was my cat for 18 1/2 years. She was a small creature, five pounds at her largest, four and a half towards the end of her life. Abe was her best animal friend in her later years. An Irish wolfhound, Abe's head was as big as Missy. (In the background you can see parts of Abe's mistress, my friend Zinna.) As you can see, Missy and Abe got on very well, for all the size differential. This was partly because Missy had been raised around Julie's dog Samantha, who was the most gentle and accepting dog in the world, and partly because Abe was, like so many larger breeds of animals, a gentle creature himself. He was big, what did he need to prove to anyone? And Missy was a cat, what did she need to prove to anyone?

Missy and Abe both liked porcupines and tried to make friends with them. The difference was that when Abe would approach one, the porcupine would turn his tail toward Abe, Abe would do the dog greeting and try to sniff under the tail, and he would invariably get quills in his nose; he may have been one of those dogs who get addicted to something in the quills or maybe he just never learned. Abe never saw a porcupine he didn't try to sniff. Going for a walk with Zinna and Abe was a never ending adventure, with Zinna and me being vigilant and pulling him back before he could, once again, get quilled. Missy, on the other hand, never got quilled because as she would approach, they would turn their backs on her and she would circle to touch noses and so she never touched them and never needed to learn that they were sharp.

As Missy aged, she slowed down and slept a lot. When she first woke up she moved slowly, carefully, allowing her joints to warm up before she put much stress on them. Except the time six weeks before she died, when she was sleeping on my breast as I sat in my recliner. Suddenly, she was up and gone and by the time I could turn around to see what was happening, all that was left of the mouse was its tail. Such a good little predator, she was.

These days both Missy and Abe have been gone for a few years. But I still miss them. Having the Hooligans is lovely, and they make me laugh with their young antics, but sometimes I want my little, quiet, comfortable Missy.


J said...

I love your Friday cat blog. Love the picture of Missy and Abe. Love to remember how that mean dog Samantha wouldn't even acknowledge Missy's existance, no matter how hard M. tried to get her attention...remember that? We always thought it was because Sam had always had a say in the adoption of other cats in our house, but Missy came because Richard got her in the split from the evil Judy.

Hey, at least SOMETHING good came from that relationship. ;)

Maya's Granny said...

I remember Missy climbing all over Sam, and Sam totally ignoring her. Missy biting Sam's tail, and Sam ignoring her! It was so funny to watch. And even though Missy never got Sam's attention, she learned that dogs were fun and could be trusted.

saz said...

Love this story....I have a friend who raises Wolfhounds and they are gentle giants. Have never known such a tiny kitty tho'.

I still think of all the pets I've had - they bring such love and joy into our lives.

Cherry said...

Love the tiny kitty!

Isn't it great when cats and dogs can get along. Especailly gentle giants and the tiniest of kitties.

I can't imagine my life without animals in it... however, I can imagine alife without a litter box.

Chancy said...

"As Missy aged, she slowed down and slept a lot. When she first woke up she moved slowly, carefully, allowing her joints to warm up before she put much stress on them"

Sounds like me :)

Joy Des Jardins said...

What a beautiful little friendship Abe and Missy had. Just like never know what makes certain relationships connect. I know you miss them Joycelyn....

Maya's Granny said...

"Sounds like me :) "
Yes, it also sounds like me! I hope that we all can do the equivalent to catching that mouse, whatever that might be for each of us, at the end of our days.
I know I would be satisfied if I gave as much joy at the end as she did.