She was a cat of many names -- most usually, just "Little" -- but also -- "Pinky/Pinks" (because OMG that nose!), "Reacher Creature" (because she had the most endearing habit of reaching out for you with one or both paws -- as you passed by, as you sat too far from her on the bed -- oh, just any time!), and of course, "Sweet Little Petunia".
She had white ballerina slippers in the front and white Nancy Sinatra hip-boots in the back.
In certain light, her eyeliner rivaled any goth-queen's (or Richard Alpert's).
She was a tuxedo cat (actually, maybe a grey-morning-suit kitty), who also had tabby stripes in her undercoat that only showed in Summer (so you could gauge the seasons by her).
She was small until middle age (like me), and she loved for you to comment on how diminutive she was -- if you said things like "Where is Little? I need a microscope to find her!" or "Who's the tiniest cat of all?", she would purr and reach and purr some more.
She walked out of 58 acres of forest to me, all skin and bones and well-honed mouser sensibility. She weathered my many moves without a mew of complaint -- happy to just be with me, exploring our new digs with curiosity and the good sense to be in by nightfall in coyote country.
She kept me on the planet, many times, during the years that I was remembering and healing my abuse -- because there were times when she was the only living being I felt accountable to -- she was my family -- and as much as I despaired sometimes, and wished myself gone, I wouldn't leave her on her own.
Her passing was graceful and swift. Her breathing was suddenly rough and difficult yesterday, and by 4 am today, she was gone. We buried her under the pine tree, on the first really Spring-like morning we've had.
May she frolic with endlessly-entertaining mice who don't mind being caught, amidst acres of catnip.
I cross-posted this at Shakesville, but for my regular readers here, I'll add a bit more:
I feel sad, but not heart-broken, and I found myself marveling and impressed by how she slipped out of her body -- without drama, but with frank expression of herself -- that's the death I would want for myself.
Another thing that happened today is that I received my bankruptcy discharge in the mail -- so it feels like a time of beginnings and endings, and all in all, I feel a bit altered and strange as I pass through this day. Everything is the same. Everything is different.
Ahhhh Sister Girlfriend…… Full circle, yes.. I posted this to your other blog as well...
I should like to offer a bow of homage to the “Mighty Lee-tell… ”
I can see her so clearly with those sassy Nancy Sinatra boots and a steady and unflinching eye on my beloved Bailey (Little left Pony in a quivering heap !!)
I see us on the balcony at 307 F St. Sipping our beverage, squeezing to make room for three (you, K and I) , laughing at the animals below, Bailey laying in a slice of sunshine on the carpet and Little receiving the resounding warning ” Do not even think about that ledge missy”….
Was it my Sisterene K, your beloved, who finally had the sense to put the screen/fencing around that deck !! Ahhhh, but then there was always that tempting tiny window in the kitchen to grab a kitty’s attention.
I remember K playing with Little so patiently with peacock feathers, returning her to her kitten self….
Little and George (the love that dare not speak it’s name)… George willing to let “Lee-Tell” style his hair any which way…
Oh how gorgeous that she dreamed away… Perfect.
How stunning that we are gifted by these beings.. Little, Bailey..
Who so willing create a walkway for us, from our fractured selves to our whole selves.. Never once, never, never, complaining or diminishing THEIR joy at the journey with us…
Portly, so sorry for your loss of Little's physical presence. I looked through her album; she's so beautiful it made me cry.
I lost my big tuxedo boy a year ago January; I was unprepared in every way (despite a lengthy illness). Thankfully, he visits from time to time. It's not the same, but it helps.
I'll ask my guy to help welcome her on the other side of the Bridge (assuming he hasn't already - he's rather a friendly type). And then, maybe, if you think you glimpse a large, sturdy cream-puff of a black-suited critter with your little wisp of smoke... :)
I am keeping you in my thoughts about this loss...and so grateful this little one got to spend time with you and your love. This post made me remember all my loved ones on the other side of the rainbow bridge and hold the ones on this side a little tighter. (Which I think may have irritated the cat, but, ah well.)