Sometimes, as I’m falling asleep or am just doing some inane household chores, they come marching.
The ghosts of cats past.
These are the cats I’ve shared my life with over the years, all the way back to early childhood. Sometimes I can’t remember their names, which makes me feel like a bastard. I should remember them all.
But their faces, and their personalities? Those instantly trigger the memories.
My first memory is of a large Tuxedo cat that played with me when I was about 3 years old – Figaro. He always played gently with me, even when I would pull his tail or try to lock him up in the pantry. Thank you, Fig, for being such a wonderful companion.
The ghosts continue marching …
Over the years, so many cats … mainly rescues … their names given to them by previous owners, but usually re-named for their new lives with us … always well-fed and well-treated, and with the exception of one – Psyche, who liked ferociously attacking us at every opportunity – they were all seemingly grateful and happy for their lives shared with us.
There were many happy times that the ghosts remind me of … the time Pyewacket, our gorgeous tortie, climbed a tree in the backyard on Thanksgiving and couldn’t / wouldn’t come down … there we were, my wife and I, calling out “PYE! PYE!” on Thanksgiving with a bunch of hungry neighbors peeking out the windows.
And several years later, when we used to let Pye out on our balcony in Pennsylvania – I was working late one very stormy night and my wife called, “Please come home” … Pye had gotten out into traffic and been hit by a hit-and-run … in the vet’s office, him telling us there wasn’t anything he could do, and she had to be put down … the look on her face as we said goodbye … the sad times …
Lessons learned, that I am reminded of by the ghosts …
– Always enjoy “the moment” – we never know when we’ll be separated.
– Play … always play.
– Sleep a lot – it will give you energy to play.
– Love shamelessly and die quietly.
They’re always with me, the ghosts …