Yesterday I made my to do list for today. I needed to check the gas rates AGAIN. What a pain- deregulation. Not at all beneficial to us re costs. I wanted to use up my butternut squash that someone had given me from their garden. I needed to use my electric weed-wacker because I am through trying to pick them out by hand. They come back again and again, and I absolutely refuse to use chemicals. But my early morning rosary walk with Casey changed all my plans. As we were nearing our corner and in front of the paint company's tree area lay a black cat. I said -please let it not be Friendly.
Sadly, on closer inspection I saw the faint white on her breast -making her a Tuxedo cat. Yes, it was Friendly. I was devastated. I went home to get a cloth to pick her up with. The young men "painters" just watched with a seeming concerned detachment. I'm glad they didn't think of dumping her in the garbage.
Every day irresponsible people let their cats breed and then just unceremoniously dump them. I let you down Friendly, but they- more so. Not one of my 30+ cats over the years gave birth to a litter. The first thing I ever did with a new cat or dog was have them altered. Last year I would see on my porch and feed Percy, Prince, Paige, and Pierre. I used the names with a P to honor my beloved first dog - Peaches.
They were all beautiful to me, but only Pierre returned the next year. And now I haven't seen him for quite a while. Paige was a Tuxedo and I even wondered if Friendly had been her kitten.
One day this young black cat was traveling along the other side of our fence and she caught Casey's attention. Immediately she rushed the fence -which was a decided no-no. Her previous owner never stopped her from chasing cats. I basically needed her to stop this bad habit after her first introduction to Paulie whom she grabbed by the neck without clenching down on him with her teeth. Well, a good swat on her rear caused her to release Paulie and she never again bothered him or Pixie.
Out of "P" names, Friendly got her name because she was very warm and loving. But she had to keep a respectful distance from the yard because of Casey. However, she and Jerry, the orange cat who lost his owner because she committed suicide one day, became frequent visitors on my front porch. I was glad though that Jerry didn't hide in the flower bed as did Friendly. I would throw out my panful of cubed bread sprinkled with peanut butter and oil, and the birds had to wait til she moved on. However, the bread would be gone by afternoon. I miss seeing you in my flower bed, dear Friendly. I was a little bit irritated sometimes because of this habit, but now would give anything to see you nestled among the greenery again.
I have a planter on the porch and every summer I bought a flowering pot to place in it. This summer I didn't and was glad I didn't because it was cute to see my "black cat" planter. Friendly would curl up in it and watch the people go by. Every morning around 6 I would prepare two dishes of food for Friendly and Jerry. This morning only Jerry was there. Oh well, I thought- she'll be around later. How sadly wrong I was.
Friendly had tried to get in my house on several occasions, and I made a promise to myself that both she and Jerry would be brought into the basement before the cold winds and snows of winter made their appearance. But for now I felt that they should enjoy the outdoors for as long as possible because, regrettably, I had nothing like a dog run for cats. Now, of course, I wish that I had brought Friendly in. I love you Friendly, and I believe in the restoration of the world in end times. I know that you will recognize me and I will recognize you and all the wonderful companion animals God has sent me over the years to care for as best as I could.
Now I will have to wrap up my dear friend with a "burial" cloth. I won't be able to dig a grave until later in the week because it will be in the 90's again today. I will also have some time to hold you and mourn you before I place you in the upstairs refrigerator and finally in the ground. During liturgy this morning you were in my thoughts as Father said the words of Consecration, and the tears came at last. Dear Jesus, please take care of Friendly and all family and friends - both human and animal that I have lost in death. I think it will be a most wonderful time to see them all again one day.