Friday, December 5, 2008
Babby the Cat
In May of 1990, I was the office manager at a long-term care facility in Western Massachusetts. It was the spring of lots of kittens around the nursing home. That is, many of the employees’ pet cats had given birth and now these kittens were free for the taking. My second son had always wanted an orange tiger cat and what do ya know… Ambrosia Marie became a part of our family.
And then, I fell in love. A small little fur-ball curled up in my letter tray and fell asleep as her “mother” was trying to find homes for her brothers and sisters. I named her Tabitha Jane and she came home with me that night. In truth, the name that stuck with her was Babby-cat. She was part Maine Coon cat and had a beautiful long coat and a HUGE bushy tail (which she always managed to swat in my face as she was settling in my lap or on the arm of my chair).
When I moved out to the wild, wild west (er, Sacramento) in 2001, I gave my grandson Jonathan responsibility for her care. Jon held this responsibility very seriously; Babby was his cat (and she knew it). Babby always remembered my voice. On every visit back to see my family, I would sit in a chair in my son’s living room and upon hearing my voice Babby would be on the arm of the chair or in my lap swatting me in the face with that tail.
If you do the math, Babby-cat will be 19 this spring. That is a very long life for a cat. I drove back to Massachusetts this past fall and had the fleeting thought of bringing her back with me. She never would have survived the trip. So, I have been contemplating getting another cat companion. I got a phone call from my daughter-in-law a little while ago. Babby the Cat passed away quietly in her sleep during the night. Jon had to stay home from school today – he is very sad. My son and Jon will take Babby to a special place where they will cremate our long time friend and Jon will keep her ashes in his room and we will keep the wonderful memories of this amazing creature in hearts always. I never took a digital picture of Babby. I deeply regret that. Now I need to find some tissues and a quiet place to reminisce.
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