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A Story.

She'd been weaned too early from her mother. The people found themselves going to sleep and waking in the middle of the night to find a kitten's scratchy tongue nursing their necks and earlobes.

Realizing this was bothering her new people, she found a substitute in the crook of her front left leg. "Nursing" that spot would be her security blanket for the rest of her life.

After she was a little older, she'd roam around the courtyard lawn of the apartment, just outside the door. Chowing down on grass blades and chasing butterflies, the latter pursuit unsuccessful --- so far as the people knew. When she was done, the people didn't have to call her inside. The whomp on the outside door frame meant she had leapt there, a good five feet of a jump, and was hanging on waiting to be brought inside. This became so common that they only checked on her if they didn't hear the whomp after a while.

Time brought a change of apartments and a second cat (Maggie), neither of which she was pleased with. She made sure her air of disdain was registered, but she was never petty about it. (Almost never. Once in a while, she'd walk by a resting Maggie, stop, growl lightly, and give her a quick flurry of unclawed single-paw bops to the head...then mosey off as if she'd said her piece, thank you. Maggie, for her part, remained apathetically still.)

Her people yelled at her when she found she couldn't stop doing her business on a particular patch of carpet, but even as they kvetched, they acknowledged that it had only happened in the first place to let that stray outside know just who the hell lived here.

Yet a third feline interloper arrived some time later. A huffy attitude again was the princess' response, but no violence ensued. She continued to take solace, at every opportunity, in blissfully suckling her arm while lounging on her people. Store-bought planters of grass had replaced her courtyard, as the new home was surrounded by a concrete jungle unfit for the dainty. She'd become a homebody, and seemed content in that role. She thanked the people for these comforts by speaking to them in their language. Not the actual words, of course, as they were unimportant. Tone of voice, rhythm and melody were at the heart of how the people really spoke to one another, and she knew she had these things in spades.

Days and years passed, and the people imposed yet another change of venue on her. Not, however, before they'd allowed a dog --- a dog, for God's sake --- into the home. She gave this dimwitted beast a wide berth during her stay, a blessedly brief one. Maggie had not made the new trip, having shuffled off her coil; in adjusting to another move, at her advancing age, the princess barely seemed to notice her younger sister's absence. Here, at least, she had a patio high above the ground to enjoy. The people shared the patio with her as often as possible, and had the good sense to ooh and ahh at her beauty as she rolled around on the cool surface. For some reason, they were just as amused when she'd inadvertently leave her tongue sticking out from her lips after a big yawn. She'd reward them with love and attention. They're good to me, they deserve it, she'd decide.

One chilly day, all the doors to the house were open. A scent came from outside --- outside! --- and beckoned. She followed it, down the steps and out into the concrete jungle. By the time the scent's source had escaped, she realized she was not where she should be. She searched for home's scent, the smell of her people, but it was nowhere near. She walked, then ran, hoping her nose would catch some hint of home. Tired and frightened, she rested by a large concrete pillar. The swift, terrible roar of the speeding machines surrounded her. Finally, one of the people stepped out of a machine --- not her people, her nose knew --- and picked her up. She could tell he meant no harm, and she had little fight left in her even if he had.

She mewed when her familiar people somehow came to pick her up from the strange ones, so bewildered she'd forgotten how to speak their language. Days passed as she settled back into her comforts, and picked up the human tongue again quickly; but even as she spoke sweetly to them, she knew her adventure had taken more out of her than she could ever have back. Her body began to fail her, slowly but surely. The language won't tell them the truth, she thought. My time is coming soon, and I need you to help me get there.

She thanked them one last time, in their language, for a good life. They spoke back to her, voices fading, as she left.



Mindy

1997 - 2008









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» This has nothing to do with voiceover… from The Voiceover Boblog
And yet, it actually does. Please take a few minutes read my friend David Houston's heart-felt story about Mindy. Thank you for sharing this with us, Dave. After you've read, I think you'll see the connection. Bookmark to: ... [Read More]


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Comments

A life well loved is a life well lived...no matter the species.

I'm awfully sorry for your loss.

Best always,
- Peter

David,
Over Christmas, I almost lost a cat, one that sounds a lot like your Mindy. It was an emotional time for everyone in our family. You're in my thoughts.

David, beautifully told. So sorry for your loss.

Dave,
I'm typing through tears, with MY Maggie & Bugsy perched right beside me....What a wonderful tribute....I'm so sorry.

Liz

I'm so sorry. We lost our beautiful dear just over a month ago. I didn't know we could cry so much. It hurt, hurt, hurt.
But we all shared love. Maybe that'll bring you some comfort.

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