Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Furry Love Story

In February of 1998, my former husband (who was not yet my husband) and I had just bought our first house, and we were set to move in in May. After living in "No Pets Allowed" apartments for many years, I was very anxious to welcome a furry friend or two into our new home.

Meanwhile, that very month, some friends were walking home from the subway very late one evening when they found a small cat wandering in the cold. They brought her in for the night, to keep her warm. After trying hard to find her owners, to no avail, they ended up finding themselves the parents of this sweet little girl. They named her Twizzler, and it was soon determined that Twizzler was expecting! When we heard that our friends would soon have some kittens needing homes, we immediately volunteered to take two. It was meant-to-be.

On April 15, 1998, we got the call that the kittens had made their debut. Like the eager expectant "parents" that we were, we rushed over to meet them as soon as possible. There were four, altogether, and we named our two kittens that night... Gus and Tallulah. We visited  them often over the next 8 weeks, and we brought them home to our new house in June. They turned out to be wonderful cats... funny, affectionate, each with a distinctly awesome personality.

And so it began. Those cats stayed with me through my engagement, marriage, the births of three beautiful children, a move to a new house and the end of my marriage. They were by my side through money struggles, new careers, and new friends. They were there for the formation of a wonderful new relationship, and making of an expanded family. They were with me while my family suffered loss, and while we worked our way through grief. They have been furry little constants for me in this crazy life, and I'm so grateful for the quiet comfort they have given me all these years. My kids have never known life without these two cats in it. They were so sweet, gentle and patient with the kids, allowing them to pick them up, hug them, hold them and even tolerating being dressed up in doll clothes. Not once did they ever scratch or bite, but instead would just get up and walk away if they'd had enough of playing. For my youngest child, who had challenges with developmental delays, Gus and Tallulah were like therapy cats for him. They taught him so much about love, compassion and patience.

One year ago tomorrow, on November 7, 2013, Gus left this Earth at the age of 15.5 years, and is still sorely missed. Today, after a long illness Tallulah joined her brother in Kitty Heaven. I am so sad at this loss, but I take comfort in the idea that their souls are reunited. I hope there is some good catnip up there.

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