Thursday, October 16, 2008

Charmed, I'm sure...

Who says kids can't give good advice? When Alex suggested I keep one of the kittens we've been fostering to ease the pain of losing Jingles, I initially refused to consider it. But when I couldn't face the thought of an empty pillow on my first catless night, I went and fetched the little black kitten that had mysteriously appeared in our ditch just three days before Jingles died.

Right away she settled into Jingles' familiar spot on my pillow, and when I awoke that first night and felt the stab of pain that comes with remembering something Terrible that happened before you went to sleep, the kitty purred in my ear and kneaded my hair with her tiny claws. Jingles used to make cat biscuits on me, too. The new kitty even seems to have a sense of humor. This morning I missed her and after some looking found her asleep in the terra cotta pumpkin I use for a doorstop.

Alex's friend Hannah was sad to hear of Jingles' death. When Alex told her over the phone, Hannah asked to speak to me. 

"I'm so sorry," Hannah said in the voice kids use when they feel the need to sound more formal and grown up. Then she grew quiet. "Did she leave a will?"

If you know our family, and the personalities and voices we give our pets then that wouldn't seem like an odd question. It turns out that Jingles did leave a will, and it will be formally read this week to friends and family who knew her. So far I only know of two things she bequeathed: she left the litter spoon and the can opener to me. And she left me to the new cat. 

I promise to try to be as good a human to this kitty as I was to Jingles, who always knew how to take such good care of me, her most prized possession. It's a good feeling to know that while this new cat will never completely replace the one I lost, that I will nonetheless be able to love again.

Update: I'd be remiss if I didn't share this very touching poem authored and sent to me by Christopher. I can't read it without getting choked up and think it is really a fitting tribute to Jingles, who really was one of those cats that probably comes along once in a lifetime. When I close my eyes, I can still feel her in my arms and know I will always remember. Even if I can no longer hold her in my arms, I will forever hold her in my heart.

Animals will do what they do.
It's just the way they're made, you see,
Like that grizzled old cat who
Slept on your face and ate brie.
His last meow meant, "Remember me."
Animals will do what they do.
It's just the way they're made, you see.

1993 - 2008


Andrea said...

Aww, is that Pookah? I hope she gives you her own brand of feline comfort as you heal. That's a cute little face on her.

Morgan said...

That's what we're calling her for now. I'm looking for a name that sounds "familiar." ;-)

JohnR said...

Two questions:

What is a cat biscuit?

Do you prefer female cats to male cats?

Morgan said...

When cats knead you with your paws, that's sometimes known as making "cat biscuits."

I don't really have a gender preference. We have three male cats - Dobby, Draco and Harry Potter and four female kitties Piper, Hermione, Tonks and Falcerton.

It may seem odd that none of these cats were a fit substitute for me after Jingles' parting but not all cats are dedicated lap cats that shadow your every move. All my cats are fond of me, but none bonded to me quite like Jingles. I really wanted a cat that would do just that and it appears little Pookha has that tendency.

laughingwolf said...

purrrrrrrrrrfect... thx hon

i'm sure pookah will try to be as good a keeper of you and your family as jingles was :D

bb, chris... good poem....

thimscool said...

Aaaawww. That is a cute kitty. I'd go with Ditch.

Note that a black cat, adopted in October, fits your MO.

Nice work, Chris... make Morgan cry over and over.

JohnR, I'll take a stand and state that male cats are superior, though I love both. Male cats are a bit more dog like, and they are sweeter than honey when in the mood. Female cats are more steady but they never quite surrender themselves to you... they lack confidence.

At least, that's my opinion as a dog-lover that is forced into being a cat lover by an unusual wife who is severely allergic to dogs but only mildly allergic to cats...

thimscool said...

It strikes me that "Ditch" is kind of a Palin Name, though.

Morgan said...

Luke, not to generalize but I think the dog-like nature of male cats is part of their appeal to me. Larry's favorite cats have been males - Nicholas and Chutzpah were with him for years and now he's more fond of Harry Potter than any cat we have. That really upsets Dobby, our big black and white male cat; he has the most obvious man-crush on my husband that I've ever seen. Our other male cat, Draco, is completely self-absorbed. He's huge and solid white with a bushy dark tale.

Female cats are more reserved, and like women they give affection but on their own terms. They make you work for it. I think that's why Jingles always made me feel so special; she was friendly to anyone who would pet her but she wouldn't sit in just anyone's lap and there were times she would cold-shoulder me if I forgot to buy cat food and sit with her back to me, pouting.

Morgan said...

Ditch would be a good name, but I'm not going to name her that. I mean, what if I got pregnant again and had already used the name Ditch Culvert on a pet?
I really hope if I do get knocked up again it's not a girl; I already have a female cat named Piper.

Micky-T said...

Dingle Ditch or Dingles

Caroline Grace said...

So beautiful!

Christopher said...

Nice work, Chris... make Morgan cry over and over.
Thanks. That wasn't what I meant to do, but she made me cry, and misery does love company.

Morgan said...

Actually Jingles started it by dying. She's probably curled up somewhere in another dimension, purring over all the drama she's caused.

Lu' said...

Morgan I'm sorry about your beloved cat passing. My youngest sleeps on my pillow/head too. I find in the middle of the night that she has much more of the pillow than I do. The pictures are both wonderful as usual. Enjoy the new baby. We call it cat biscuits too.

Morgan said...

LOL, Lu. Your comment brought a smile to my face. I can't tell you the number of times I woke up with a kink in my neck because Jingles had forced my head off the pillow and I didn't have the heart to reclaim the spot.

Pookah, the new kitty, is so tiny that I can share the pillow with her and we both have room. I'm sure that'll change fast enough, especially considering her appetite.

Thanks so much for your comments.