Back in 1991, just before Thanksgiving, mine and my husband’s lives changed drastically.  It was to become a good thing. 

missy lou and taylor sue

Several months prior, I had asked my cousin, who worked for a vet, to find me a young, long haired kitten.  That turned into two, as their siblings had all died, and two remained. Two tiny, orange kittens, one long haired and one short haired, who had already become such good buddies that their then owners didn't want to separate them and neither did I.   

My dubious mate wasn't really happy, but didn't argue.  This was years into our marriage; our beloved dog of 13 years had died several years prior, and I really wanted a cat.  There had been quite a few beloved felines in my life prior to marriage, and I missed that connection. 

Hubby wasn't really a cat person but  I wanted a cat, and well, I usually get my way.  So enter Missy Lou and Taylor Sue.  They were adorable and really loved each other.  I loved them instantly, and did until the day they died. So did Hubby.  I put them in his lap that first evening, and there was an instant bond.  He lost his heart, and they found Daddy Cat. They provided endless hours of amusement and fun.  They loved us and we loved them. 

missy louSadly, Missy Lou, the long haired, wasn't with us long enough.  She crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 2 years and 4 months of a heart condition.  She curled up for a nap and never woke up.  I found her minutes later, but it was too late. 

Taylor Sue lived almost 17 years, being mama cat to numerous others who eventually joined our family.  Taylor was diagnosed with diabetes in June, 2000, the year we were moving from our long time home in Lilburn, Georgia, to a new home in Guntersville, Alabama.  Her diabetes was controlled with shots until things began to fail and it 'was time'. 

I have a wonderful vet who comes to the house in times such as these because he knows I can't handle losing onetaylor sue of my children.  And that's what they are - my babies.  She died in my arms just 2 months shy of her 17th birthday in September, 2006.  We called her the Queen Mother and she ruled.  No one ever bothered her, or got her favourite spot, at least for long.  To date, we have 16 cats in our house and 9 cats at the barn, each having their own large walk-in pen. 

Although we live on a large property, there are coyotes who could do them harm at night, thus, none of my cats run free. And sadly, there are 19 buried in our little pet cemetery. The first two that died were cremated and sit in a place of honour here in the house.  Missy Lou was one of those.  I couldn't find a crematory here in Guntersville that suited me, so we created the garden that is now the final resting place for the others who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

The number of cats living with us never decreases.  When I lose one, there is another waiting to adopt us.  The number never gets smaller.

Sandra Jimerson, US


A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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