Author, Peter Gethers, wrote 'The Cat Who'll Live Forever' which is about “Norton” the Scottish Fold, a male cat that was his almost constant companion for the sixteen and a half years of its life. The story was so powerful that I ended up writing to Gethers, telling him the loss of Norton brought tears to my eyes. We had much in common and we corresponded for a while. 

          I recently finished reading Peter Gethers’ final book about his Scottish Fold “Norton.” Perhaps the world’s most famous and widely read cat story book, “The Cat Who’ll Live Forever.” Much of what he wrote about Norton is still on my mind. Peter is a wonderful writer and executive at Random House books. And, more than that, he’s a human being who gave his heart, body and soul, and tears, to a cat who loved him no end for the sixteen and half years of his life.

          As a person keeping two cats, Frankie the Calico and Johnnie the Tabby, I very well understood his love and loss of Norton. Compassionately, tears are filling my eyes.

          While loving my two cats, honestly, I think I felt for Frankie more. There’s a reason, no I’m not selfish, nor a mean Mr. Mom. I feel and understand Peter’s pain. I hope you’ll understand mine.

          I will forever carry in my heart the mutual love when our eyes first met. She was about five months old, and her beautiful and impish face looked up at me when I entered the room filled with cages and cats. This little cat was blessed with everything, looks, colouring, impishness, and graceful femininity. Her heritage was evident, excepting for one thing, about a year and a half after we merged into a loving family, Frankie’s heritage played a dastardly trick upon her, and she developed gingivitis. Doctors, consultations, famous Animal Clinics, X-rays, extractions and medicines, nothing really helped. All her teeth were removed as it was the only cure. The cure cost thousands of dollars, it was worth it, Frankie’s worth it and more.

          Frankie is now a healthy, happy and bossy Calico cat that never fails to greet me with love and affection when I enter our home.

          Peter Gethers and I have a couple of sad things in common. We’re both childless; my marriage of 39 years with Evelyn produced no children. We both lost our first loves on May 8th. Evelyn on May 8th, 1997. Norton on May 8th, 1999.

          Peter wrote he shed many a tear for Norton. In the privacy of my home, I shed many a tear for Evelyn. Even with his galaxy of friends, I’m positive he still misses Norton. I still miss Evelyn and six lonely months after her passing I adopted the “children” that are my Frankie the Calico and Johnnie the Tabby. It helped. I had much love to give to these beautiful furry, feline animals, now so much a part of my life.

          I could never bring myself to read the two earlier books Peter wrote about his “Travels with Norton.” It would hurt too much. I’d feel his pain again, knowing that Norton’s passing left him childless. I’m fortunate; I look forward to many years with my loving “children,” Frankie and Johnnie.

          People who love their fellow human and their cats are people who will always lose a little of themselves in losing a loved one.


 

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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