Tuesday, September 9, 2008

. . . and then there were eight

Two of our cats, Cleo and Obie, had been staying at the vet's off and on for the past month. Yesterday we brought them home.

Obie was doing much better and ready to come home and keep her brothers in line. The first thing she did when she got home was to run to the back porch for "lizard patrol". The lizards have their own version of "X Games" - they scoot under the screen porch door and see if they can survive being on the porch with the cats before scooting out again.

Cleo had been frail and failing. The vet called us on Saturday afternoon and said she was gone. She is now buried in our back yard.

Cleo found us in Orlando in 1987 when we were staying with my parents and waiting for our house in Virginia to sell. When we moved to Brevard County, she moved with us. The vet estimated her age between 3 and 5 when we took her for her first visit. Since we had been married for 4 years by then, we decided to go with 4.

Our first major adventure with Cleo came one Saturday morning, shortly after we moved into the house. We are far enough off the road that I felt she'd be safe from traffic, so I let her outside. (I know better now!)

After a while I heard her calling for us and I went to the back porch to see what she was doing. I could still hear her, but I couldn't see her - until I looked up. She was clinging to the top of a sapling as it waved with the breeze.

Of course, we had to rescue her. And "we" meant my husband dragging out a ladder and climbing through blackberry brambles while I offered helpful suggestions. After that, we decided it would be best if she stayed in the house.

Over the years we got used to being bossed around by a 5 pound tyrant. She had no problem telling us exactly what she wanted and when. She was a dictator, but a benevolent, furry one. She fussed so much we'd call her a "grouchy old pooh". Pooh became her nickname. We knew she was nearing the end when she stopped fussing at us and spent most of her time asleep on her favorite beach towel.

Even though we knew it was time, it was still hard to say, "Goodbye."

'bye Pooh, we'll miss you.

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