On January 2nd, 2018 my parents said the final good-bye to our family cat Buddy.
On September 10th, 2019 Missy received her final good-bye.
A Christmas Gift
Missy was supposed to be “my” cat. Christmas of 2003 my parents gifted me a cat. I was struggling after moving to a new state and my anxiety and depression seemed uncontrollable. My parents knew the therapeutic benefit of fur-babies, as our previous family cat had passed away only a year prior. We went to Pet-smart to adopt and I fell in love with a tiny calico.
If I am honest, she was actually the second kitten that I picked out. The first kitten appeared more rambunctious and wild. Missy seemed calmer. I could actually hold her.
My parents believed that kittens do better as a pair, so we ended up coming home with a bonus kitten from the same litter, Buddy. They quickly settled into their new posh life and made themselves comfortable wherever the deemed acceptable.
The two had drastically different personalities. Buddy cared for the people, wanting to make sure each guest felt loved and welcomed into our home. Missy cared for the hunting. She was so skilled at killing any flying insect and loved to spend her days cackling at the birds that were beyond her reach on the other side of the window.
The Mirror vs The Door Frame
One of my favorite memories of Missy comes from when she was a tiny kitten. Apparently, she had never interacted with a mirror before. My bedroom had mirrored closet doors. This led her to assume my room was about twice as big as it actually was. On like the second day of living with us, she leapt off of my bed and rammed herself FULL SPEED into that mirror.
It stunned her in the moment and modified her behavior for the rest of her almost 16 years of life. From that moment forward, she refused to walk through a door frame without first sticking just a paw out to make sure that there was not some mysterious wall that would smack her. That quirk of hers brought my brother and I countless hours of laughter.
I could just picture her thinking, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” She was determined… never again.
The Spoiled Diva
Her hunter tendencies made her somewhat of a loner. She was bonded with Buddy, but did not appreciate when my Olive Thief was thrown into the mix during the summer of 2012.
But as she continued to age, she became sweeter and more loving. At first, she wanted nothing to do with her humans. Then slowly, she and my mom developed quite the bond. She didn’t necessarily want to sit on my mom’s lap. She just wanted to make sure that my mom was nearby.
My family was concerned with how she would react after Buddy was gone. It turned out, Buddy had become her ears. Missy Girl had gone completely deaf in her old age. But she still wanted to be close to her human. Although she was supposed to be “my” cat, she ended up undeniably my mom’s cat. Isn’t that how it always goes? The one family member who did not necessarily want the animal ends up being the one family member that the animal chooses to be theirs?
I am thankful my parents were able to provide Missy with some amazing golden years. She lived out the last few years of her life so happy and so spoiled.
The Closing of a Chapter
Her passing also marks the closing of a chapter. She and Buddy were gifts to me when my parents were searching for ways to save their daughter. My proper diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency came five months later.
Missy, thank you for your nearly 16 years of companionship. Thank you for being there so many years allowing me, and only me, to hold you while I sat in my room sobbing trying to wrestle with the news of being diagnosed with an incurable disease. Thank you for looking after my mom when I went away to college. I am going to miss the phone calls home and not being able to hear you scream at my mom for talking on the phone and thus ignoring you.
You were such a beautiful, mischievous, diva of a calico.