“Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty,
little ball of fur.
Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty,
purr, purr, purr”.
– The Big Bang Theory
We are starting 2015 on a bittersweet note as we prepare to say good-bye to our long-time companion, Claudia.
Steve and I adopted our little calico in 1997, shortly after we were engaged, from the Milford Humane Society. Overwhelmed by the quantity of cute fuzziness, “Krissy” captured our attention by reaching out of her cage to tap Steve on the shoulder, as if to say “hey, you missed me.”
Put simply, Claudia (so named by our friend after the character from Interview with a Vampire) was the perfect cat. Unlike many of her kind, Claudia was not aloof or skitterish. Instead, she was a constant welcoming presence, settling on any available lap (or back). As when we met her, she was never afraid to tell us what she needed, or to point out that our lap wasn’t quite right for her needs.
Our first baby, she moved with us (twice) and watched as we welcomed (and evicted) a dog, and then our two children. She tolerated all of the changes, never acting aggressively towards Anders or Sophie. Even when our toddler son had pushed Claudia to her limit, she only “batted” him on the forehead with her paw, shocking the poor boy, but leaving him mostly unscathed (a stray long nail did leave a tiny scratch).
Speaking of patience, it was not unusual for her to be lovingly harassed by my husband – who liked to parade her through the house like baby Simba – or my children who recently used her as star in their “Check me out I’m a cat” video.
What she would not tolerate was other animals, as evidenced by this video which demonstrates she is not a kitty to be trifled with (good thing there was a glass door keeping her from her nemesis).
Any wildlife in our yard was subject to stalking – although my husband was convinced her style was “catch and release.”
Over the years, Claudia has provided not only comfort and affection, but also lessons for our children including responsibility and compassion. Watching my children sit with her as she rests, I realize she is leaving us with one more – how to let go of a loved one, focusing on our happy memories while giving ourselves permission to grieve.
Tomorrow night we will gather with our neighbors (and Claudia’s caregivers whenever we went away) and children for a “wake,” sharing our favorite moments and toasting a fuzzy life well lived.
Thank you Claudia. We will miss you.