For photos of Fiona, please scroll to the end of this page.
Fiona was my best friend and housemate for 17 wonderful years. She got her middle name, Trebuchet, from the way she would lightly hop onto my lap. (A trebuchet is a type of catapult.) She was a real lap cat, loved people, and greeted everyone who visited. I miss her greeting me at the door every evening. She loved stealing popcorn, so I learned to eat it without butter and salt. I let her ride free from her carrier in the car sometimes, and she always stood up and looked out the driver's side window as we got close to home. She just knew! In her later years, if I stood too long looking into the refrigerator, she climbed inside; what a trusting soul!
She was a medium hair, sometimes called the World's Softest Cat by my nephews. They paraphrased a Gilbert and Sullivan tune the first time they met you, "For Fiona is a cat, and a soft cat too!"
She died on Epiphany, 2015. Here's a poem I wrote that month. (She had a thin white stripe from her bib to her lap, so I used to say it was the zipper of her cat suit, and she was really a little person inside.) She loved to nap on my lap on long car rides to Maine!
How She Went
Fiona complained, "Constrained!"
So small she plunged downstairs
Her tail trailed forgotten,
Her bib dripped
Here is a link to a video of Fiona playing with her favorite toy:
What a comfort this site is! Yes, it's a little schmaltzy with all the talk about "fur babies" playing together in the meadow,
I don't know how people live alone without pets. I cry while commuting and work late so I can delay opening the door where you no longer greet me.
The February snow caused so many leaks, three rooms have the walls opened so now I sleep in the loft with your ashes. Pastor G promised a ceremony to scatter them but we are waiting for the snow to melt. I dream of adopting another cat, but not until all the repairs are finished, and I don't know when that will be. All that banging, toxic paint, and open doors would be bad for a new kitty, and I want the next one to feel peaceful here. It almost feels like God is punishing me because I failed you, but that's pretty self-centered to think I condemned New England to all this snow! I'm sorry, sweetheart. I'm only human. Today is the going away lunch for my best friend at work, so I am being abandoned there, too. Well, time to go get dressed and put on that fake smile I have worn since Epiphany, the day you died. Somehow I will fake my way through Easter alleluias, can't let the choir down. Remember how you used to help me practice on the piano bench? You were always there for me. I miss you terribly.
I opened the door to the little room and sat in a rocker. You came over and hopped into my lap, and the radio played Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture. I sat and stroked you and felt peaceful despite the stormy music. Penny came in and stared. "She let me pet her, but never would sit on my lap," she said. I took you home and gave you a Celtic name because of that song. This Valentine's Day, I tried to request the Hebrides Overture for you but missed the station's deadline.
Dear Fiona, it is the first anniversary of your death.
Remembering that awful day still brings tears, but time has softened the pain. I no longer cry every day on the way to work, but only sometimes, like when I hung your tree ornament, or when I found it on the floor.
My beautiful girl, there will never be another like you, but I hurt too much to live alone. I opened our home to two homeless fur babies on September 12. They are not as welcoming to my friends as you were; their lives must have been hard; they hide instead. But they are loving to me. Watching them wash each other and sleep together brings me peace. Jenna is a feisty brown tiger, full grown at age 5 but only 8 pounds. She is my lap girl and acrobat. Desi, age 3, is an affable clown, 15 lbs, who loves the fishing rod toy and talks to me in his incongruously high voice. When they meet me at the door each night, my house feels like a home again.
Thank you for all you taught me about keeping kitties happy. I will do my best to fill their lives with love.