>> Marlene finds it too difficult to face the events which brought her beloved Harley to his end. One day perhaps. Concentrate on the happy times first... <<|
It didn't take long till he found his favourite spot; near the front window heater vent where he knew it would be warm. And if the heater was not on, the sun through the glass would warm his bones. Before the front fence and garden(s) came along, there was not much cover for any creature, so hunting was poor, and being outside was no longer as much fun. His mother got up really early, and didn't get home till late, and the days here were very quiet; all he had to do was chase and annoy Poppet, and between them they would take turns to leave clumps of black or white fur to show the excesses of their day. When the garden was established they both couldn't wait to get out -- he to lie in wait in search of prey -- not always of course, but you never let birds know that you're really just napping under the shrubbery. A few times Marlene ignominiously removed his catch from him. Oh the shame of it. He was just glad no other cat got to see that.
Marlene always worried when either of them were out, and as more houses and people came, the street traffic increased. So did other cats -- and on two occasions he had to share HIS house with cats his mother had rescued. He never knew their names, but later he heard Marlene and John talking about a "Jimmy" and a "Percy," so he decided that they were the interlopers. Fortunately for them, she took them to Johns.
Here some strange force made him pee on the carpet in the front room. He knew it was wrong, and would always bring a stern word from his beloved mother, but the pattern was established. Maybe, he reasoned, it was from the time that horrible other tom came up and sprayed the front window there or ... well he couldn't fathom it, it made his brain hurt, but he knew that he just had to do it. It was like this for years, until one glorious day he found a litter tray right in HIS bedroom, and suddenly he was cured for good. What a delight to step out of bed into your very own litter tray. Bliss!
All along, of course he had other games. He loved to climb up his mumma's leg, or chase her dressing gown, or anything that dangled. One time he felt so boyish as to run up the pergola post. When he got to the top and looked around at how BIG the world was, he rushed straight down. He never did that again.
He always knew when "people" were coming. His food and water would be put into the bedroom and he would be locked in until they had gone. The "children" were especially distasteful - they actually rushed at you and even sometimes wanted to touch you. Uugh! Much better to be under the bed. Put your hand under there at your own risk, young person. Actually, some members of the family never saw Harley from one year to the next. It really WAS a privilege.
He had trained his person right - he knew if he sat on Marlene's chair until she approached, and then leapt onto the arm until she sat down - he would always be assured of a nice lap to keep him warm.
And he loved to be sang too. He didn't quite get the words always, but he knew then that he was REALLY loved, and his heart would fill with love for his mumma.
Like all good stories, there must be a beginning and an end. Harley's health had been good until 2009, when first one eye, than the other were affected by a luxated lens and cataracts. Oh sure, he couldn't see as well as when he was a kitten, but he still found his mumma's bed at night, and his food bowl on the kitchen bench, until she decided for safety to put it back on the floor. And he could still see well enough to find his way through the winter jungle, eh garden. Pandora was still followed and hassled, in his playful way - she wasn't having any of it as usual. Regular trips to his eye Doctor weren't fun for anyone, especially not for Uncle John who was a bit over-exuberant in trying to get eye-drops in his eyes, prior to taking him to the Doctor. He got a well deserved 4-fang munch to the ball of the thumb; Harley knew well how to tell someone to back-off! So the Tetanus injection prevented lockjaw, and Uncle John apologized for his rough treatment.
...and so, tragically, after his surgery, dear little Harley succumbed, and fell asleep, peacefully.
How devastating his loss. How empty his spot by the window...
It didn't seem that long until Pandoras time grew short, less than a year in fact. Her kidneys, affected by the diabetes needed a good flush at the dreaded Vet's, and Marlene fretted while she was away, wanting her to be home. Her hope was for a peaceful end; after so many times coming back from the brink. What a tough old girl Pin was - "great genes" we said, because, even at 18, she could still fight and recover.
But the fighting took its toll, and her weight dropped away, even as Marlene aided her diet with syringe feeding. On her penultimate day she still took a constitutional "around her traps" in the back yard; a pause here to squint into the sun, a stop there to smell the cat thyme. What a dear old cat - even at the last she enjoyed her time, although heaven forbid if anyone touched her!!
On Queens Birthday holiday, 13 June, she staggered under the load of poison in her system; it was time, and Marlene, although hoping against hope, knew it too. How peaceful was her end at the Vet - cradled in her Mumma's arms.
Her ashes are home now in another beautiful wooden box, to join Harley and her mother who loved them as no other; those two ordinary, but oh so special Moggies. And now our memories will keep them both alive, as long as life lasts.
June 6 2013
--Between the setting of the sun and night there was only the briefest twilight. It were better so.
March 19 2014