As we approach the Thanksgiving Day holidays, I have been spending some time thinking about all of the things that I’ve been thankful this year … of which there is many. Sometimes things that you’re thankful for are happy things, many of which have given you great joy or satisfaction. Sometimes they are bittersweet memories that, though sad, have enriched your life nonetheless. I’m sure that I’ve lost most of you by now with my rambling. Let me explain.
See, all of my growing up years, I had been surrounded by dogs. My parents bred show dogs (miniature schnauzers and Norwich terrier). For that matter, I even took their Championship status even further by showing them for obedience as well. When my daughter was young, she begged me to get a kitten that Brownies leader had found. That cat, Kahlua, was brought home and lived 18 years in our home. We loved her, though she was far from a “needy” cat.
We had our fair share of strays pass through our yard … dogs and cats (bunnies too) … many of whom also were brought into the household and loved dearly. Then there was a black cat, we creatively called “Blackie”. He would hang outside under our RV and seemed to like being there. On Halloween, 4th of July, and New Years Eve we would bring him into our porch, since you always hear those horrible stories about black cats and how mean some people can be to them. Once in a while, he would get in a fight and injured and I would gather him up and take him in for treatment. He was always very calm about it.We grew to love him too … well, the rest of my family did, but probably not as much as I did. See “Blackie” and I had a special bond… something that I can’t explain. We often wondered where he came from and if anyone knew where he belonged.After some time, we came across a flyer for a “missing cat” in our neighborhood. Lost was a black cat, Malarky was his name, and he was easily identified by his extra dewclaw on both of his front paws. By then, I had fallen in love with this little guy, but called the number to report that I might know where it was. The owner was grateful, came over, picked him up, and got his shots renewed. Before nightfall, there he was again.Eventually, the owner told us to keep him since he was always hanging out at our house anyways. So that’s what we did. He became a real member of the family and his name was honored as Malarky. He was such a character too. Always finding himself a nice little cubby place to cuddle up in. Whether that be the sink …… the “cuddle cup”…… the laundry basket…… or the arms of anyone who ventured into the house. Little did they know that they were going to be his next “loving victim”.He also had a love affair with water. Can you imagine that? This cat would actually join us in the shower! He just loved the way water would drip off of your hand and would lap it up. LOL. Of course, he often hung out in the garden area as well.He just LOVED to drink out of the water sprayer and would just get covered in the spray.But when he was in the house, he was my boy, always laying in my lap while I worked at the computer.As he got older, he actually learned to love other cats, even my daughters two dogs when they would come over to visit. I’m sure that they didn’t understand why all of a sudden, after years of trying to be his friend, he succumbed to allowing them to get close … without a gentle swat of the nose.I can’t explain why but he became my “soul kitty” … with his unconditional love and incessant purring … so very loud! When we would go away on trips, he would only last about 2 minutes and 3 pats on the head before it would start. I loved it so much I have recordings of it. 🙂Over the years, Malarky became slower, thinner, less cognizant of his surroundings … other than his desire for my lap and love. His eyesight began failing, his hearing was impaired, and his mobility was weak and limited. He could no longer jump into the sink, the laundry basket, though he would still jump into my lap, but without my assistance he would fall and sometimes I never saw him trying. I was devastated at watching one of my best friends, my feline soul mate, and my source of unconditional love, struggle so. I had to make one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. I made the dreaded phone call to Lap of Love – an in-home veteranian hospice where the process could be dealt with as much love and security as possible.It’s been 6 months tonight. It was a sad, but honorable, heartfelt emotional moment. I haven’t been able to talk about it since then, and honestly I still can’t without tears filling up my eyes. I know that he wouldn’t want me to be so sad, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I still feel as though a piece of my heart is missing. I hope that he knows that I did the right thing … I think that he does. They say that it’s the final act of love that you can do for your “best friend”. So glad that we can do that for our pets … I wouldn’t have wanted him to suffer. Our pets are like an extension of our families … the “furry” ones.
Coming full circle from the beginning of my post, one of the things I’m most grateful this year, and for the last 14+ years, was having Malarky in my life. There’s a reason he chose me to live with. He taught me many things and filled me with much graditude. I’m so glad that we have so many wonderful and happy memories to call upon. I hope that this blog post helps me in celebrating his life, rather than mourning it. As he runs freely, without pain and suffering, having crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I know that we will find each other again when the time comes. Until then MooMoo, know how much I loved you and miss you everyday. RIP Malarky ❤If you ever find yourself in the difficult position, I fully endorse Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, Inc. They were highly professional, kind, compassionate, and understanding. I couldn’t have done it any other way.
Next up: More from the Butte
© 2016 TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy