One of our cats died yesterday.
Lois the Cat was the longest-tenured animal in our menagerie, and she predated me in fact because my wife got her before we even met.
Things were always a little rocky between Lois and I, because I am allergic to cats and Lois was one of those who could not take no for an answer. She was a love-and-purr machine: Regardless of how much an ogre you might be, Lois would unflinchingly approach seeking to be petted. Back in the days when we actually had company, Lois would inevitably be the hit of the party, throwing herself with abandon at anyone who might have an inkling to Pet The Cat.
She had to deal with some curveballs, such as being transformed from an indoor cat to an outdoor cat around the age of 12 in order to allow your humble narrator to continue to live in the house. But her disposition never changed; she adapted to life in the cat house and the backyard, and she remained a very sweet creature wanting nothing more than to be stroked by anyone in the vicinity. This included me – the decidedly non-cat lover – despite the fact that she surely had me figured out. She was not a stupid cat. So her indefatigable advances, her blatant flirtatiousness despite the wall I attempted to maintain between us, served as a reminder that she was, in an important sense, a better person than I.
My wife rescued Lois from a shelter (and a previously abusive owner), giving her what turned out to be a good life.
Reflecting puts the significance of the past in perspective – (and this is not just for pets obviously): Altogether we had Lois for over 13 years. That’s a serious slice of our life. We had a lot happen during that time – we each in the family accomplished things, we had our rough spots, and a lot changed. BOY did things ever change. Among the constants during that period, Lois was a key one. She was really a good natured cat, a blessing to us.