It has been a while since I have written just for me.  I have missed it.

It’s funny how things can change in an instant; sometimes for the bad, and sometimes for the good. This is one of those instances where change has been good, unexpected but good.

I should give you a little background. Clara, the beautiful cat in the picture, is one of three cats that currently live in my home.  If you know anything about me, you will know that the number of animals in my home can change at a moments notice.  Anyway, Clara is about 15 or 16 years old.  She is a sweet girl, comes when called and can cuddle for extended periods of time.  She loves humans, particularly my granddaughter, who carries her happily from room to room.  Clara does not bite or use her claws on humans.

On the other hand, she has not cared much for other animals.  She is a loner even though one dog and two other cats currently reside with her.  Max, my Chihuahua and Cookie, another one of my cats have been gone for two years. So Clara has remained the queen. She is the one who sits on the highest points while the others remain lower. She is the one who can yell louder than a dog can bark and can swat at the other animals in an instant.  She is faster than a mosquito when she wants to bite one of them, and then she retreats to her own little world.  She has been fighting with Trixie for years.  I have been unable to decide which one of them starts the ruckus but it always ends in me yelling at one or the other.  Frankly, it has been chaos.

One day, not too long ago, I came home and found Clara and Trixie on the sofa.  They were on opposite sides, but each was quiet and peaceful.  I pretended to ignore the situation because I was afraid the peace would end up in a brawl.  It didn’t.  The peace lasted through the night.

The next night was similar, only Trixie and Clara were snuggled on the sofa when I got home.  Later in the evening, when I was settled in to watch Netflix (one of my favorite things to do), Trixie moved next to me in her usual spot and Clara climbed onto my chest.

When I least expected, Clara moved off of me and close to Trixie.  Trixie didn’t move, and Clara began cleaning Trixie’s ear.  The whole episode lasted moments, but it changed our lives.

My son said it was a fluke.  He said there was no way Clara was going to get along with Trixie and she certainly wasn’t going to stop fighting with the other cats. I knew better. Moms always seem to know.

So it has now been about two weeks since the first day they started getting along.  Peace and quiet has become our norm.  After all these years, I can honestly say that the peace is easy to get used to.  I feel like I have a normal home now.  And as I sit at the edge of the sofa typing this,  Trixie, Clara, Cleo and Norton are all on the sofa behind me.  It feels like Christmas, “And to all a good night.”





There is a blogger I love to read. Her name is Rachel Mankowitz. She writes the Cricket Pages. Not too long ago she wrote a beautiful story about the last feral cat in her building and another about a squirrel.  I mentioned in a comment to one of her stories that I have a lovely neighbor who takes an early morning walk each day with one of our newest feral cats.  It took weeks but I was finally outside at the same time they were and I was able to snap a few photos.

Lucy is in her late 80’s. She recently lost her last inside cat (at one time she had five). I asked her if she wanted me to  bring home a kitten from the Humane Society but she said no.  She said that she was afraid any cat she brought home would outlive her and that wasn’t fair.  Just about that time a new feral cat showed up on the property.  Someone must have dropped him on our property because his ear was already tipped when he arrived.  (Eartipping is the universal sign of an altered feral cat).

On this particular morning I was walking my dog Trixie towards Lucy’s building. She was coming down the street alone, looking for the black cat.  We found him on the side of the building walking back towards where we were standing.  We said our good byes and Lucy and her little friend continued their walk back towards her building where he stands guard by her front door when he is not out exploring.

Max and Cookie taking a walk on a rainy day.

Max the Chihuahua and Cookie the Cat- the Story of a Broken Heart

We adopted Max when he was six weeks old.  Cookie arrived about a week later, likely the same age.  They became best friends.  In the beginning, we took Max for walks four to five times a day.  Cookie came on our walks almost from the start. We bought her a collar and leash, but once the leash was on, she sat down and wouldn’t move.  We stopped using the leash, but she continued on our walks.  When they were younger, Cookie would come home when Max did.  But after a while, Cookie became the neighborhood explorer, coming home whenever she pleased, but always before we went to bed.

Max was never a very healthy dog.  He had scoliosis and walked on an angle, his back legs always towards the right and his front legs and head sort of to the left. If Max stopped, Cookie stopped, if Cookie wandered away, Max would wait patiently for her to catch up.  On the rare occasion that I kept walking and allowed her to get out of sight, Cookie would cry until we walked back to her and then we would continue on our journeys.

At home they would run around and play with each other and nap together on the couch.  Our older cat, Valentine passed away when they were about three, and we quickly adopted Clara and Cleo and then they were four. About five years ago we adopted Trixie, a lab/pit mix and then they were five. Throughout the years, Max and Cookie remained best friends.

About a year ago, Max’s health started deteriorating.  He got cataracts and went blind.  He started falling occasionally and would cry in pain when I picked him up.  We went to three different vets who gave us oils and pain meds, but Max didn’t get better.  Cookie, on the other hand, remained healthy and happy.

Not too long ago, Max fell off of the curb and hit his head on a car.  I carried him home and Cookie came inside with us. As much as I knew it was going to hurt, I knew it was near the time I was going to have to say goodbye to Max.  I debated for about a week what the right thing was to do.  Finally I made the decision to say goodbye to my little friend. It was one of the hardest things I have every had to do as an adult.

All the animals knew something was different.  They were different.  Clara stopped fighting with Trixie.  Cleo became a cuddly lap cat and Trixie seemed to lose her puppy-like exuberance.  Cookie changed the most.  She spent more time outside than usual and one night, she wouldn’t come in at all.

It has been a month since Cookie has been gone.  Some of the neighbors think she was taken by a wild animal. I know differently.  Just as one spouse dies soon after the other, Cookie went off to die, alone, from a broken heart.