As I have not received any pictures or stories for Forget-Me-Not Friday just yet, this week will feature Noah, one of the first two cats with which I felt I had a bond.
Noah was a kitten that was dropped off in the country between our house and our neighbor’s house. She was small, probably about 2-3 months old. We took her in to protect her when we noticed one of the neighbor’s children swinging her around by the tail. We determined by her traits that she was perhaps a Chinese Li Hua, though possibly mixed with a common Domestic Shorthair tabby cat.
All in all, she was a beautiful affectionate cat that loved her job as a mouser, vole hunter, bird catcher, and squirrel chaser. My grandma’s cat, Zeela, took her in and nursed her as she had only recently had a small litter of two kittens, herself – Fluff and Fuzz – who were of about the same age. After Zeela’s kittens were weaned and my grandma had finally decided to spay her, she took off and didn’t come back (but that’s another story, entirely).
Noah grew, and it became apparent very quickly that she was the kitty in charge. Fluff and Fuzz both deferred to her. She was the Queen of the roost and loved it.
As all our cats were at that time, Noah was an indoor/outdoor cat, which turned out to work against her when, somehow, someway, a part of her tail was either cut or ripped off. We suspect it was caught under the tire of a car. In any case, we dressed it and cleaned it and eventually it got better, but from then on she had only half a tail.
Again, being outdoors worked against her, and she disappeared for a full 2 months. When she finally returned, she was so scared she darted in the house and immediately went to hide. She didn’t want anyone to touch her and slunk around with her tail down and her whiskers and ears both slicked back. We don’t know what happened to her in those 2 months, but I suspect she was taken by someone and not treated very well at all.
With a lot of patience and a lot of kindness, she eventually allowed herself to be touched once again. It’s not at all bragging to say she responded best to me. I was, for some time, the only one she allowed to pick her up and put her outside when needed. For, although she had some bad experiences, she still preferred to be outside most nights. I would have preferred she remain indoors, but alas, she didn’t.
Again, Noah was not spayed in time and ended up pregnant by her foster brother, Fluff. We found homes for Fuzz and all the kittens except 2. One of which died by our own car as he had decided to get up in the wheel well and didn’t get out when the car was turned on and then started moving. That incident has made us a lot more careful about making sure no cats are up in the car before we go anywhere, especially during the winter when they like to get in near the warm engine after the car’s just been turned off. The 2nd kitten, Raina, stayed with us.
Then, the time came for us to move. A house had become available at a price my mom could afford, by a dear family friend who was moving to Florida. Sadly, Fluff did not go with us. He was injured sometime while he was out hunting or patrolling his territory and the wound became infected. By the time he came back to the house, it was too far advanced to do anything more than make him comfortable and wait for him to pass on (Again, another story).
The move wasn’t too difficult, but it was strange and disorienting for the cats. A new house. New outdoor areas to explore. New cats and dogs coming and going. We kept them indoors for 3 days to try to get them accustomed to the new house and to imprint it in their memories so they would come back when we let them outdoors. On the fourth day, we put food out the back door and let the cats out with it. They ate and then went exploring. And, as hoped, they all came back safe and sound.
Noah again fell pregnant and this time, at a year old, so did Raina. They helped each other through their pregnancies, grooming and soothing one another. When they gave birth only days apart, they took turns helping each other, cleaning and nursing the kittens in turn. After the kittens were grown and all but 3 were gone (these being Akira, Sassafras, and Bagheera – again another story), Noah disappeared. Whether it was because she felt the territory was becoming too crowded and simply moved on or because she found a new home and new family, I don’t know. I hope she found a new home and family and is, to this day, living happily with them.
This post is in memory of Noah. May she never be forgotten.
Forget-Me-Not Friday is about pets we have lost, whether they’ve passed over the Rainbow Bridge, got lost and were never found, or had to be given up for one reason or another. Please feel free to participate in this event to honor our pets by sending a picture (or a few pictures) and your pet’s story to FluffybuttsFamily@mycompanymail.com. Tell me about your beloved dog, your adorable cat, your favorite horse, your silly goat, your pet pig, your mischievous ferret, etc. I’ll post one picture and one story each week in memory of those pets.
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If you loved this Forget-Me-Not Friday, please consider checking out previous Forget-Me-Not Friday posts!