Always in need of tech support, this baby boomer has never lacked for love and affection from my sweet cat, Ethel. When the pandemic hit and I began to work from home, I swear Ethel would follow me around the house and wait longingly for me to sit down somewhere so that she could warm up in my cozy lap.
It’s a rainy day today in California and I just lit some incense, poured myself some hot tea, and grabbed my latest read: The Seekers Guide- Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure by Elizabeth Lesser. A perfect rainy day scenario. Except for my little lap blanket.
Last week, after I found Ethel hiding under my desk in my office, I knew it was her time. The large tumor on her hind leg had become a nuisance for her and she was determined to take care of it herself. I will spare you the details.
I picked Ethel up in a soft blanket and put her in bed with me where we cuddled and kissed (I know! I know!) until the morning. I told her I loved her and that I would always take care of her. 17 years is not long enough when we’ve been partners in crime 24/7 since the day we chose each other from the litter. “She looks worried! I’ll take this one!” And away we went to begin our journey together.
Ethel, being that she was a feral cat, was a lover and a fighter. She disliked other cats especially “Toby” who used to come over and try to make friends with her. One afternoon when she was growling at Toby and thinking about tearing him limb from limb, I made the mistake of picking her up and asking her to try to be sweet to other animals.
One Kaiser visit and 14 stitches later, Ethel and I made our peace and she was truly remorseful. That Monday at work my students thought I had had “some work done”.
I sold my house and purchased a townhome that was being built at the time. In the interim Ethel and I moved in with my man friend, Dale. Dale’s two 80 pound dogs tried their best to be friends with Ethel but when she walked past them in the hallway they hugged the walls to allow her to pass.
Being that Dale lived out in the country, I kept Ethel inside so as not to be eaten by the local coyotes. One morning as I was preparing emails for work and having my coffee, Ethel decided to jump up on the kitchen counter and leap out of the second story window! (Secretly, I felt sorry for those coyotes! 😻) Ethel managed to fend for herself that day until I got home from work at which time I had to throw a blanket over her in order to get her into the house (and save myself from another trip to Kaiser)!
We finally moved in to my new townhouse. Ethel roamed the new neighborhood and made it clear to all of the resident cats that she had now arrived. Poor “Chunk” next door wasn’t allowed out of the house so Ethel would sit on my neighbor’s front porch and torment him through the window where he sat jealously perched on the back of the couch looking out at her.
There are other fun facts about Ethel. Opening a can of garbanzo beans could rouse her from a deep sleep from anywhere in the house. I would pour a little bit of the bean juice on her food before making my hummus. Truly a Lebanese cat she was.
Ethel understood and responded to requests of “lie down” and “give me kisses”. She loved to sleep on my head at night and run her claws through my tangled curly hair. Sometimes she would drool in my ear. (ew.. gross)
But you know…
Love is love.
Some of us love chocolate. Some love horror movies. Some love rainy days.
I loved my Ethel.