HOW I FELL TOTALLY IN LOVE
She was just this starved gray and white kitten with a W.C. Fields’ nose, ears so tall she looked like a jackrabbit and a pleading look in her slanted green eyes. She showed up at my front door in 2004 and asked to come inside.
No sir, no sir, I told the kitten, I’ve already got a dog and a cat, I’ve got expenses and vets cost money. Go someplace else.
But even fur couldn’t cover her ribs. Okay. Fine. I started feeding her … outside.
THAT WAS THE FIRST STEP TO PERDITION
When the kitten refused to stop pressing her body against the door I tried to outsmart her. I bought an igloo-a beehive-shaped cat shelter lined with fake fur-and put it at the far end of the porch. For days, every few hours, I bent and stared inside. The kitten was always there. So far, so good.
Then she got diarrhea and left gobs of greenish mess on the porch; all twenty feet. By the time Doc Allred saved the kitten’s life, I was living at his clinic, cuddling her limp body against mine. Little warm bundle of fur. I named her Baby.
Although doc saved her life, he did have bad news. Baby had a permanent heart murmur. Bacteria had colonized her heart valves.
Doc let me take Baby home, but he didn’t seem optimistic about her chances. For some reason, I didn’t believe him. And we were happy together. She purred in my arms like a little tractor and arched her neck, rubbing her face on mine. I kissed her nose and stroked her sleek little body while she stretched in contentment. At night, when I read, she jumped on my lap, jubilant we were together again. When I shifted to get a better light, she jumped on the back of the chair, rubbing her head against mine, pulling my hair with her teeth: Just a little pull, so I wouldn’t forget she was there. Baby slept with me. Sometimes I woke and reached my hand out and she was always there, her haunch firm and living against my hand.
Baby was indifferent. She just sat and stared Lamb down, like a pasha facing an impudent slave. Sometimes Baby got tired of the threats and tackled Lamb like Gorgeous George rushing the Destroyer at a Saturday Night Wrestling match. Wrestling did not always work for Baby, since Lamb was twice as big. But she was game.
Baby is gone now. She died on October 29, 2011, in doc’s office. Doc brought me her little body and I couldn’t stop sobbing; my helpless darling, her head lolling against my chest.
I buried her in the back yard, where I can see her grave when I look outside.
My Baby’s Spirit Returned
Two weeks after she died, to the day, I lay in bed and heard her purring. I couldn’t see anything, nor feel her, but I heard her. She purred for ten minutes. I’ve told other people about hearing Baby purr two weeks after her death, not expecting them to believe me. Then they told me about dead dogs jumping on their beds, dead cats lying against their backs when they slept.
God does not waste anything. Spirit never dies.
I loved her so…My baby.