06 September 2017

A goodbye for a kitty

Many of you will know that we said goodbye to our "firstborn" cat, Taffy, yesterday August 5th. When we adopted her in 2011, she was the subject of many pictures and much doting. Mater's arrival just a couple of weeks later only increased the photos, and while she was an adorable kitten and Taffy a full grown cat, their unique appearances made us love each of them for their quirks and unique qualities.
Taffy was always reluctant to cuddle with Mater, but the little grey kitty eventually figured out that if she bathed her "Momma's" head, she'd acquiesce, sometimes even for a quick nap.
Several weeks after we adopted her, we got a call from the shelter that had housed Taffy before she came home to us, saying that her paperwork had been switched with another cat up for adoption (and who was still available). It turned out that her "real" name was Smoochie, and that the other cat was the one actually called Taffy. We chose to keep her name. I'm sure that she earned the name "Smoochie" for the way she unabashedly walked up to any newcomer showing any sign of slight interest and would rub her head on their leg (or hand, or foot...really anything that would give a good rub).
RIP - September 5th, 2017

Michael and I once (or maybe several times...in any case, always the same result!) tried "walking" Taffy around our apartment complex in Georgia. She insisted on walking backwards, and eventually gave up in the confusion the harness set her to and laid down in the middle of the sidewalk. Here you can see me, fresh from the poolside, with her in a rare moment of uprightness on one such attempt at a promenade.

On a few occasions early on (and before Mater, I think), we took her for a ride in the car, where she enjoyed sitting on the armrest in the backseat.

Over the years, Taffy was a trooper through multiple moves and various living situations. Her and Mater rode with me across country in Michael's former Toyota 4Runner as he drove the moving van. They did well in the make-shift (but quite fancy!) "portapotty" that Michael and our friend Jason put together with a piece of particle board and an oversized travel carrier/crate meant for a dog...until the last day, we had a serious "accident" that resulted in some less-than-pleasant clean-up. At least we knew without a doubt that that had to be the day we got to Camano, despite the long 12-hour drive it entailed.

One of the fancier "pet friendly" hotels that we lodged at on our trip from GA to WA in February 2013.

Taffy and Mater looking out the window of our Ballard apartment on a moving box. They used to glare at a neighbor kitty that, ironically, was black and mischievous. Little did they know Mr. Larry would soon come along...

She always knew how to find a good "spot". (Here, in our closet in Ballard.)
It wasn't until Larry came along that Taffy finally got her "freedom". A third cat in our relatively small house in Lynnwood really stretched our patience, and finally Michael convinced me to let the cats outside. Eventually, Larry did get hit and we had to say goodbye to him, but in the meantime he forced Taffy to become more adventurous than ever. She loved sunning herself in the actual sun, not in an air-conditioned apartment in GA or a sunny window in Ballard. Her last weeks with us, she spend much of her time nestled under the hedge near our boat, and we buried her there as it seemed a fitting final resting place.

Until she started going outside, Taffy was my constant companion during study and time at my desk. She always wanted to get as close as she could for a nap. And, much of the time, that was just fine with me.

Taffy and Mater both (along with most cats, I assume) would go tummies-up as soon as the sun got warm enough. Here is one of the best photos I got of this "premium cooling" position:

The night before we put her to sleep, Taffy slept on me for several hours. She hadn't done this in a very long time, and later in the day I realized she had probably been saying goodbye and "I'm ready to go, Momma". Her favorite place to sit on me was my shoulder when I was lying on my side, but since I was never able to get a good photo of that (for obvious reasons), here is one of her and Mater one naptime a few years ago:

We miss this sweet, tiny cat terribly. The past year, she had been a bit of a pest and we were quite fed up with her at times, but I know that she loved her life coming in and out of the house and always having Mater to whip into shape. She was our first "baby", and will forever be in our hearts. Rest in peace, Taffy.

1 comment:

  1. Such bittersweet memories. Such a sweet kitty. She will be missed. May your soul be rested, sweet Taff.
    Great memorial, Hai. Love you. -Meims