All I needed to learn
That morning, with bleary swollen red eyes, as I walked the familiar path of my sacred garden, calling out to the Universe to give me a distinguishable sign. A sign of reassurance, a sign that I was making the right decision, the hardest decision of my lifetime.
Prior that evening, curled up on her blanket, skinny, too thin and feeble looking, my husband Glenn and I sang her praises. We held a live eulogy. Together we laughed, we cried, we reminisced about the past nineteen years together.
As we thought back to that September day 1991, remembering our drive home from a splendid weekend getaway,
in the car ride, we decided to name her, “Tiffany”. The name just felt right, which was ironic since we still hadn’t met her yet. When we finally set eyes on this tiny, fluffy adorable 7 week old kitten, we knew Tiffany would change our lives.
Since Glenn, and I choose not to have children of our own, this sweet fur-ball was the closest thing to our baby-girl. But her older brother Tyler, just a 6 month old kitty himself, had other ideas in mind. He thought we brought her home as the perfect play toy for his own enjoyment. He noted she was just the right size to kick around, plan his attack, by getting a running start to commence his tackle maneuvers, all while thinking "what great parents we were; to accommodate his needs".
Being young adults ourselves, we were scared for Tiffany's life! We quickly seek advice from the vets office, where we got her from. They said to separate the two, just allow them to smell and touch noses from underneath the door, until they got used to each other.
After their 2 week sequestering, we slowly introduced the new siblings. Well, it sure wasn’t love at first sight, Tyler continued to be the big BAD brother, while Tiffany remained the punching bag (not unlike my own childhood).
Fast forward thru the years, Glenn, myself with Tyler and Tiffany in tow, would travel to see family, while enjoying all sorts of adventures.
Tyler aged, not very graciously though, while enduring many medical problems (Karma) which caused him to lose his fur (His paws were completely bald), while his belly section glistened hues of red skin from underneath, where is once fluffy white fur use to exist.
Honesty, he looked sort of scary, but we still loved him in spite of his fading looks. Sadly, Tyler passed away at the ripe old age of 15.
We had many years of hilarious fond memories of him, the best being his dance recitals for family gatherings. Glenn would hold Tyler up underneath his front paw-pits, while Tyler would balance & bop on his back 2 paws. We’d all be hysterical laughing watching him prance around, his little pink mouth suspended with a kitty smile! He was proud of his performances, but especially loved his dad as his dance partner.
If I recall correctly, the evening of Tyler’s passing, Tiffany claimed her role as official “lap cat”. Under Tyler’s watchful eye, she never was permitted to wiggle into our laps- for fear of a scuffle, but once he was no longer watching her every move, Tiffany's confidence became evident, her spring back into her step- pouncing right onto our laps.
For all those years Tyler was obviously cramping her style… but now her opportunity has arose- “she” was now Lady of the house, while lapping up the undivided attention.
Tiffany, over the years got to travel with us to the Mountains, while lounging on her own deck chair, she’d soak up the sun rays, lift her nose to gather in the beautiful fresh mt. air. All the while, she never realized life could be so fun as an only child!
Each evening as Glenn would retire to his recliner, Tiffany would wait patiently for him to settle in, she’d jump into his lap and nest for the entire evening. If, for the unfortunate reason he had to get up, say to get a drink or use the rest room, he’d place her back down on the floor. Tiffany would faithfully stay firmly planted on the side of his chair, patiently waiting until he sat back down again. Instantly- in a blink of an eye; she’d lunge right back into his awaiting lap for more bonding time.
We’d laugh ’cause this became so routine, Glenn would sometimes forget she was even on his lap. He’d look down, almost get startled, then ask me…"when did she jump up here"?
Glenn was always holding her in his arms, but the pose that made us chuckle the most was called “basket hands”.
He’d pick her up, belly side up- and she’d wrap her front paws around his wrists, which reminded me of a basket handle. Without fail, she’d do it every time. The amount of love that this sweet girl brought to our daily lives is too immense to put into words.
Getting back to that faithful day, upon coming in from my garden, the Universe did send me my much needed sign…just ten minutes before we were scheduled to take Tiffany to the vet (for her final resting), a big black fluffy cat appeared outside. It looked right at me through the window, I made the move to go outside to greet this Black Furry Angel, but it ran off.
Seeing that cat was confirmation, my undeniable sign, knowing that we were doing the right thing. Tiffany's years with us were coming to a close, now she’d be pain free. Even know it didn’t make the day any easier, just knowing the Universe was listening, provided me comfort, and gave me solace.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think or speak about Tiffany. We are so grateful to Tiffany, (and Tyler) for being our surrogate children, they filled our lives with daily joy, love and gratitude.
Now, our newest job is to raise this Big black fluffy Angel cat (we call MYKEY= my key to happiness) that came to us when we needed him most. And of course he needed some healing of his own, to choose us for his new parents -on such a difficult but significant day.