We said goodbye to an old friend this week. Well, we would have if we knew where he was. Rascal came to us about 3 years or so ago and being our first new-family cat, he challenged our family dynamic on more than one occasion. Honey liked cats well enough, but didn't like cats in the house. Rascal was only a kitten, so in the house he came. Rascal has always been a little gray ghost. He dashes and hides at the slightest sound or movement. I always said that he was wound just a little too tight, which made him an absolute master mouser! But, that high-strung personality also led to other less desirable traits.
We already had one dog ~ Major Payne. Major was a very old black lab that LOVED cats. He would scratch them behind their head, often leaving a slobbery mess. But, for the most part, he never bothered the cats. A year or so after Rascal joined our blending-family, Meja and I got the bright idea that Honey needed a dog. We found Bear. Bear was/is also a bit high strung. He is part border collie and is on guard at all times and chases anything that moves.
Needless to say, too many high-strung males in one very small cabin leads to male dominance issues. When Rascal would get mad, he would go on Honey's side of the bed and wet. More than one night we would go to bed only to find a huge wet spot only on his side. Note to anyone trying to blend two very different families: DO NOT BRING HIGH STRUNG MALE CRITTERS HOME.
It didn't take long for that to become a very serious issue. I give Honey credit, he put up with it alot longer than most men. After MUCH discussion, Rascal became an outside cat. In the winter, Honey would light the wood stove to keep the shop warm for Rascal. In turn, that little gray ghost would mouse like no body's business.
Back the story up just a bit: A year or so after we adopted Rascal, Honey was working on a property where the owner was having to move into a nursing home and his kids were cleaning up the property to sell. Honey was told to trap the elderly man's two cats so the kids could have them put down. After trapping one cat, Honey calls home and tells me to bring to cat carrier to the job site, he hated to see the cat put down; so with permission ... D'Aga became our newest member. She and I bonded and she became my lap cat. Not long after Rascal moved outdoors, it was time to let D'Aga out. She was an outdoor cat at her former home, so she was in cat heaven. With 100 acres of forest/mountain behind us ... there were lots of chipmunks, squirrels, and field mice to chase.
For the past year, everything has gone really good. Rascal would catch mice and baby moles and lay them in my garden path. D'Aga would wander in with birds & chipmunks. Each doing their part to earn their dinner.
This past week, Rascal came up missing. I've checked all of his hiding spots and he's gone. He never missed a meal time, so I know that he's really gone. I'm going to miss that little gray ghost. He leaves us with wonderful memories and lots of stories to tell.
Our youngest son moved to North Caroline last summer, Meja moved out this spring to try her wings, Major left us back in April and now that Rascal's gone, the house is feeling alot emptier. Bear and D'Aga are here to love me through the loss. And Tigger, (the neighborhood's resident scamp) wanders through for a meal and some love every now and then.
Children & old friends come into our lives for a season then they move on. They leave us with wonderful memories and the warmth of their love. I guess the seasons are changing and it's time to move on.
May the Lord bless you.