Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Frieda 1991- 2008

Frieda died about three-o-clock this morning when her brave heart finally failed. It was in this house almost seventeen years ago that I was the first human to touch her, to speak to her. This morning, I was the last to do so as well.

I sat with her on the deck yesterday afternoon for about an hour. She loved being outside so much, I think the prospect of those outings kept her going these past few months. We certainly made a point of taking her out whenever the weather would allow. She would totter from the back yard to the greenhouse and beyond, resting frequently but obviously happy in her freedom. Yesterday she was too weak to walk, but I carried her bed outside and let the sunshine warm her fur for the last time.

Every time I spoke to her or stroked her, her little paws would knead in pleasure. I watched those pink paws flex and thought of all the years and all the trails those little pads had carried her on over the last seventeen years.

Freida's paws

I told her that there was a green wood full of sunlight and in a glade there, her sisters and mother were waiting for her. I told her she would be with Johnny and Newt and it would always be summer in a woodland she could wander unfettered to her heart's content. I told her we would miss her but it was okay for her to go on now. We would always remember and love her.

When she had her tail shortened in 2002, I expected that she would eventually succumb to cancer. The fast-growing lump that made her tail-abbreviation necessary seemed an ominous sign. But Frieda just persisted. Her kidneys started failing about two years ago. I was sure that she wouldn't survive the winter of 2006 but she did. She just kept going. This past winter, I watched her grow thin and frail and balanced on the edge of that dreaded decision. But she got better and her appetite returned.

Frieda didn't know how to quit.

Her will was strong. It was her indomitable heart that finally demanded rest.

Her death marks the passing of an era, a time that began seventeen years ago when a pregnant calico cat showed up looking for shelter. She is the last of that little family that brought joy to our home and made us a house of many cats.

Frieda, June 2003

Our house is diminished today, lessened by much more than just one small, old cat.

We love you, Frieda and are so glad to have shared your life.

11 comments:

possumlady said...

Oh, oh, oh! I'm so sorry to her about Frieda. She had such a great will to live. The photos of her enjoying the outside reminded me of my dear Butterball who, even though he was a totally indoor cat, for some reason the last month of his life he wanted to go outside and enjoyed sitting on the front porch wicker furniture with the breeze ruffling his fur.

We've both been through many losses this year, so I feel your sadness even with a house still full of cats. The photo of her paws just made me tear up, so precious they are.

Anya said...

Yes, I cried too when I saw those paws; I had just finished posting a memorial for my Mishka, and thought I'd see what's up at your place. Very sorry to hear of Freida's passing - I had a feeling something was wrong, as you had not posted in awhile. They are so precious for sure, and it's always agony to let them go.

Mme Benaut said...

I somehow knew, across the other side of the world and in a lower hemisphere. I am so sad for you Laura, first Bunny, then Houdini and now Frieda, in such a short space of time.
I'm sending you hugs, into the ether, and praying that Frieda has found her sunfilled woodland.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Oh those sweet little paws *tears*
Laura, I am so sorry. Soar high beautiful Frieda.
Sending you many ((hugs))
~ Bobbie

Meggie said...

Losing two kitties in such a short span....I'm so sorry for your losses, Laura! Your words are beautiful describing the woodland. We are so lucky to have our felines, if only for a relatively short time.

Atomic Web Kat said...

Dear Laura,

*many tears* I am so sad to read about your kitty angels, though I know they had a life of love and kindness with you.

Please catch our hugs and know we are thinking of you.

Trish aka TikTok

Denise said...

Laura,
I am so deeply sorry for all your losses, my heart and prayers go out to you and yours.
Such beautiful kitties and photos,
tears, for your babies and you...
Many ((((Hugs))))
D~

goldenshade said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. Frieda seemed like a real regal lady.

purrs Goldie and Shade

Lisa said...

Laura - I'm so sorry to hear Frieda and Houdini have both crossed the bridge. I know you expected Frieda to go soon, but that never makes saying goodbye any easier. I'm glad she got to enjoy some more sunshine there before she left. May they both have plenty of sunbeams to nap in in Heaven.

Luna said...

We had never been here before but we want to tell you that we are so sorry about your Frieda and Houdini.
Our cat Frieda is gone to the bridge in August too. She was only 2 years old and killed by a car.
We are sure Frieda and Frieda meet each other at the end of the Rainbowbridge.
Purrs

laura said...

Thank you, dear friends, for your thoughts and good wishes. We know that losing them eventually is part of the deal but that doesn't mean it hurts any less. The shop still feels so empty without Frieda, as do the back rooms that Houdini used to fill with his love. We are sad but we know we are also blessed by having the opportunity to know each of our cats and to learn what they can show us.

((hugs to all))