Saturday, August 22, 2009


It has been a month now since we have seen Max...

Max--June 20, 2009

He has gone missing before. The first time he was gone for three days and I cried every night until he came home.

Then he disappeared for a whole week.

He reappeared looking none the worse for wear. He knows how to hunt and is a cautious and restrained cat. It was obvious when we put him outside that he had returned to what he considered his natural element. Indoors, he was timid and insecure. Outdoors, the world was his oyster.

Denny and I have called for him every time we go outside. Sometimes in the night we hear the sounds of cat disagreements. We feel Max is around. We feel he is doing okay. We have talked it over and both think that he has moved back to his original home territory, an area to the north of us.

You see, Max first started showing up on our doorstep shortly after I trapped Black Jack last September and moved him inside. Up until then, we hadn't seen the fluffy red cat that lives on the farm south of us, either. So we believe that when we removed Jackie from his home turf, the two cats who had bordering territories moved into his and were "time-sharing" our porch and the food dish until I trapped both of them last November.

So we think Max has gradually pulled back, under the pressure of the red cat, into what was his original stomping grounds. I suspect that as it gets colder and "game" becomes scarcer, we will see Max again.

I hope so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Enjoying August

Bart and Franny in the condo

Yesterday was such a perfect summer day that Bart and Franny couldn't be coaxed from their fresh air spot in the "condo".

Friday, August 14, 2009


The household seems diminished without her presence.

Denny remarked last week that the house seemed so much quieter--almost dull--without Punkin's energy. Even when she was ailing, she managed to fill the house and we were always aware of her--where she was and what she was doing--on a subliminal level. She was the dominant cat in our home. Her life-force was the warm beacon that defined the center of "home" for us and now the cats seem directionless and lethargic without her serving as our binding energy.

I had been prepared to lose her for the last year or more but her loss continues to hit me in all the small ways. I catch myself thinking that she is just off somewhere sleeping in a favorite hiding place, or catch an edge-of-the-eye glimpse of reddish fur or a particular shaggy coat and forget just for a moment that she is gone.

Not that she will ever be gone because she lives in my mind so vivid and clear that I feel her presence still burning warm in the heart of the life we shared.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


This morning, it hit me.

I walked into the living room, looked at the cat beds in front of the glass door and it hit me. Punkin is gone.

In a visceral moment, I felt her loss all the way through to my heart.

All those years.

How much she loved me.

All the nights she slept on my pillow, her paws touching my head.

What will stay with me the most is how she would light up when I said her name. The bond of love was so strong between us that nothing else mattered.

I watched over her last days, tended her dying and wrapped her for burial in a fog of insensitivity. Not a failure to feel so much as a refusal to feel.

Or just a delay.

Somehow, I knew I would have the rest of my life to mourn her loss.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Good-bye, Punky

1 October 1994
31 July 2009

A bright flame has passed into the West...