Fridays with Merlin

Y’all, it’s been a week, and I’m so glad it’s Friday. I had in mind to write an essay today to start a new series of posts that I’m super excited about, but I’m honestly too tired. I’m sure you know the feeling.

Next week, I hope, will be a little better, and hopefully I’ll get a bit more done. For now, enjoy this adorable picture of Merlin – growing and growing – being snuggly.

He likes to play just as often as he likes to cuddle, if not more. But I treasure these moments, when he wants attention and purrs and we can just take a minute to slow down.

Back next week with hopefully some better writing. In the meantime, I’m wishing all of you (and me) a fabulous weekend, and ideally, a restful one as well.

A Little Monday Merlin

As most cats do, Merlin has found the laundry basket. And claimed it.

Cats, y’all…

But seriously, this little kitten – who won’t be little for long, judging by how fast he’s growing – has brought us so much joy since we brought him home. I’m grateful. I firmly believe that cats, if we listen, can teach us the value of slowing down, of being quiet and still, of observing.

And of a very good nap. (Yes, even on a busy Monday.)

Meet Merlin!

He’s new here.

No cat could ever, ever replace my sweet Gatsby, and I know I’ll always have a Gatsby-shaped hole in my heart. But we’re so happy and excited to bring Merlin into our little family, and I know that there is always space in the heart for more love.

He’s about four months old, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a big kitty. He’s silly, playful, affectionate, curious, and obsessed with feathers. He’s settling in well, and Annie has been…well, not friendly, but tolerant. I think they’ll get along fine. Eventually.

I’m just so grateful that we get to be his humans. Welcome home, Magic Cat.

Goodbye to the World’s Greatest Gatsby-cat

I’m meant to be posting a short story today, but 2022 – awful year that it’s been – had other plans for me, it seems. And 2022 – the worst year I think I’ve ever had – will just have to settle for eleven short stories. And this will be my last post of the year, because right now, I don’t have anything left in me. But also because Gatsby deserves this last reflection, this moment just for him.

Last night, we came home from dinner and found Gatsby on the bed. It looked like he’d fallen asleep and just not woken up. He looked peaceful and cozy. It was the best way I can I think of for him to go, comfy and safe in one of his very favorite spots, but I feel broken, and sad, and empty, and lost, because he’s gone.

I knew this day would come. Gatsby was an old man – sixteen, and a Maine Coon. I’ve been dreading it for the last couple of years, as he’d gotten sick and then better, and as we’d learned about some health issues that likely couldn’t be fixed. But you’re never ready, even when you know it’s inevitable, to say goodbye.

But today, I have to.

Gatsby was the world’s most wonderful cat. That tiny little kitten grew into a big, purring, fluffy sweetheart.

He was sweet, and loving, and floppy, and in his younger days, really playful. He loved watching birds through the window, and lately on TV, too, and he loved to snuggle up with us at night. He loved Graham, and me, and he loved us so well that his absence today feels acute and awful. But that doesn’t change that he lived a long happy life, and that he loved us, and that we loved him.

I will love him every day for the rest of my life. I never want to forget his meow, the way he purred, the softness of his fur, the glow in his golden eyes, his big rabbit back feet, and the way he’d latch on to me with one claw when he didn’t want me to leave. I never want to forget him.  

My sweetest boy: You’ll always be in my heart.

2022 really has been a terrible year for us, and to have it end this way is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. At this point, I’m honestly afraid of what comes next. I am so tired of being sad. But I hope 2023 is better, and brighter, and full of the kind of love Gatsby showed us every day.


Best Cat

Spring, 2006 – December 29, 2022

Happy Monday, Gatsby-cat!

Happy Monday, y’all! Here’s a picture of Gatsby, taken with Graham’s new camera earlier today.

I just had to share, and I hope his handsome face makes you smile.

Gatsby’s sixteen, and in addition to the eye issue he’s been dealing with, we know he has a heart murmur and kidney disease, which is not advanced, thankfully. He’s also had some digestion issues in the past couple of years, which seem to have settled for now.

I adopted him when he was a kitten and I was nineteen.

We’ve basically grown into adulthood together.

It’s funny, watching a beloved pet get older. I still look at him and see the scruffy little kitten he was, even though he’s going gray and he’s slowed down quite a bit. He used to play fetch. He used to play at all, for that matter. His days now are filled with naps in the sunshine and cuddles and snacks. It’s quite a life.

It’s been a quite a life.

I don’t know how much longer this sweet old man has, but I will treasure every second I get to spend with him.

The Happiest Cat

Is there any happier creature in the world than a cat in his favorite sunny spot?

I really don’t think there is, y’all. And yes, this is an older picture, if you feel like you’ve seen it before. He is so very comfy and asleep right now that I just couldn’t bother him with the camera. But trust me, he looks almost exactly the same, just absolutely at peace, dozing in the sunshine.

At any rate, after several days of cool temperatures, clouds, and rain showers, the sun is out and shining today. It’s a nice change for all of us, but I think Gatsby’s enjoying it the most.

I hope it’s a sign of good things to come this week!

Happy National Pet Day to Annie and Gatsby!

I grew up with a cat. Well, a few cats. There was Jingle, the Siamese, Tiger, a scrappy gray tabby, Dusty, a sweetheart of an orange tabby, and Salem, a never-quite-tame but never-bad-luck midnight black wild thing. I also had a bird named Bluebird (yes, I came up with that), a hamster named Rosie, and a goldfish named Lucy.

My point is this: I’m a pet person.

I’ve always had a pet. I don’t know what a house without its resident animal sidekick would be like. Quieter, probably. Less prone to furry tumbleweeds. But also, a little more lonely. A little less lively. At least, that’s how I’d feel about it. I’ve loved all my pets, and I’m lucky now to have Annie, our crazy perpetual puppy…

…and Gatsby, our sweet old gentleman.

Gatsby’s a Maine Coon, and he’s been with me since college. He’s a big cuddly lump who purrs loud, adores sleeping in the laundry baskets, and loves to watch the birds. You know, from his comfy perch inside of the house. Or on TV.

Annie’s an Australian Shepherd with a quick mind, boundless energy, and a deep and abiding love for her human. Yes, just the one. And it’s Graham, not me. But we should all find someone who loves us as much as she loves him.

They both get plenty of snuggles, but I’ll give them a little extra today. They’re animals, so they’ll have no idea why. But they’ll love it nonetheless. And they absolutely deserve it. 😊