She lived most of her life in a parking lot, but she was greatly loved by her “Parking Lot Mommies” who tended to her needs and to those of the other cats who lived with her.
In recent months, her caretakers decided it was time for Sweet Pea to give indoor living a go. She adapted amazingly well, and she became the “Third Cat” of Dorian Wagner who writes the famed Your Daily Cute blog. That was no small thing.
People who share their lives with pets are blessed with knowing a special kind of love. The love that we share with our pets is both deep and tender, and in some ways, it is unmatched by the kind of love we share with those of our own species.
The hardest part of the human animal relationship is that we usually outlive our pets.
The winding down time of a pet’s life is not something we look forward to – that time when you know she is ill, and there is not much time left, and you want to make the best of the time you have left. As hard as it is, though, we would not give up that last bit of time for anything in the world.
My cat Slick, whose illness I wrote about in April (The Greatest Cat in the World), is now in that winding down time. A trip to the vet yesterday and the blood work results today confirmed that her kidneys are shutting down. She is losing weight and stamina, although she is still eating and drinking. She’s hanging in there, but we know it is not forever now.
It could be days, or weeks or even months. She could bounce back a bit. But it is time to face reality.
Slick won’t be with me for too much longer.
I am very grateful to her and our Creator for giving us the eighteen years that we have had together, and I will cherish each and every remaining day.
Slick, you are my very special girl, and I will always hold you dear in my heart.
T.S. Eliot wrote poems about a colony of cats that eventually were compiled into the book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Andrew Lloyd Weber adapted the poems into the musical Cats, which was the second longest-running show in Broadway history. I read once that the poems were inspired by an actual colony of feral cats that Eliot tended.
Much like the famous writer, I too am charmed and inspired by the antics and independent dignity of free roaming cats. Unlike pets that people keep in their homes, these animals live simply for the sake of being a cat.
So called feral cats are unsocialized to human contact, and they are often the offspring of abandoned and stray pets. Feral cats multiply much too quickly, though, and they become unwelcome pests in many areas.
As a volunteer with Peace for Pets, a nonprofit organization in Stark County, Ohio, I have been performing Trap Neuter Return (TNR) interventions with feral cats to reduce the overpopulation of free roaming cats in the area.
This summer, I have participated in TNR with several feral cats, and much as Eliot was inspired to write, I have been inspired to draw the cats in a new series of original drawings called “Fab Ferals”.
Each drawing is 5″ x 7″ and matted for framing in an 8″ x 10″ frame. I am selling the drawings in my Etsy Shop if you would like to purchase them. New drawings will be added daily, so visit often! 10% of the sales from the Fab Feral series will be donated to Peace for Pets.
Some of these cats have been named by the humans who feed them and manage their colonies. “Oreo” above is a male cat who has spawned many young kittens, but he is now neutered and will no longer contribute to the overpopulation of free roaming cats. “Mama Kitty”, a female cat who makes a pallet factory her home, will be a “mama” to no more kitties thanks to TNR.
You can learn more about the process of TNR at the Neighborhood Cats website. TNR is not only the most humane method for controlling feral cats, it is also the most effective method.
I hope that you enjoy the drawings, and I hope that you support TNR in your Community!