Thursday, July 1, 2010

a cat named Precious

One of the things I've been doing this summer is perusing my pre-digital photos and reminiscing. I thought I would share a few of those stories with you in the coming days. This one was inspired by my friend Debi.



Once I had a cat named Precious. He came to us in his old age. He'd been a tom all his life; lived free and hunted hard. By the time he joined our family he was losing his teeth and his ability to hunt. We invited him to spend his old age cozy in our little one room home. He would give a single mew at the door to let us know when he wanted in or out.
And so we all lived happily together for many months.

None of that seems very remarkable, but you didn't know Precious. If angels ever come to Earth as animals, he was just such a being. He had a gentler more loving spirit than most people I've known. Precious charmed even our territorial, solitary indoor cat. I still love to picture him in a bit of sunshine curled around Raphie; the two intertwined. He was solid black and she pure white. Both had brilliant green eyes.
And so we all lived happily together for many months.

Precious spent part of his life with us in the outdoors that has always been his home. Raphie waited patiently inside. When she had waited long enough, she would hop up into the window and give a long mew to call him home. Precious came. Right away. Like an old married couple, the wife calling her husband in from the fields to supper.
And so we all lived happily together for many months.

As often happens, a sad morning came. Precious was old. No longer quick enough to hunt. Or quick enough to cross the dirt road we lived on. A careless car hit him. The hurrying driver left him in the middle of the road for me to find.
To this day, I have never cried as hard as I did just then.




My father-in-law does not love cats. Not one bit.
But he does love me.

Papa tenderly carried my Precious home as I sobbed inconsolably. Much later, when I was quieter, he took my hand and led me outside. There was a fresh mound of dirt under the rose bushes. They were pink roses, I remember.

My father-in-law said to me, "I thought you might like to think of him here; sleeping under the roses."



I did.

I still do.


Isn't it amazing what love can do?


The cat in the picture above is not Precious. I've spent an hour sorting through old pictures, and I can't find a single picture of Precious. I can still see him, though. Perfectly.

46 comments:

Jeanie said...

Oh, Relyn. This is truly a story of love. You know my passion for special cats -- and those of us who love cats all have a special one (or more) in our world. Your Precious reminds me of Stimpy, who was an outdoor cat who came into my world and filled it with such love that I called him my Angel Kitty long before he moved on to romping with them in the clouds.

I'd like to think all the good cats in the world meet up with their Peep's pets as they wait for us. I hope Stimpy and Precious are having a grand time with the cat equivalent of blogging!

And the crying? Yes, I didn't cry as hard for either of my parents as I did when Stimpy left. It wasn't a matter of degree of love; it was the degree of loss.

Thank you for so beautifully sharing this story.

PS -- I'll be updating my blogroll links this weekend. Or sooner. May I add you (you might already be there but I haven't looked lately!)

CrowNology said...

and now i cry too...
a touching story.
cats are amazing creatures.
xo
Andrea

Rita said...

Relyn, I never heard about this. It's sad, yet so touching. You have a wonderful set of in-laws. Me thinks Papa loves you as much as my father-in-law loved me. How special!

S. Etole said...

Oh ... tears and love and heart ache ... and memories. How they all tie together.

Gayle said...

Oh, Relyn. What a story of love. Tears in my eyes.

Erin Wallace said...

Relyn - what a touching and bittersweet story. I had my own angel cat - Ollie - and thinking about the day he died still hurts me. Thanks for sharing you Precious with us.

xo Erin

Debby said...

What a touching story. You gave Precious some much needed love and your father in law gave you love when you most needed it.

smith kaich jones said...

I am SOOO glad you shared this with everyone. My father always told me that cats were angels, come to earth to live amongst us, and I still believe it. Your father-in-law passed the angel test, methinks.

xoxo
Debo

Char said...

i'm crying...so sorry

beth said...

could you slide the kleenex box my way.....
i hate it when animals leave us....no matter how they go....

m.e (Cathie) said...

oh Relyn..what a story, beautiful and touching.
love your posts, they definitely tug on the heart strings.
hugs to you sweet lady ♥

Jennifer Richardson said...

Tears...here they come.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story and the reminder of that tender unconditional love....Libby and Lucy sighing at my feet murmur their pleasure as well:)
-Jennifer

Gillian said...

tears.
xo

Marilyn said...

What a precious story about Precious. Are you sure, maybe he was an angel and you know angels pictures disappear. I have an angel living with me and I wonder if his pictures will disappear someday, but he will always be in my heart. Your story touched my heart.

dulcy said...

Oh dear.... that was too sad for me (just last our Rosie a month ago). Maine and Canada were awesome, and I'm completely inspired! Hope we can get together sometime before school starts....

xo
dulcy

krissilugbill said...

awe how sweet, such a cute/sad story :) love the photo as well, thanks for sharing :)

Hindsfeet said...

Oh Relyn....what a bittersweet heartache of a gift.....

Thanks for letting us share in his precious life here...

Rallentanda said...

I had a special cat like Precious. You're right,they are angels. We can learn so much from them. They are superior to human beings and far more lovable.

Cinner said...

Reyln please pass the kleenex, I am so sorry for your cat, but loving what your father in law did for you.Big hugs.

Tracy said...

LOVE is a wondrous thing, Relyn... loved this beautiful, heart-full post... and what a beauty was Precious. Thank you for sharing... Wishing you & yours a Happy July 4th weekend :o) ((HUGS))

Patti said...

And I had a Precious Dog named Mandy with a similar story.Still miss her. I DO believe that animals are Angels sent here to be with us. Love the story...thanks! Have a wonderful weekend, Relyn!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Isn't it just amazing how these animals touch our lives so completely? I love that precious had lived part of his life as a Tom and then with you all - he chose you!

Sweet remembering here, thank you for sharing Precious with us!

maggie said...

Relyn, I wonder how big your heart is, pretty big me thinks. The whole story is so touching. Thanks.

susanna said...

Well, thank you very much for making me cry on a perfect summer afternoon, Relyn! What a loving story (two cats as an old married couple), a sad story (poor Precious) and a touching story (your father-in-law has a kind heart and loves you.). When I think about it, Precious had one heck of a great life, didn't he?

Angie Muresan said...

Relyn, this is such a sweet love story, and I cannot stop crying. It is indeed amazing what love can do.

Gigi said...

Yes, it is, sweet friend. As someone who has owned many, many cats, and has discovered more than one of them left in the road by a driver, I felt like I was right there with you. I'm so glad that Precious got to spend the end of his life with you in your wonderful, loving home.

xoxo Gigi

Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

It's good that a creature can bring something special into our lives. I've never really had a pet (except for goldfish and one hamster!) but I know what pleasure they can give.

Bumpkin Bears said...

gosh what a very touching story, felt a tear coming to my eye at the end when I think of poor Precious going that way, so sad but so special you had him in your life for a short time. Big Hugs, Catherine xx

Dawn said...

What a sweet father in law!

Imene said...

Such a wonderful story and your father in law is amazing!

Oliag said...

..and now I'm crying right here with you...for Precious and for all the sweet cats I have owned that are no longer...I always feel the saddest for a young cat that went out one summer night and never returned...Not knowing what happened or if I could have helped has always stayed with me...

xo

Amy said...

Oh man! Make me bawl ... not like this is a difficult feat, mind you ... but nonetheless. Precious, indeed ...

Tracy said...

That is such a sweet story, Relyn. Which of us doesn't have a similar one to tell, I wonder? Thank you for taking the time to stop by today and leave your lovely message. I hope you and your family have a very safe and joyous Fourth!

HKatz said...

I still love to picture him in a bit of sunshine curled around Raphie; the two intertwined. He was solid black and she pure white. Both had brilliant green eyes.
I love that image and how you show it here even without a photo.

My father-in-law said to me, "I thought you might like to think of him here; sleeping under the roses."
You're blessed to have such people in your life (But you know this... your blog shows an appreciation for this as well for other blessings in life).

Have a wonderful, meaningful, safe and happy Independence Day.

Diana Joy said...

I find your story of Precious precious. Pets can enter our lives and not leave us the same when they leave.

Happy Fourth of July celebration of our great Country.

vicki said...

Oh, this is such a touching post. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved friend. What a sweet thing your Father In Law did.

Thanks so much for your beautiful message on my blog. I pray the same things for your Independence Day. xo

Sarah said...

That is such a beautiful story Relyn. Precious sounds like a beautiful cat and you have made tears come to my eyes with your story!

elizabeth said...

Such a story of love. I can see the story in my head - and it makes me fall in love with animals a little harder.

That is a beautiful photo of Precious.

Happy Fourth, my dear! Thank you for the lovely message on my blog. xoxo

ELK said...

pets such a special part of our life...and sweet father in laws..thank you for sharing this

krista said...

okay, i'm not going to lie. i barely skimmed the surface of this story. i don't deal well with cats dying. but i do love that your precious is under the roses.
i have to go watch some reality tv now. get me away from the loss of pets.
xoxo

Jynene said...

...sniffle... sweet and Precious! having a kitty myslef, i appreciate her health everyday and dread the day that she is not.
xoxo

Chris said...

Hi Relyn, this story bought tears to my eyes. As a fellow animal lover I can associate well with this story. I also love your photo of the cat, it's so soft and beautiful. On another note, you left a comment on a recent post about A Homemade Life and you asked about other books I like to read. I don't seem to have an email address for you but would love to answer your question. Could you email your address to my blog?

Ragamuffin Gal said...

This touched me in so many ways ~ beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it! <3

Anonymous said...

Dear Relyn,
I wish you lived in Salinas near me -- next door would be perfect. I want a friend I can laugh and cry with, who feels the way I do about things. I don't often comment on line, but your heart speaks to mine. Hugs and all good wishes to you, sweet lady.
Melissa

Jo said...

You have such a beautiful style of writing and while your story made me sniffle, it was overwhelmingly uplifting. Love is always worth the pain that inevitably comes with it. x

Jaime said...

Oh, this makes me think of the sweet cats I had in my life, growing up. But then allergies took over and now I have a bunny. Just as furry and cute. Have always been, and always will be a pet person. They fill our homes and hearts with a special kind of love, don't they?

I love this image....the way the cat is half inside half outside. Such a sweet and tender little face.

Oh, the love. xoxoxo

Oldies, but Goodies