Who do you think of when you hear these words: feisty, determined, flirty, independent? The first person who comes to my mind is Scarlett O’Hara. Not only do I think of the character in “Gone With The Wind,” but I’m also reminded of my little cat, Katie Scarlett. She arrived when some neighborhood children found Scarlett and her four siblings. She immediately claimed her dominance among the pride. I found homes for two kittens, three remained with me – Scarlett, Melanie, and Gatsby.
Walking my sister’s dog was an adventure for Scarlett. She ran ahead, came back and informed the dog she was far too slow, urging her to speed up the pace. A neighbor, down the street, had a bird bath in her back yard. Now there was a favorite place for my little girl. She’d crouch and hide, waiting for a bird to land. Then as it took wing, she’d leap in the air, sometimes catching her prey. There was more than one time I was running to save the bird. Her agility was stunning, especially for such a petite kitty.
I traveled in my last job, and my neighbor’s boys took turns petsitting for my cats. I returned one day and realized after a few moments that someone was missing. Where was Scarlett? I went outside calling her name and clapping my hands. I walked toward the birdbath house, and suddenly she appeared. She had a lot to say. I don’t know how long she was outside, but it was long enough for her to vent her anger. Her meowisms could be interpreted to mean, “Where have you been? Do you know how long I’ve been out here? I’m hungry. Get me some food! After I eat, I’m going to bed — don’t disturb me. I need my beauty sleep.” Scarlett did not suffer in silence.
Those memories are from long ago. My Katie is 19 years old (or 92 in human years). Life has become more difficult. She’s not interested in grooming herself, and her fur is somewhat matted. Her teeth are getting lose so eating is a challenge. My beautiful Katie Scarlett seems to be saying, “It’s time to call it a day.”
The downside for any pet owner is accepting the end and making it easier for our little friends. As I think about Scarlett’s quote, “After all, tomorrow is another day,” I realize sadly it will be a day without my little darling. Rest in Peace dear Scarlett.