This is Tanya Lee. She was born somewhere in New York in 2007, where she lived with her brother Opie, and her first human, an elderly lady in her 80’s. She had a good life, was well taken care of, her lady spared no expense where Tanya and her brother were concerned, they even accompanied their lady on trips to the Adirondack mountains during the summer months. Life was good.
But success is fleeting and circumstances beyond anyone’s control happen to the best of us, even cats. In 2011, Tanya’s lady passed away, and her family could not keep Tanya and Opie. They landed in the care of a rescue group who immediately went to work to find them a new home. Around the same time, a woman living in Cleveland Ohio, asked her cousin who was involved in rescue, for help in adopting a black cat.
This lady was middle-aged, disabled, and of very modest means, but she had a big love for cats and as it happened, Tanya’s brother Opie was a black cat. So, the lady’s cousin who had heard of Opie and his sister in New York asked, “would you consider taking a Torti along with a black cat?” and the lady said “sure“. And so Tanya and Opie went on a ride with the first lady’s daughter, to Cleveland Ohio.
They were thrilled with their new lady and she was thrilled with them. Once again, life was good. They had someone who doted on them as best she could, though there were no more trips to the mountains or anywhere else. They had a small, comfortable and warm home though, plenty of water and food, a warm lap, and lots of petting. The new lady even let Tanya share her ice cream and bits of chicken from her meals.
Opie became Alex but the lady decided not to rename Tanya feeling the name suited her very well. And life was good. But success is fleeting and circumstances beyond anyone’s control happen to the best of us. even cats. Alex developed a kidney stone he could not pass and his lady took him to the veterinarian, made payments for his care and Alex pulled through only to develop another kidney stone he could not pass.
This time, more expensive surgery was necessary which was beyond the means of the lady, and Alex was suffering. The decision was made to euthanize him and so Tanya became an only cat. She missed Alex, but at least she still had her lady. A couple of years passed and then one day the lady’s cousin came over with something wrapped in a towel. A small kitten (stay tuned for her story, coming soon) and Tanya was thrilled.
Now Tanya is a quiet, sweet-natured cat; she walks carefully having been previously declawed, is very unassuming and totally doted on both her lady and the new baby kitten. The new baby kitten was… a wild creature full of energy that spent much of her time careening around the house like a ball of claws and lightning.
The lady soon got used to being run over; and Tanya would look from one to the other as if to say, ‘does it have an off switch?‘ One day, in a fit of uncharacteristic pique, Tanya finally caught the furry missile mid-flight, by her head, with both paws and had a “Come to Jesus” moment. The kitten learned that her older friend had a finite amount of patience for kitten shenanigans, and the lady would tell the story for years.
Life was good. The new kitten would eventually grow up. The lady would grow older and frailer; Tanya would grow older herself. One day, the lady’s daughter came to stay for a while, and with her came another cat, William, and Tanya and William would become great friends. Time moved on and William passed on as well, and then the daughter would leave, but visit frequently and spend time brushing Tanya. And life was still good.
But success is fleeting and circumstances beyond anyone’s control happen to the best of us, even cats. One day the lady went away to a hospital, and while this did happen with some frequency previously, this time was different. Before, when the lady went away it was usually for a week; maybe a week and a half, and the daughter would come to give food and water and scoop litter boxes, talk to Tanya and her housemate.
But this time, the daughter came with cat carriers. Tanya and her housemate went to a new place, with the daughter. Tanya met another cat, and another wild kitten, and she didn’t really mind them, but she missed her lady. Then one night she got to see her lady once again, and she was even more frail than before. So Tanya and her housemate had to go back to the lady’s daughter’s house and they never saw their lady again.
Tanya’s second lady passed away in late April 2017.
To a cat, success and failure are pretty much meaningless. But cats, like humans, do know good times and bad times, they know love and they know loss. If cats blame their circumstances on themselves or on others, no one could likely tell, but there is no evidence of it. Nor is there much evidence to suggest that cats size each other up and judge one another successful, or a failure. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Tanya likes her new lady well enough, but she still misses her last lady fiercely. Her previous housemate, the former kitten she raised is still with her, but they are not particularly close. She is now an elderly cat, without much interest or patience in the antics of the “baby” of the household; he tries to play with her sometimes, but she has no interest. She has developed a friendship with the daughter’s other cat, so…. life is okay.