|MAGIC CAT R.I.P.|
In 1993 we moved from Portland Oregon, where I had graduated from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, to Ft. Collins Colorado, where I would be setting up practice. We rented a house about 15 minutes out of town on a semi-busy county road.
At the time we moved the animal menagerie included several Angora rabbits and a tabby named Mountain Climber-so-called because back in Portland he was always going up the hill across from our house. About 1 year after we moved Mountain Climber was hit on the road and died. It was a blow to our still new life in the Colorado Front Range.
Because of the snow and ice that can be so prevalent many Colorado homes have what's called a mudroom. This is a room with a concrete floor that is the entryway into the house. Ours was downstairs on ground level. There were only 3 entryways into this room-the stairs from the upper level, the door from the outside, and the one sliding window.
One morning about 2 days after Mountain Climber was hit, while his passing was still fresh in our hearts, I went downstairs. As I was walking through the mudroom I heard a faint meow. Initially I thought I was imagining the sound-then I thought it was coming from outside. Turns out, the faint meow I was hearing emanated from underneath the stairs. There was a closed in dead space under the stairs and that's where I heard the meow.
Softly and gently we explored the space under the stairs. There, curled up in a little ball, was a very young tabby kitten. He looked exactly like Mountain Climber. I don't mean just a little. This kitten was the spitting image of Mountain Climber. Figuring that he was hungry and scared we carefully extracted him from the space under the stairs and brought him upstairs to feed him and get him warm.
Having just lost Mountain Climber our hearts were easily opened by this new little kitty. He was friendly and cute and there was no question of whether we should keep him. It was a unanimous instant decision.
But where did he come from? How did he end up in our house? In the crawl space under the stairs? The door had been closed all night. The window was shut. He hadn't come from upstairs. How did he get there? It remains a Houdini-style mystery. Our neighbor knew nothing about it. None of our friends admitted to hiding a tabby kitten in our mudroom. We never did figure it out. Because of his magical appearance in our lives, so soon after Mountain Climber's passing, we named him Magic Cat.
Magic Cat joined us in out journey when we moved from Ft. Collins to Trout Run Pennsylvania 10 years ago. Every night on the cold, windy trip (with a snow storm chasing us most of the way), we let him out to get some exercise. By the time we made it to our new home I think he was ready to get off the road. He was very happy in his new Steam valley abode once we set up our homestead.
He quickly became the king of our 2-story bank barn. He was a great mouser and loved to bask in the sunshine in the windowsill above the rabbit cages. For the last 10 years, as other cats have come and gone, along with the addition of guardian dogs, Nubian and angora goats, he's been a fixture of the farm and in our hearts. He would periodically cross the street and come up to the house for a saucer of goat milk. I remember thinking earlier this year that his time with us seemed eternal and would just go on.
It was one week ago while I was hauling firewood that I first suspected that something was wrong. Magic Cat was curled up on the floor of the woodshed-a place I'd never seen him before. He was very quiet though responsive. I meant to say something to Phylleri about it but it slipped my mind. By Tuesday Phyl had brought Magic into the house and he was resting in a large dog carrier, warm and cozy in the downstairs bedroom. He was not eating and barely drank. He was very peaceful and obviously not in pain. Some time during Thursday night he passed-quietly and peacefully.
It was our sense that that's the way Magic wanted it. It was his time to leave us so he did. It was an easy passing, one without drama or trauma. Though he's gone we won't forget him. He'll always be a touchstone for us, with a history reaching back to Oregon. He'll always be the magical cat that appeared in our Colorado home and blessed us with 13 years.
Rest in Peace
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