Day 14: Grass
The grass is a good place to hide when you’re stalking birds and mice and other assorted critters. This old girl would know. Callie’s been policing my parents’ wide open yard for the last 17 or so years.
She’s a gentle old soul. Keeps to herself. She can be a lover, but only when she feels like it. She’s been like a mama to Snickers, the younger cat in the family. She taught Snickers how to find her way around the yard, showed her the best hiding spots and where the mean stray cats hang out. When Snickers wanders a little bit too far, my mom sends Callie out to bring her back. And she trots out to the field behind the house and rounds up her wayward sibling. They nap together in the sun, curled around each other like a furry pretzel.
Callie has never cared much for people, and any time my siblings show up with dogs and babies in tow, she makes a beeline for the basement. She howls to go out and night and when my dad finally relents and lets her out, she runs out the front door, around the house, and stands under their bedroom window yowling to come back in. And if you don’t let her out, she has ways of changing your mind.
She’s not doing so well lately. She’s not eating much, and her stamina seems to have faded a bit. When I was home last weekend, I saw little moments of joyful, younger Callie, like this one when she was hiding the grass, keeping an eye on things. But her time is coming. And it breaks my heart to think about saying goodbye to this sweet girl. She’s been such a good cat and by all accounts, she has had the life every cat dreams of: wide open spaces, room to roam, critters to chase, plenty to eat and drink, and a soft, warm place to curl up at night.
I hope she sticks around for a little bit longer, but that’s mostly because I’m selfish and none of us are ready to let her go. I know 17 is pretty old for a cat, but it still seems too soon.