It's been just a year since Louise the Cat decided to hitch a ride on Venus as it transited the sun and leave Dinah Dog and me on our own. (I wrote a tribute to my little intrepid traveller back then – click here to read it.)
In many ways, I still miss her.
Today, on this gorgeous Oregon spring day, I feel her presence more than ever – she would have been lying in the sun, lazy and sleepy, purring up a storm. What a hoot she was!
It's been many years since I've been cat-less and I know now is not the time to fill that cat void with another but oh how I do miss their little purr-bodies.
These days, cats show up in the strangest places to let me pet and cuddle them: as I'm sitting on a bench in the city park; late at night, driving through a parking lot, looking for a place to stop for a few minutes; near a bush on the edge of a big box store where I've stopped for the night en route to somewhere else; in a highway rest stop while I'm taking a break from driving and out walking Dinah Dog.
My friends' cats jump in my lap, even the ones that never do that to anyone else. I hear cats talking at night outside my Li'l Homey. I know these are all friends of Louise's that she has sent here on missions of mercy, to give me a kitty-fix for a few minutes. Louise was like that, you know. She paid attention to the smallest little details and took it all in.
I still miss her.
I'm grateful for all the felines out there who watch out for me, the ones who let me pet them, and the ones who sit back and watch, just like Louise used to do before she was the Main Cat in our little family. So thank you, Louise, for sending your buddies. Please don't stop – I feel your presence in each and every one of them.