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Today is October 21, 2019

Grin 'n' Bare It

Farewell to Moonshine and Fuzzy

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

Approximately a year ago I wrote a column about the lives of my two very old outside cats, Fuzzy and Moonshine. Fuzzy gave birth to her one and only litter of kittens when she was only eight months old. We gave them all away except Moonshine.

I described the special relationship this mother and daughter had and their love for each other. I also included a photo in the column of Fuzzy washing her baby when they were 19 years old. Fuzzy and Moonshine were inseparable.

Some of you wrote me long letters describing experiences with your cats.

I’m glad I wrote about Moonshine and Fuzzy, because within six months Moonshine disappeared. We looked for her endlessly but decided that she knew her death was near and left, to bear it alone. Especially since she never wondered away from Fuzzy. Some species do that.

We worried what Fuzzy’s reaction would be. For several weeks she sat and looked out toward the west woods. But finally she seemed to accept the fact that Moonshine was gone. Fuzzy had also begun to show the effects of old age, and possibly the loss of her child. She made it very obvious she wanted more attention from me, and almost demanded it by following me every place I went. I put her in my lap often and talked to her constantly when I was outside. She had lost most of her hearing, and we were very careful driving into the carport for fear of hitting her.

Yesterday, she did not want to get out of her bed, so we put her food next to her. This morning when I went outside and looked in her bed it was empty. I looked all around the yard and and began to think that she had gone into the woods and died.

But when I walked outside our bedroom door, I saw her lying next to the screen door where I occasionally let her in. That was as close as she could get to me last night, before she died.

Fuzzy’s name is now listed along with my other pet friends that have been an important part of my life.

As you, my readers, know, Mr. Roy and I are animal lovers. We are not radical in our views, but we love our animals and feel that they do have certain rights. We both grew up in the 1940s and ‘50s when most people who owned dogs and cats loved their pets and cared for them, but would never consider allowing them in their house, even during bad weather. During the first years of our married life we had several dogs and cats and they all lived outside.

During the fall of 1972 I had emergency surgery and was off my feet for several weeks. During this time, Mr. Roy asked me what he could do to make me feel better. Was there something that I wanted?

I said, “What I really want is my own little dog that I can keep in the house.”

I could tell he did not particularly like this idea, but he said, “Okay.”

I won’t go into detail about my first little inside dog, but she was a mixed breed and exactly what I needed. Pansy was the first, followed by Dixie Belle and our current child, Sugar Baby. Also during this time we have had three outside dogs, Shannon our collie and two blue heelers, Big Mack and Little Mack.

Each one of our inside dogs taught us so much. First, when they live so close, they know us in many ways, better than we know ourselves. Sugar understands what we say ... wish I had space to explain.

Second, our dogs have all taught me so much about unconditional, faithful love. While cats have different personalities from dogs, I can say the same about them. Especially Oaklee, our latest baby.

I thank you Fuzzy and Moonshine for being my faithful little cats for over 19 years.

Rest in peace.

    Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.

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