Getting ready for Friendsgiving, I selected my attire. I would wear a green vee-neck Tommy Bahama sweater.
I’d bought that sweater the year I moved from Half Moon Bay, California, to Ashland, Oregon, which was 2005. Funny, though, I bought it while on a visit Half Moon Bay to spend Thanksgiving with friends. I bought that sweater a few days before the holiday, and wore it that Thanksgiving. Here I was, thirteen years later, putting it on for another Thanksgiving.
I’d been thinking about my clothes for several previous days before that. The shirt I’d worn earlier that day had been bought in 1998. The one worn the day before was also bought in the late nineties. My shirts, sweaters, and underwear seem to last a while. My jeans and shoes don’t.
I was thinking all of this because I was thinking about cats. I’d moved up with two in 2005, Pogo and Scheckter. Pogo died the following year, killed by a car. His ashes are in our bedroom.
We moved to this new house in 2006, now with just Scheckter. Within three months, we also had Lady and Quinn.
Lady was a rescue. A man I knew through the coffee shop had rescued her. I used to buy him coffee and bagels, and donate cat food to him. Lady had been living behind the movie theater. He started feeding her but it took a year to earn her trust. Now his health was falling and he had to move. Moving meant giving up five of his six cats. He could take one. He had homes for four more. Only Lady, skittish and shy, didn’t have a home.
Then, on a cold, windy midnight, I’d gone out to call Scheckter in. Quinn instead turned up. Since it was a nasty night, we gave him food and shelter. We hunted down his owners and returned him to them, but he kept coming back to us. They moved, leaving him behind.
So, for seven years, it was Scheckter, Lady, and Quinn, three wonderful cats who got along well. 2013 found us losing Scheckter, and then Lady, leaving just Quinn.
Not to worry, though. Three more cats, Tucker, Boo Radley, and Papi (a.k.a. Meep), found us. We were a four-cat family for a while, even though Tucker, Boo, and Papi often fought. As Scheckter and Lady were dying, Tucker showed up and begged for food and help. We tried to find his people but no one claimed him. He had medical issues which took a few years and some money to resolve. Then came Boo, also begging for food, and also unclaimed. Next was Papi.
Quinn remained the sweet lord of the house. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in this past September and died two days before Thanksgiving. He had a strong will until his last four days. I tried keeping him comfortable and helping him, but he finally told me, I’m done. I didn’t want to accept it, but you can’t argue with some things. I cried and let him go.
We’re back down to three cats. They get along better, although there are daily hissing encounters. I couldn’t help but thinking as I dressed on Thanksgiving, I wish my cats would last as long as my clothes.