So here's my post I promised about Wendy. Originally, it was possibly the longest post in history so I decided to nix the memory lane ramblings and just stick to Mom's recent experience.
Of course, even with editing it's still the longest post in history. (The title of this blog is no lie).
Isn't that a sweet pic? I've always loved that picture. Wendy Moira Angela Darling was one of those cats that didn't object to having her picture taken. She loved to pose. She was such a fan of modeling that she even allowed me to dress her up in Grandma's pearls once. (Which is what she's wearing in this photo).
She was the runt of Tiger Lily's litter, and from the start I loved her. I really couldn't explain it. She wasn't the prettiest of the litter. (Shhh, don't rat me out). Still, I felt this bond with her. When the other kittens went to their new families, I fully prepared myself to let her go. I wasn't going to be all soft about it. I knew that she needed to go to another home, as having even one cat along with the 2 dogs we already had was never a set plan.
FYI: Tiger Lily, aka "Kitty Girl," was Wendy's Mom. Honest truth, one day I said out loud that I missed having a cat like I did as a kid. It was just one or two days later that Tiger Lily showed up in our tree out front. It was raining, and she was injured and pregnant. She was a pretty wild cat, and truth be told I was a little afraid of her at first, but she refused to leave the house. She adopted us, so we took her in. And thank goodness we did. Tiger Lily lived to be 20, and without her I never would have had Wendy.
Here's a pic of Tiger Lily:
So while I was willing to give Wendy to another family, deep down I was hoping that no one would choose her. I kept hoping that she'd not be chosen, and that by that time we'd have a unanimous vote to keep her as part of our family.
And she did become a part of the family for 18 long years. Wendy and Tiger Lily had a rocky mother-daughter relationship, so they pretty much kept to themselves. (Except for the time they both had litters at the same time. They actually swapped kids! It was hilarious).
Wendy definitely was MY cat. She wasn't a big cuddler, but she didn't object to having her head, throat and the back of her ears scratched. She LOVED sitting in my lap. She and I were Kindred Spirits.
And to prove how much of Kindred Spirits we were, how about this little factoid? She was determined to give birth IN MY LAP! (Which so didn't happen).
Okay, enough rambling down memory lane. I promised not to do that, so I'll get to the the point now.
Wendy passed away last July. For that past year her health declined a lot, and I guess it was a miracle she lived as long as she did. I felt sadness, but also relief when she died. I was freeing to think that she was no longer unhealthy, and was freed from the aches and pains that come with old age. But I was also very upset that she had to be buried in the middle of the night. (That thought bothered me a lot for some reason. I guess because it got so dark out there in the country. It was frightening out there at night). I was even more upset that she had to be buried where we were living at the time, and not at our own house.
At that time, our house was being built and we were renting a friend's house in Burton on 43 acres. Also, I wasn't used to having a pet buried in the first place. We'd always had them cremated, but over the past year we'd had to bury two cats in homes that we'd had to move away from. I just found that really unsettling, and like I was abandoning them. I knew none of that mattered, but it was uncomfortable to me just the same.
Here's a video of the outdoors at the Burton house:
(It's a bunch of random happenings, but they're cut very short. We had extremely limited internet at the time, so I could only upload short videos on the last day of each month).
Ever since Wendy passed, I haven't felt her around at all. I mean not at all, which I never thought would happen since we were so close. In the back of my mind I'm always wondering if she's "stuck" there, at the family friend's empty house in Burton. But at the same time logic tells me that she isn't stuck anywhere and it doesn't matter where she was laid to rest.
We've lived in this new house for a while now, and still I don't feel Wendy around me, but Mom swears she saw her the other day. It was Easter Night. I had been in my room for a while by then, and Mom came inside to tell me she just saw Wendy.
She was sitting on the couch, watching tv, when inside her bedroom she saw Wendy walking from one side of the room to the other. She said it was a grey cat, and it had Wendy's slow gait for sure. (Wendy walked like a jungle cat, and she didn't like to be noticed half the time. She had a strange personality, I admit). Mom even saw her turn her head a bit, to look into the living room as she passed before heading towards the Master Bath.
My guess is she was watching the cows from Mom's bedroom window before heading towards the window in the bath.
So how do you like that? Wendy's a cow watcher, just like me.
Mom has a theory about her sudden appearance, by the way. The day before she saw Wendy in her room, my parents went back to the house in Burton. (We still check in on the place and cut the grass closest to the house. The mice, copperheads and tarantulas take over otherwise). They were cutting the grass that day, and while there my mother noticed that the house felt completely empty for once.
A little background FYI: When we lived in that house, we saw shadows and would hear voices and footsteps. They weren't malevolent or anything like that. I think they were only curious, and I think a little relieved that the house wasn't empty for a change.
So while my mother was there, she no longer sensed anyone being there. She didn't even sense the owner's husband, whom had passed away in a tragic accident a few months back. (He was the one I spoke of before, with Alzheimers and who was hit by a car on the freeway. All during his sickness, he was obsessed with wanting to go back to the farm. We think that's where he was trying to go when he died). When my father visited the house a few weeks ago, alone, her husband definitely let his presence be known to my dad. (He poked him in the back a couple times, when Dad was changing a light bulb in the house).
But anyway-- my mother thinks that the spirits that used to live in that house have moved on, and since they moved on... Wendy had decided to as well. Maybe it just isn't as much fun over there without people to interact with.
And Mom did visit Wendy's grave while there that day. (Not that I think spirits exactly hang out around where they were buried). She said buttercups are blooming there now, as well as a little oak tree. And this is sweet: My Dad isn't an animal lover, but when they're sick and about to pass away he is very respectful and good with them. When he visited the house alone that day, he found a little plastic flower on the garage floor or something. He placed it on Wendy's grave, and when Mom was there with him a week or so later the flower was still there.
So.... I guess that since the place is empty now, Wendy decided to follow my parents home.
I just hope she'll make her presence known to me soon. The night that Mom saw her, I did have a dream about Wendy but I do think it was just a dream. To read it, click HERE.
And isn't this weird? Mom was closest to Tiger Lily, yet I was the one that heard from her after she died. (I'll post about that another time, but I promise not to ramble as I've done today). And while I was the one closest to Wendy, Mom was the one that saw her.
I find that a little strange.
Here's a quick video I took of Wendy a long time ago, watching "Mickey's Christmas Carol." (Wendy loved watching tv). This video was taken, I don't know.... definitely more than ten years ago. We've lived in a couple houses since then.