Tuesday, August 26, 2008

tribute to the queen!

As stated in the title, today's post is a tribute to the queen--not the queen of any country but the queen who reigned in my kingdom for the past 16 years or so--my cat Reina. I have dedicated today's post to her, as it was one month ago today I had to say good-bye to this fuzzy little friend of mine. So, hopefully you won't mind too much if I tell you a bit about this companion God gave me for these many years...and share a few of my favorite pictures.

I never intended to have a cat, but Reina had other plans. One morning I must have left my front door open (in my 2nd floor apt). I was in front of the sink in the bathroom getting ready for work and saw movement out of the corner of my eye--there was a black cat sitting on the lid of the toilet looking at me! It was the beginning of a long (and sometimes long-suffering!) friendship...

From that day on, for many weeks she persistently graced me with her presence. I guess she had decided upon me as suitable "subject" material (as in 'a queen and her subjects') and was just getting me used to the idea! I told her she could hang out with me when I was home, 'but I'm not feeding you, and you're not MY cat!' Then it was, "ok, you can sleep over, but I'm not feeding you, and you're NOT my cat!' That progressed to "well, here's a snack, but ....not my cat!" And eventually, as you've no-doubt guessed, she became my cat. I think she had it planned out all along!

I heard it said once:
"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.
Cats have never forgotten this."

Reina had a very long memory of this--this being worshipped and treated as royalty. I'm sure some of her thoughts were: "You are now my subject, and I shall bestow upon you the honor of serving me all of my days. I will allow you the honor of preparing and serving me delicious tidbits, of keeping me warm and comfy, of providing me with entertainment and a comfortable lap. I shall even allow you to clean my litterbox (and to pick up those stray pieces of litter I scatter in my frenzied litter-flipping)." (fortunately, I only had to deal with that part the last four years of city living!) "Oh, and while you're at it, please don't forget to fill my waterglass! You know I don't really like to drink out of a bowl."

She, graciously lowering herself to my level, made her catty attempts at helping me with my work:
and once even helped me stuff envelopes for a mailing:

...but 'work' always resulted in the need to nap... a talent at which she was definitely the QUEEN!

So that no one thinks she was just a sleeper... she loved to chase bugs, spiders, and moths, and anything that would run away (including me, at times!), and once almost broke through my living room window trying to get at a MONSTER out on our balcony! (a large iguana that had escaped from a neighbor) She loved to tear through the apartment at top speed as though there were a pack of wild dogs on her tail. And she even managed once, by reaching through the bars of my balcony, to catch a hummingbird. I believe that was her greatest physical accomplishment; she was quite proud, though it made only the tiniest of snacks.
And, although cats are always reminding us that they are indeed NOT DOGS!, Reina did learn a trick... Whenever I would get the carton of eggs out of the fridge, she would come to the edge of the dining room carpet and wait for me to bring an egg to her. I would hold it down to her level, and she would reach up and tap on it with her paw to show me that she would like to have it. (She was convinced this was a trick SHE had taught ME!) One day she went down to visit the neighbors (she believed everyone on the top floor of our apartment building were also her loyal, devoted subjects!). They had let her in to visit for awhile, and when they were cooking eggs in the kitchen, she sat on the edge of the dining room carpet and gracefully pawed the air! When they told me the story, they were amazed that she was asking them for an egg! : ) What a brilliant cat, don't you think?!
There are people who reshape the world by force or argument,
but the cat just lies there, dozing;
and the world quietly reshapes itself to suit her comfort and convenience.
-Allen and Ivy Dodd
Yes, I must admit, in my own way, I did "reshape myself to suit her comfort and convenience." But my Reina was a faithful friend, in her queenly way; she greeted me at the door each day, kept my bed warm in the winter nights, let me pet her to her heart's content (not mine, but then, it's not really about ME, is it?!), and traipsed with me to northern CA and back in the past few years. She was a good companion, and I miss her company and her furry little face.Now, whenever I crack an egg or use the can opener, I keep expecting to see her sitting at the edge of the kitchen, waiting (semi)patiently for me to give her a treat. And, it's strange, after all these years, to not have her greet me when I come home from work...
But I am grateful for the time she was such a part of my life... isn't that the way it is when we have to say good-bye to friends? It's never easy, but we have many memories to warm our hearts ...and I am thankful for the years she was my cat... or... I was her person...

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.
- Ellen Perry Berkeley
  • for the years enjoying the companionship of my cat, Reina... and for the silly and wonderful creature she was! (27)


  1. Hi,

    I came over from Eva's blog. Reina looks like she was a wonderful cat!

    I also like your sock monkeys.

    Have a terrific day!

  2. Hi Sari! Thanks for checking out my blog...I recoginzed your name from Eva's site. Glad to have you visit! and, yes, she was a great cat...

    As for the sock monkeys... the one on the left was one my sister and I played with at my grandparents' house when we were little kids.(His name is Ebbon) My parents just recently passed him on to me!! :) The one on the right, my sister made for me in my early 20's because she knew how much I loved Ebbon. A wonderfully thoughtful gift!! Now the two are buddies! ~sharilyn


I'm so glad you've stopped by! I love hearing from you and can't wait to read your comments! Let me know what's on your mind and your heart today...