Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Remembering Ethel






I feel the need to tell you all that Sunday night, our great old friend and family member, Ethel, our cat, died. He hadn't been well and we knew he didn't have long. He got much worse in the evening and we knew he was quietly breathing his last breaths. We weren't watching the clock, but somewhere near midnight he died. He had lived with us, or should I say...he allowed us to live with him, for sixteen or seventeen years. We are all in some disagreement about what year we got him...but the thing we do agree on is he was a terrific friend and a member of the family. And, yes, I know you noticed right away that he was a HE, yet his name was Ethel. So, let me tell you his story.

Somewhere during the early 90's, my son was at a friend's house. The neighbor's cat had just recently had a litter of kittens..eight, to be exact. The boys were told that the kittens were going to be 'disposed' of and that really bothered my son. We were away visiting my sister in Texas at the time, so he quietly brought two of the kittens home with him. He said later, he should have brought all eight home, but he knew we couldn't deal with that many kittens....so he picked two. Then, we arrived home. Right away, I knew something was up when I heard the tiniest meowing sounds coming from 'somewhere.' Then, down the hall, walked two tiny kittens. They were taken from their mother way too soon and were really little. We looked them over...thinking we had a male and a female.

Of course, we would keep them. We had to think of names....the father and the son said they couldn't think of a thing....so I took one look at them and said, OK, let's name them Fred and Ethel Mertz. We did. Over the next few weeks, they seemed to recognize their names and we were shocked later to find that Ethel wasn't a female...HE was a male. Who knew? However, he came when his name was called, so we just kept on calling him Ethel. Over the years we've heard many remarks about it and we all just smile. Ethel didn't seem to mind what you called him...as long as you called him.

Fred we lost long ago. A neighbor poisoned him with antifreeze. We don't know which neighbor and it could have been an accident. At any rate, we still miss him and I know Ethel always did.

Ethel loved to sit in the old navy man's lap to watch tv. Me, well, he came to me when he was hungry or wanted outdoors. The funny thing is...he NEVER bothered any of my sewing or beading. It was strange. And, he would never volunteer to come into the studio. You'd have to pick him up and bring him in...then, he'd want to leave immediately. He'd talk to us, but if other people were in the house...he'd go hide. He was afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Sometimes if no one would listen to you rant and rave...then, he would...he was a good listener.....we're sure going to miss him!

So, here are some photos of Ethel. He was a very serious cat. I'm so glad I made a little quilt with my friend Ethel appliqued on it.....now, even more than when I made it.

Yes, Fred and Ethel, our cats, were a very important part of the family. We won't forget them.
Ever. And, like Ethel, thanks for 'listening.' Y'all take care out there. pat

25 comments:

paddysdaughter said...

Always very sad to lose a family member, and his going will leave a huge gap that no future animal can fill. I enjoyed learning a bit about him, and well done to your son for saving Fred and Ethel when he did! Best wishes

debbie said...

DEAR PAT,
I AM JUST SO SAD ABOUT ETHEL. I AM SHEDDING TEARS. IT LEAVES SUCH A HOLE IN OUR HEART TO LOOSE ONE OF OUR LITTLE FAMILY MEMBERS AND HE LIVED TO BE QUITE OLD BUT THAT DOESN'T STOP THE PAIN. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THE STORY OF HIS LIFE. MY DARLING MR. SIMPLY AND I FOSTER NEW BORN KITTENS WHO FOR SOME REASON HAVE BEEN DESERTED BY THEIR MOTHER. OUR LAST 2 CATS WE BOTTLE FED. I LOVE CATS AND DOGS BUT CATS ARE JUST SO MUCH FUN. WE HAVE 3 CATS AND 2 DOGS. I AM SOOO VERY HAPPY YOUR SON SAVED ETHEL AND FRED AND SO SAD FRED WAS POISONED. WE DON'T LET OUR CATS OUT FOR THAT REASON. I BRING THEM GRASS FROM THE BACK YARD TO EAT AND GROW KITTY GRASS IN THE WINTER.
ONCE AGAIN I AM SO VERY SORRY AND PRAYING FOR YOU AS I TYPE THIS.
ETHEL YOU WERE A GOOD BOY...NOW RUNNING FREE IN HEAVEN CHASING BUTTERFLIES. YOU WERE ONE OF THE LUCKY CATS...YOU WERE LOVED.
HUGS
SIMPLY DEBBIE

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

What a sweet sweet story. He was so very loved.

Melody Marie Murray said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

handsome fellow, who was so lucky to have your family, as you were to have his company and affection.
xxx

Scott Eaton said...

Scott here (the son) with a correction to the story: I was at a friend's apartment in Little Rock and we found an entire box of kittens. They were just dumped there (not the neighbor's). I took two of them and if my memory serves me right, we found homes for the remainder! Gonna miss Ethel - still miss Fred. They were a good pair.

Pat said...

Scott, thank you for 'remembering' for me...sometimes I need help and it HAS been seventeen years. However you got Ethel and Fred to our house...I'm glad you did and proud of you for being a caring human being. I can remember other times you cared and it does a mother's heart good. You, of course, were Ethel's favorite! (And, rightly so!) take care, love you THIS MUCH...mom

Anne said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Those fond memories of Ethel, and of Fred, will comfort you and make you smile forevermore. Thanks for sharing the story of how Ethel got his name.

My daughter adopted two rescue kittens when she lived in Tennessee. She named them Abby and Ginger, thinking she had two females. I will never forget how hard I laughed when she called me from the vet's office after taking the kittens in for their first check-up. When I answered the phone, all I heard in a surprised tone was, "Ginger is a boy!" Ginger became Kelso, who along with Abby are now much-loved, full-grown, gorgeous cats.

I am sure that Ethel thanked you from the bottom of his heart for all you did for him. Of course, I am sure he thought you should be thanking him!

Bless you as you mourn the loss of your treasured family member.

Melissa said...

I am sorry for your loss but glad Ethel lived a long life in a good home.

Sherry said...

To Pat and Scott and Richard, too. I'm so sorry. It hurts to think about what you're going through. Ethel definitely looks like a serious kitty in his pictures. I'm sure if he'd had that "king of the jungle" ruff when you found him, there would have been no doubt about his gender! And, starting life here in Little Rock probably made him tough! He was such a handsome cat! God bless his furry little spirit.

Sherry in Little Rock

Vivian said...

Oh, Pat. I am so sorry. I know you commented that he was not moving around much lately. Still, it is hard.

Nicki Lee said...

Hi Pat,
So sorry to hear about your buddy. Ethel was a handsome boy and I'm sure he will be missed.... he was lucky to have such a caring family.

My "Brat Cat" is now 16.5 years old and we are wondering how much longer she will be around. Love her dearly but have to tell you she has earned her name BRAT over the years LOL!

vicki said...

Pat - I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved kitty. I know this is such a heartache - that was one lucky kitty to have such a wonderful home with you! Your home will be a lonely place for a while without your buddy~~

vicki

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

oh I am so sorry Ethel has gone. He was a beautiful serene looking chap. I lost Heidi and Toby also very old a long time ago and loved them dearly. Ethel knew your soul so there will be an empty space. It was five years before I got another cat (old Amber) and she now has that status but you don't forget old friends. Betty x

rlbates said...

So very sorry for your loss, Pat.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Oh Pat, my heart hurts with yours. I know the pain of losing a dear friend though we did know my Jackson was a male right from the beginning. :) I know Ethel wil be missed. blessings, marlene

Penny said...

That is so sad and I am sorry. They are family members and it hurts to lose them.

Francien said...

Oh dear Pat...this is so sad...i feel for you my friend...i know the feeling...but i also know that he had a good home...or he would not be 17?! What a awesome cat he was...such a lovely face and beautiful eyes...his caracter is coming close to one of our cats who died a few years ago...i got myself a new cat and one found us himself and stayed...but i will always cherish the ones i was blessed to have...Ethel will be missed i am sure...
greetings ♥ Francien

Robin C said...

I am so sad about Ethel. I know you will miss him. We have 6 inside cats and our oldest is Emma who is a boy. We got him at about 2 weeks old and bottle fed him. He is a character. Each one of our babies has their own special personality. We have 3 adult and 4 kittens that we feed outside. I guess most people would think we're nuts but cat people will understand. I enjoying hearing about Fred and Ethel and know that those memories will help get you through this very sad time.

Robin in Virginia

Erin in MI said...

I'm so sorry Pat. We just lost our kitty of 15 years a week ago...It's always so hard to say goodbye to these furry family members - they are so much a part of our lives...And there's no fear that they will grow up and move out...they're always there...Hugs from us and our furry family members.

Christine said...

Lovely story Pat, thanks for sharing at this sad time for you. Yes, they fill a special place in your heart the family pets. We've lost 3 much loved pusses over the years, and are NOT looking forward to loosing our current girl "Bob" !! Yes, a daughter thought she was being hilarious naming her Bob, but the vet now has "Bob (female)" on all the records to avoid confusion. Her reminder letters even come with that on them, so funny. Hugs from across the ocean to all the family,
Hooroo from Christine in Sydney Australia.

Peonies & Magnolias said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ethel but so glad you had him for so many years.

Sandy

brenco1 said...

Pat, I know that this is a horrible loss for you and the "old Navy man". Ethel will be missed, even though I never saw much of HIM.

FredaB said...

Dear Pat

I just read about your loss of Ethel.
I am so sorry but I guess that is life. My sister had one that lived 19 years and the funny thing is she had a poodle for almost that long and her cat was an outside one (surprising he lived that long) but when Do put the food out the poodle would not touch his until the cat came in and started to eat then he would go over to his bowl and eat then. You wonder what goes on in their little minds.

Hugs

FredaB

Cathy K said...

I’m so sad to hear of Ethel’s passing. I know how our furchildren become regular family members, and my heart aches for you. My furson Boomer turned 15 this week, and I tear up every time I think of him being old and leaving some day. My three kids have grown and gone, and DH & I call ourselves “empty nesters”. The truth is, though, that Boomer is our son; he sleeps with us (and chastises us when it’s bedtime if we’re not getting ready). He has his own food and bowl on the floor, but always joins us for dinner. Just sits in his chair and watches - never tries to get food. It’s our company he wants. Boomer divides his time judiciously between DH & I, granting us alternate privileges of hosting him in our laps. And when the kids return home to visit, they greet their bro Boomer (and vice versa) with love. I even get my kids’ names mixed up (as all parents do sometimes), calling calling my human son Boomer or calling the cat Ryan......

Take care and enjoy your memories. You gave Ethel a wonderful life!

Big hugs,
Cathy

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