Tuesday, July 13, 2010
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