???? – March 9, 2009
We were spending Thanksgiving 2003 with Donna’s folks in Smithville. As usual, Boppy and I were out at the office in the barn with the door open, enjoying the cool air. An old ratty black cat was milling around, squauking, purring and generally looking for attention. She walked with a crippled limp, and was skin and bones. When Donna came out to check on us she immediately took interest in this old ratty bony cat.
After checking, she had a tag and her offical name was "Madam", and it had a phone number on it. And, "Madam" had no claws. She was fending for herself in the country with no claws. When we called the number, it was disconnected. Of course, we already had three cats, and we really needed to reunite her with her owners. So, Boppy took it upon himself, knowing this was an "urgent" situation, and called 911 for help! Well, of course we were angry with Boppy, and everyone was mad at each other. A real Family Feud. But, the 911 operator knew Boppy and gave him the address of the phone number. Long story short, on Thanksgiving Day, we drove out into the country and found an abandoned trailer at the address, leaving a note for the residents in what turned out to be a futile act.
So, the old ratty crippled cat went back to Nashville. I immediately posted adopt-a-cat on my website, emails went out, and we even found someone to take her. Well, the potential adopter wasn’t good enough. She became a permanent part of the family. So, we needed a name for "Madam" since the original owner’s apparent neglect didn’t give them the respect to keep her name. Since the whole 911 episode created such a family feud, the name Dawson from Richard Dawson stuck. Yes, she was a girl, but the name fit so well!
When Dee Dee first arrived, she was skin and bones. The neglect she had experienced in the country created a voracious appetite. She plumped up like a football! All the cats went on a diet. For a few years, we were all good. Dee Dee endured the arrival and passing of Joe Amadeus, and the arrival of crazy Izzie Dog. She also endured the medicine every night when her kidneys slowly started to fail. But she loved everyone through it all, and we loved her.
All Dee Dee really wanted was a warm lap and petting. When people came over, she would waddle in, squawk, and insist on a lap to lay in and purr. When Donna would lay down, Dee Dee, her unofficial name, all she wanted was to lay up right by Donna’s face and lick her. Sometimes it was annoying, but we’ll miss that old rough tongue!
No one really knew what Dee Dee had been through before she arrived at our house and she wouldn’t tell. Her original home was almost 30 miles from where we found her, with highway crossings, coyotes, loose dogs and other critters. Stuck in the cold, crippled, starving nearly to death. But from Thanksgiving of 2003, she received so much love and attention that I consider her one of the luckiest cats around.
Dee Dee, and we’ll always remember the life lessons you taught us. That love will endure long after the pain of your passing has long dulled through the mercy of time. We hope you’re in heaven, full set of claws, strong hips, chasing bugs in a meadow, spending cool nights curled up on Joe Amadeus, thinking of the good times.
We will miss you… no, we already do.