Eight years ago, I went to my first Beltaine Festival. When I came home, a little grey and white kitty was hanging around the apartment. Nothing new. She’d been there off and on for a while. I petted her and went on. But then she kept showing up – one morning in the Dumpster just before the trash was collected, which scared me to death. I got her out of there, but then she left again. When she showed up the next time, I brought her in and looked at her close. She was in bad shape, so I called a friend to come pick her up and take care of her.
My friend named her Grey Lady, which was very apt. That tiny cat was regal, and she knew it. She was beautiful. And she seemed to stay under my friend’s sofa or the bed unless Preston was there. She would always come out and sit on Preston or Preston’s bag. She absolutely adored Preston.
And then she got to where she’d stand at the front door and cry when we’d leave. And of course it eventually got to me. And then the weekend of the Woodland Arts Fair that August, I gave in and brought her home.
We had her with us until January 19th, 2007. Looking back at her pictures, she had gone downhill in a bad way between the previous August and November. But we hung on to her because we didn’t want to admit to ourselves that she was as ill as she was. Around Christmas, she started going to the door and crying, begging me to let her outside. I knew what she wanted, and I refused. She and I had arguments about this. I refused to let her win on that account no matter how much she begged.
But then by the middle of January, I knew we had to let her go. It was long past time for that. So I called and made the appointment and took her in. And she went to sleep in my arms. With her eyes open. I sat there bawling with laughter bubbling from me. “Grey Lady, you silly thing,” I said and kissed her forehead before the ‘nurse’ (what are they called in the vet’s office?) took her from me. She asked me if I wanted her to fix the cat’s eyes, but I said, “Please don’t.” When both the nurse and the doctor looked at me funny, I clarified. “She always slept with her eyes open.”
I carried her out to the car, got in, placed her on the passenger seat, got ready to pull out, and turned on the radio. I never listen to AM, haven’t since I was a child, but Preston does now and then just because he can. As I put the car in reverse, the first strains of Spirit in the Sky began to play. I absolutely lost it. But then I started laughing my ass off. And since then, it never fails that we’ll be thinking about her, and that song will play. (in fact, a commercial was just on the TV with the song playing in the background)
Grey Lady was special. She had more love in her little fuzzy body than most people I know ever dreamed of loving. She was our special girl, a little angel. And now she is our angel.
And I still miss her like crazy. I miss her so much it hurts.