Anna here. There is no easy way to begin this entry, so I’m going to get right to it. Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling (the kitty, not the book) crossed Rainbow Bridge last week, at Camp Grandma. She was and forever will be, the cat of my heart. Skye came into our lives three days after her predecessor, Olivia Jane Hart-Bowling (picture unavailable at present, but there are many) crossed Rainbow Bridge, herself. I couldn’t last any longer than that, without a baby to hold. Ironically, we adopted the un-hold-able cat, as Skye, ten months at that time, did not like cuddles. She became our near girl, showing her immense love by sitting near us, especially in the toughest of times. Somehow, she always knew, and, without a sound, there would be a fuzzy little bundle of love by the feet of whoever needed her most.
Teal Life Romance Hero was her favorite, and she loved him the most. Housemate and I were great, of course, but Skye and her Uncle were and are a true OTP for the ages. Skye became my mews right from the start, a strong, solid presence, at a respectable distance, shooting eye-daggers at the hated carpet of my office in our first Albany apartment.
It’s hard to pick out what Skye memories I want to share here -my stats are taking a break this week- because there are a lot, and all of you readers who check in every week to read her updates, and like her photos on Instagram, mean the whole entire world. When we land (there may be another move in our immediate future) in a pet-friendly place, we humans all agree that it will be time for more cats. Hopefully, at least one will be of the blogging persuasion. Feline Fridays are going to be a little rough for a while.
When we first brought Skye home from the shelter, on a snowy December day, close enough to Christmas to knock “Christmas kitten” off my bucket list, it took her four hours to come out of the carrier. She was a cautious girl, but her moments of bravery stick with me the most. The time, that first week or so, when my job was to studiously ignore the new fuzzball, and let her explore her new digs on her own terms, my whole body jolted with the sensation of warmth, wet, and tugging on my big toe.
I looked down. There was a creamy, black-lipped mouth around my toe, two big green eyes looking back at me. The next few seconds went something like this:
Me: Skye? What are you doing?
Skye: I was hoping you knew.
Me: Baby, that’s a toe.
Skye: :processing So…this…not…okay?
Me: Are you hungry?
Skye: :backs slowly away, until mouth is no longer around toe:
I have to assume that I did indeed feed her after that, and that, in the right light, my right big toe probably did look enough like a cat nipple that she figured it was worth a shot. That was her way. Skye brought a lot of things into our lives. She brought slow blinks, happy chitters, ninja skills I do not expect any future cat to exceed, and an unending supply of floofs. She was there to see me through the loss of Olivia, the cat who saw me through the loss of an entire side of my family, and who was there for my first sale, and the unplanned detour into caregiving.
When I first committed to this incarnation of my blog, three blogs per week felt far too much for my anxious, insecure self. Giving Friday posts to Skye suggested itself, and those have been some of my favorite posts to write, because Skye always had something to say. Maybe she still will. I don’t know how the internet connection to Rainbow Bridge works yet. We’ll have to see.
Skye got her name from my favorite historical romance, Skye O’Malley, by Bertrice Small. Even though Skye-the-character was far bolder than Skye-the-kitty, the name still fit, for a beautiful, intelligent heroine, who endured great obstacles, to find true love at last. Suffice it to say that the bar for cat-ness in this family has been set, and set high. Whatever felines join us next, they will have big pawprints to fill.
That’s about it for right now. Skye remains, always, very truly yours,