With great heartache and tears, our 11-year-old tortoise shell/calico cat, Sierra, shuffled out of this world at about 4:20 p.m. Supposedly more “my cat” — as much as any cat can be ascribed an owner — I think she was a somewhat unusual and endearing cat. Most of the cats I have had occasion to know followed the typical cat behavioral code that calls for independence verging on aloofness.
Sierra was different. She was motherly, even though she was never a mother herself. If you weren’t feeling well, she’d cuddle up with you, seemingly trying to cheer you up with her “atomic purr.” When I was first divorced and the boys weren’t with me, she was my tolerant and understanding companion. She’d put with the various dogs that came and went over time, and even after being playfully pounced on, Sierra would lay in the sun and lick their ears. (Nevada, our miniature schnauzer, attempted to “show her his tonsils”…picture that in your mind and you probably will understand.) Ironically, in her peaceful passing in my arms I felt some redemption from an awful memory of another pet’s passing. I will miss Sierra. I hope that I gave her reason to miss me.