Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Maine Coon cats

Memories of Panda

Panda was our number one furry friend for over 15 years. We got her from a street cat rescue program when she was about six months old. She was part of a litter of long haired black cats found in an abandoned car in a back alley. She grew into a magnificent Maine Coon cat and lived with us in our last three homes.

In our first home, she would perch on the back of the couch, part the vertical blinds with her paw  to look out on the driveway and watch for our return.

She was the same age as our oldest grandchild and all our grandchildren learned from her that gentleness and kindness were the  keys to inspiring trust.

After spending hours at the computer I would turn around and see her on the floor quietly watching me. As soon as I made eye contact she was on her feet leading me to where I kept her brush and comb. A little time spent grooming her made her happy and gave me a needed break. She loved to be vacuumed, the air current through her long hair must have felt good.

The first evening afterwe moved onto this acreage she went outside to explore. When she didn’t come back we went looking for her with flashlights. We went all over the yard, searching and calling her. Finally we gave up and went back to the house. There she was, calmly sitting on the front step, as if to say “Where have you guys been? I’ve been waiting for you.”

I like cats because they are free. They could survive as feral anaimals but choose to make their home with us. They don’t often come when they are called, but when they feel like it they will jump on our lap and purr contentedly.

If I accidentally stepped on Panda’s tail or paw she would give a loud squawk, but that was all. She never believed that I had done it deliberately and it didn’t affect her trust in me. She would calmly sleep through sudden loud noises and commotions in the house, but if a can of salmon was opened she would wake from her sleep, wherever she was, and show up to ask for a share.

Yesterday we took her to the vet and had her put to sleep. Over the past few months she has lost weight until she was just skin and bones. Her blood pressure was high and her kidneys were failing. The vet gave us medicine and at times it seemed to be helping. Finally we had to face the reality that the things we were doing to try and relieve her distress were only causing her more distress. It is a relief to know her suffering is over.

I hope that I have learned something about respect and trust from my relationship with Pand that will transfer to my relationships with people.

More about cat #3

Cat number three is Pookie, an almost two year old  flame point Siamese. He is our most antsy and most vocal cat, but usually settles down mid morning for a good sleep.

Yesterday he was much more antsy than usual. I really believe that he knew my wife was out in that storm and was worried about her. Chris wondered if perhaps he was reacting to my nervousness, but if I was showing any nervousness the other two cats didn’t notice it.

Cat number two is Angus, an almost three year old black short hair who shows a lot of Siamese influence. He is Chris’s cat and shows all the anxiety of a Siamese. I didn’t mention him in yesterday’s post because he slept all the time that Chris was gone.

Cat number one is Panda, large, black, long haired, of mostly Maine Coon Cat ancestry and almost twelve years old. She demands special attention several times a day, wanting to be combed and brushed. Her behaviour  yesterday was completely normal.

Pookie does not like to be picked up and never sits on our lap unless we are in one of the recliners with our feet up. Yesterday was the first time he ever jumped up on my lap when I was sitting at the computer. Even then he would not settle down.

At the last, especially after I went out and cleaned the snow off the steps and walk, he seemed to know that Chris was on her way home. He went and sat on the bed in our spare bedroom, not to sleep, but to watch the entry way so he would see when she came in the door. Once she was home, he found one of the cat beds sin the living room and slept the rest of the afternoon.

This is the feral cat who showed up on our doorstep one day, half grown, half starved, fully expecting to find a home. When I opened the door, he calmly walked in. I had never seen him before, but I suspect he had been watching for awhile and knew this was a cat friendly place. Never underestimate the intelligence of a cat.


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