Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: Norwegian Forest cat

Requiem for Tuffy

Tuffy came to us unexpectedly November 17, about a week after our first heavy snowfall. Chris opened the door early in the morning, a four month old kitten walked in, explored our home and decided this was his home. We delighted in his lively presence all winter, then he left us just as unexpectedly March 26, before our snow was altogether gone. He went out the night before and never came home. I found him lying by the roadside in the morning, stiff and cold, no doubt a victim of a passing motor vehicle and his own trusting nature.

He was friendly and fearless, curious and cuddly. The other two cats in this house hissed and growled at him that first day, he took no notice. In time they realized he meant them no harm and accepted him as part of the family. He loved to explore outside, climb trees, chas mice. Indoors he came running when the computer printer began to whir and watched in fascination as sheets of paper appeared in the output slot. When his enthusiasm went too far and he was scolded, he promptly sat flat on the floor to consider this new information. He learned not to walk on the table and to wait his turn when treats were being given out.

He grew rapidly. His size, his colouring, the shape of his head, his long hair, all pointed to mostly Norwegian Forest Cat ancestry. So did his congenial nature. No matter what we were doing, he could come along, jump on our lap to be cuddled and loudly purr his appreciation.

A few weeks ago two neighbour cats were in heat at the same time and came to our yard every day, trying to attract the attention of our cats. By then Tuffy was a eunuch, like the other two. Angus avoided the two females, Pookie chased them away, but Tuffy loved the attention. Looking on, we saw that he had no idea why they wanted to be close to him and no clue about what they expected from him.

He made several visits to the Vet clinic with me: to check for a microchip; to be immunized; to be neutered; and one last time to be cremated. A little later in spring I could have buried him here at home, but the receding snowdrifts of winter still occupy much of the yard.

Tuffy quickly found a place in our hearts and brought us much joy. We miss him. Do we expect to meet him again in heaven? No. Yet I believe that all the beautiful and lovely things that bring us joy here on earth are a foretaste of heaven. The Bible may describe heaven as being made of gold and precious stones. Hard and lifeless building materials do not warm my heart or make me long for heaven. I don’t believe that is all that heaven holds for us. God has endowed the earth with wondrous living beauty: the subtle fragrance of Sweet Williams; the cheery song repertoire of Brown Thrashers; the shimmering of Saffron Winged Meadowhawks on the lawn; the purring of a cat on our lap. Won’t we find beauty and joy beyond any of these in heaven?

I wonder – if I believed an animal unworthy of my love, would I then believe that people needed to fulfil certain conditions to be worthy of my love? I have no regrets about loving a little four-footed creature. We always knew it would only be for a time, yet never expected it to be such a short time.


(The Saffron Winged Meadowhawk is a mosquito-eating dragonfly with a red body and wings of translucent gold.)

The intruder

Image by ivabalk from Pixabay 

A few years ago I took an old picnic cooler, cut a square hole in one corner large enough for a cat to go through, put an old blanket on the bottom, and set it on our back step. It was meant as a shelter for our cats if they were outside in cold or stormy weather.

Tuesday morning Chris opened the door to let Angus and Poolie go outside. A half-grown kitten emerged from the cat shelter and walked in the open door. He has made himself right at home here, even though we’re not sure we need another cat. Angus and Pookie are especially dubious about that.

He is obviously accustomed to being a house cat and has been well cared for, though probably went a day or two without food. He is going to be big, his ancestry is probably largely Norwegian Forest cat, (I had to look that up, I knew there was a long-haired Norwegian cat with a ruff, the only name that came to mind was Norwegian Elkhound and that’s a dog so it couldn’t be right.)

If he had been a stray that long hair would be messy and matted, and it wasn’t. He didn’t wander in from the farm next door (we asked) and the next closest house is a kilometre away. Chris’s guess is that he is getting to the age that he should be neutered and the previous owner didn’t want to pay the vet bill.

He is gentle, friendly, playful, cute and pushes himself into the middle of whatever is happening. Chris thinks we should call him Frosty, for the colour of the fur on his back. I’m afraid that if we give him a name that means we have accepted him as part of the family.

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