I still miss my tiny gentle tabby with white feet and bib
who guided an awkward 11 year old into adulthood. Friskie was
actually my 2nd cat - my first I got as a 8 or 9 year old and because
of a neighbor my dad tried to keep Velvet on a runner to keep him out
of her yard (Dad didn't understand cats, he really was trying - he got
better at cats). He escaped and I hunted for weeks and still wonder
what happened to him. Then my sisters' got a kitten when I was 10.
When they brought her home they thought she was a he, and when she
had kittens less than a year later they wanted the kittens instead -
and all I wanted was Friskie. We kept them all and later had Friskie
spayed (and all the kittens). She was mine from that point on.
Friskie seemed to be able to read me, she knew me better than anyone.
She would comfort me when I cried and could be a total clown and make
me laugh when I needed it most.

As a preteen and in my early teens Friskie was my confidant and
best friend. She heard every secret, every hurt, and every joy.
Caring for her taught me responsibility, being loved so
unconditionally taught me what real love is. And watching her helped
me to understand that true happiness is not in things and
possessions, but can come to us on four furry paws. She could be so
patient, and as is so typical of those pre-teen early teen years she
needed to be with me at times. She was so tolerant towards everyone.

In the fall of 1971 I left for college – out of state, 4 hours
from home with no driver’s license and no car. I think the hardest
part was leaving Friskie with my parents’ at home – for us both. Mom
said she would sit at the end of the driveway the whole first week
barely eating, the second week she sat on the porch steps, the third
week on the bottom step to upstairs in the house and by then would be
skin and bones. After the third week she resigned to me being gone
and Mom could begin spoiling her (if Friskie begged Mom produced some
sort of yummy treat – she had my mom very well trained – maybe too
well). This was the routine for EVERY time I’d leave – one time when
I got back my mom had rushed Friskie to the vet on hearing I was
coming home, (she was worried and afraid I’d be upset – my dainty 5
pound angel weighed 15 pounds, but the vet said, “Well, her belly
still isn’t dragging on the ground, yet”). I think she lived for
holiday breaks and summer through the college years. One Easter while
I was home on break she was out front with all of us and spotted a
baby robin that had fallen from it’s nest, well she is a cat. By now
my sweet baby was 10 and, as I had just gotten home, Mom had her
fattened up (again). She did not spring into motion, it was more like
slow motion building up speed as she acquired momentum and gained on
the tiny hapless bird. We all watched in stunned silence for a few
moments then someone finally found a voice and called out “NO!”. What
followed was so Friskie. Friskie slammed on her brakes and the baby
bird, up till now oblivious of the danger, turned to look. However
the same weight and momentum that gave her speed now acted against
her, her feet stopped but she kept moving, sliding to a stop about
a foot on the other side of the baby robin which was just shaking
it’s tiny head. My mom was the first to start but fairly quickly
we were all laughing. Friskie looked at us – back at the bird – then
looked back at us and put her nose in the air and sulked off to the
front porch as if to say well I really didn’t want it.

In July of 1976 we moved out of my parents house to a new job,
our new home (a small garden apartment) and a grand adventure. I
found out she could be quite a character around others – my boyfriend
(in 1978 became hubby) would come over and she loved him – but he had
a friend he sometimes brought and she would quite clearly avoid him.
One day he cornered her to pet her and she burped and passed gas at
the same time – it was soo bad it cleared the room. And I’m certain
when I looked at her as he retreated she was grinning a very smug
grin. On another occasion I stayed up (way too late) making home-made
donuts because my boyfriend was coming over for Saturday and I was
going to surprise him with donuts and a home-made breakfast. I had
made maybe 3 dozen and carefully put them on cooling racks on the
table and covered them with dishtowels. When he came in and I took
the towels off she somehow had been under the towels and took one
bite out of every single donut! The year we got married I had
friends over for my husband’s birthday, I made 2 cakes (one was laced
with Canadian Mist and whipped cream – it’s called Tipsy Cake) and
one guest took that cake then decided against it – they sat the cake
plate on the floor behind the recliner. Some time later Friskie
staggered from behind the same chair – and on checking the plate was
quite clean. She plopped down and polished off a serving bowl of
potato chips. She was also very grumpy the next day.

In 1979 I was told she had malignant melanoma and it had
already spread everywhere. Our vet said she was in no pain and if
she began to suffer that he would come to our home. For those last
months I watched helplessly as my sweet baby became smaller and
weaker, but she was always happy and enjoyed our special times and
did not seem to be in pain. And she seemed content as long as I would
take time to just hold her. I could write a book about our journey
from childhood to adult hood, but those last months are bittersweet.
She was too weak to stand or walk the last few days, but when I
picked her up she would purr so happily and her eyes would shine,
and I knew I was loosing her but at that time all I knew was how much
we loved each other and how special every moment was and I hold them
as a treasure. She left me in her sleep on autumn day in early August
1980. The house we were renting has a dogwood tree that even then was
the size of a medium size oak tree – her remains rest beneath that
tree. She lives ever in my heart.

(c) Candace 7/7/06

~*~ ~*~

After We Part

Our hearts are forever linked, we are part one of the other
We bound our souls together and a journey we began
We faced the world as one as we traveled through this life
We chose our trail and then began walking hand in hand

Now I continue the journey on the path we had chosen
And as I face our path alone and you travel on ahead
I know that you are also here to guide and guard my steps
To help me to keep true to the path where once you lead

And though now there is only a single set of footprints
I do not fear for I know that I still travel on with you
I feel you as you continue to lead and guide my steps
As you continue leading me from just beyond my view

(c) Candace

~*~ ~*~


Because love cannot be measured by time but only by depth
Because love cannot die it can only change it’s form
Because some links can never be broken

(c) Candace

~*~ ~*~

The Gift

i look into eyes time has gentled with love
and i feel a heart i want always to be near
i hear the winds whisper of times yet to be
and i listen to a voice i want always to hear

but i feel too a bond that will never be broken
and i hear the wind whisper softly it will be
even when we are apart we are connected still
by a love that will stand the test of all eternity

though you have traveled on and i yet remain
i still feel your touch on my heart and my soul
and i feel your love soft and warm around me
and i know that what we have will never die

(c) Candace 2/1/06

~*~ ~*~

the music ~*~ Keeper of the Stars ~*~

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