It was so easy to say “hello” at the Humane Society all those years ago. Sleeping in a cage adorned with a sign that read “I need a home for Christmas” was the cat who would come into our home and into our hearts in time to discover the joy of shredded wrapping paper under the tree. This little but loving nine pound ball of fur named Dolly has been in my life since I was in the fifth grade. Mom always said that Miss Dolly was going to sleep her life away, and indeed she spent at least 18 hours a day in one of her many nests throughout the house. She lived a good life as an indoor cat.
Sure, she clearly wished she could go outside sometimes so that she might suck the breath out of the local wildlife, as evidenced by her cackling at the window and powerful flicks of her tail against the tabletop. For a stretch she perfected the art of indoor hunting. My parents were especially happy when Dolly’s interest in mousing indoors waned, as waking to a cat gleefully taunting its prey at the foot of the bed was a little too much for them. She was trouble, but the best kind. Most nights she’d patrol the yard from atop a wing-back chair in the living room while we turned in to bed.
Dolly lived a long life, and we’re better for having her in ours. And while it’s one of the hardest things to do, today we all had to say goodbye. Living in North Carolina, I couldn’t be there. But none of us will ever forget that tabby cat. Dolly, you’re loved.