As odd as it might sound, our bedroom closet feels empty now. You see, it had a tenant for quite a long time – Momma Cat. Yes – Our sweet 16+ year-old cat held up residence there. And we could usually find her hiding in the cat clam bed, which I assume, made her feel safe. Sadly, though, earlier this week Momma Cat went to be with all her kittens, who as far as we can determine, she outlived.

Momma was a crazy mess. She was feisty beyond measure and had paws quick as lightening. She wasn’t afraid to use them either and would quickly wallop any animal within striking distance. She routinely hissed, and made quite unnatural sounds if approached by more than one individual or when any of our other pets tried to engage her. No, she did not play well with others. However, underneath that brusque exterior was one of the most lovable cats you could ever imagine. When you got her alone she wasn’t defensive or aggressive in the least. In fact, she sought out affection from anyone willing to give it to her – and usually it was a houseguest. For several years she stayed pent up in our guestroom just waiting to greet a weary traveler in need of some love. “What a sweet cat,” people would say. Yes. That was the case – when you got her alone. And I believe that was the key.

When you get a person (or animal) alone, defenses often drop and you are able to see what’s hiding underneath. Unfortunately, for some individuals, there are many layers of challenging behaviors that have to be peeled away before the core or sweet interior of the person is revealed – but, I believe, it’s there. We just have to take the time to look for it. Rest in Peace, Momma Cat. I choose to believe you left all the crazy external behaviors behind and now everyone only sees the amazingly wonderful pet we knew and loved for so many years.