Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tully Cat

Grey cat: Tannis, in the middle, Marmelade,
Tabby: Tully, and Orange Cat: Rascal (2007)
It's Sunday afternoon and my cat is curled up in my lap asleep. He was asleep the day I found him, 12 years ago, curled up with his momma Isis and littermates, less than four hours old. I initially planned to have several of the kittens adopted out, but couldn't stand to let him go. My best friend, Fiber Geek, named him Tully for Tullamore Dew. It's our drink of choice during late night Filking.

I know the day he was conceived. I did not know, until then, that cat sex is a spectator sport! We had an evil bout of upper respiratory infections run through the house. A neighbor moved out of town, abandoning Isis on the doorstep. She and Brom were the only unfixed cats in the house. She went into heat, and neither cat could be taken to the vet for surgery until they were well. Initially, Brom was too young and inexperienced to know what to do. He definitely was not making the right approach. Firedancer the First solved his problem. With every cat in the house (12 back then) in a circle around Isis, crouched in position, my very neutered Firedancer stepped up, demonstrated how to pleasure a lady, and stepped back. I had no idea he has such knowledge, as he had been neutered very young. Brom watched with deep attention, and then took his turn. I counted the weeks. Four kittens. Three survived.

For the first three years of his life, we called him Tully of Little Brain. He just didn't seem too bright. He raced around like a maniac, got into things and fell off high places. He brought me joy and laughter during a very dark time in my life. He grew so fast he never knew where his feet were. He had me fooled. He had learned playing dumb got him extra treats and attention. More recent years revealed a very elegant, very intelligent cat. Never any problem, gentle and loving.

Two weeks ago Tully was diagnosed with end stage cancer. The vet said to take him home, love him, feed him anything he wants. My rail thin cat, who lost all his teeth a year ago to the cancer, has gained two pounds. Yesterday I found the swollen lymph node in his neck, an inch away from the cancer. We count his life now by breaths and purring.

Yesterday I had to run to the store for cat sand. The check out clerk inquired how many cats I have. When I replied 22, she asked, "Do you know all of their names and personalities?" How offended she might have been if I asked her children's names and personalities. I simply replied my sons are grown and gone, and of course I know the furchildren's names. Yet even as each is precious and unique, some do bond more tightly than others. Tully is very near my heart indeed.

When it's my time to cross into the Summerlands, I want to cross with the grace of my cat. I'm sure he knows he's dying, yet each day he is cheerful, enjoys laying in the morning sun, and devourers every bite of food I give him. Tully has always been an easy cat, happy to have attention, cautious with his claws, delighted in the moment whether it included cat nip, cat food or attention. He is a study of Mindfulness. My clients at the clinic and I could learn much from him. Soon he will cross the Rainbow Bridge, joining his poppa Brom and momma Isis.

May the Goddess Bastet keep you and hold you, and love you like I do, Tully. May she guide you gently to the Rainbow Bridge when it's time. Know my heart goes with you, and you will be welcomed back again with the turn of the wheel.

I love you, Tully Cat. I shall miss you more than I can say.


  1. Tully sounds like A Very Fine Cat Indeed. And I'm sure he's had the best of all possible lives with you. May his final hours be peaceful and pain free.

  2. Dreamweaver,

    I will hold you both in my heart, thoughts, and meditations to the Goddess. I wish you both love and peace.