Friday, June 7, 2013

Henny Penny

Sometime in early 2001, a young brown tabby cat invited herself into our lives.  She showed up at David's house a few days in a row.  One evening, David called saying "Your cat is here." When I arrived, she was enjoying a dinner of tuna and milk.  I was hooked and so was she.  I don't know where she came from, but I was certain of where she belonged.
 She was sweet and curious, but always dignified.  I think she was born an old soul.  She'd play with cat toys (or just about anything) with abandon, until she'd suddenly walk away with her head held high, as if she hadn't been acting so silly after all.

She talked and talked which is why she was named Henrietta - after the cat puppet on Mister Roger's Neighborhood.  If she wanted, she could carry on an entire conversation with you.
Henrietta was so sweet that she could even charm people who don't ordinarily like cats into letting her sit in their laps.
No cat has ever appreciated sun more, and she could often be found lying on her back with her feet in the air, enjoying a spot of sunshine that she'd claimed.
 Open windows were almost as good as a sunny spot.  She could happily birdwatch for hours.
 I'd forgotten that she was ever as skinny as in her younger years.  This is how I remember her the one I'd sometimes call Chubby Checkers.  Look at that furry tummy!  That's not all fluff. ;)
 As much as we could, we indulged Henny every chance we got.  We didn't get rid of Gracie or either of the dogs as she might have wished, but if she was laying on the dryer, we'd keep turning it on (even empty) as long as she was there.
At the very beginning of our vacation, our dear friend Patty who was looking after the cats called.  Henrietta seemed to be having some trouble breathing.  Patty took her to the vet, who determined that her chest cavity was full of fluid.  She spent the night at the emergency vet, then was picked up by my parents the next evening.  We talked about turning around and coming home, but we were quite a few hours from home and knew that Henny was getting the best care.  After a procedure to drain the fluid, Hen seemed to be doing better.  She was loved and cuddled and spoiled while at her Grammy's house and I enjoyed the daily pictures of her.  We picked her up when we arrived home and she seemed pretty good for a few days.  Soon though it was evident that she was again having trouble breathing.  A return trip to the vet and an X-ray revealed that the medication wasn't enough and that the fluid was back.  Poor Hen wasn't eating or drinking, and her doctor and I made the hard decision to let her go.

We miss her a lot, but I know she lived a good kitty life.  I won't pretend to know what happens to an animal's spirit when they die, but I do know that Henny will live on in our hearts and memories.  Unfortunately for any future cats we may have, Henrietta will be the yardstick by which any other cat will be measured.  I can't imagine another one living up to her high standards.  She was quite a girl and we'll miss her.  Love you, Henrietta!


Anonymous said...

I knew this post was coming so I thought I was prepared for it...not so. You put into words the many thoughts & feelings we've shared about Henny. Great memories of a precious girl. Love, MOM

Patty said...

It's hard to type through the tears. On my visits to check on her I always loved scratching her ears and her "jelly belly". I will pretend to know where good kitties go when they die. I know that somewhere there is a big pool of sunlight with a very pretty & excellent kitty, lying flat on her back with all four feet in the air. RIP Henrietta..