Lolcats, Meow-tzart, and Tessa Leone Croydon

Cats have been on my mind lately. Firstly, I’m completely addicted to lolcats. Srsly. I mean, come on! Also, people keep sending me pointers to assorted ridiculously adorable cats online. Check out this delightful video of Nora, the piano playing cat.

Tess at Tasha's

All this inescapable feline cuteness has me missing our family kitteh, Tess. Full name, Tessa Leone Croydon. I didn’t think she’d long survive country life. There are plenty of predators in these foothills who might make a quick snack of a city cat. So Tess went to live with my daughter, Tasha, when I moved to California. This picture was taken by Tasha in the spring of 2007 just after Tess had moved in with her.

Tess came unexpectedly into our family as a teensy kitten. It was an accident, on my part. A coworker brought her into the office to find a home for her. I had already been asked if I wanted a kitten and declined. However, when I opened the door to the office where she was visiting with a crowd of admirers (hey, I was trying to get work done!), Tess immediately dashed over to me and climbed me like a tree in about a half a second. I didn’t even have time to squeak. Once she’d made it to my shoulder, she proceeded to purr loudly while nosing around my ear with her cold wet nose. There was a general chorus of “Ooooh, she’s found her new mama!” and “Sold!” and things like that. I was pretty much sunk. She’d claimed me. Needless to say, she came home with me that day and became a full-fledged family member, growing up side-by-side with Tasha. My memory is filled with moments of excruciating cuteness between them, the little monsters.

Now she’s getting to be an elderly lady (Tess, not Tasha), hanging out with the kids and having a relaxing life free of cougars and rattlesnakes, lounging around on pillows or warm laundry, getting underfoot in the kitchen, and begging to be swept.

I enjoy the freedom that comes with not having responsibility for a pet. Heck, we don’t even have a houseplant. We can decide to hit the road anytime, lock the house behind us, and have no worries about leaving the place uninhabited.

But le sigh. I sure miss having a purr-baby around.

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