One year ago today, on January 28, 2007, my old friend, the Lady in Red, took up residence in her forever home, a stray no more.
After more than half a year of intensive veterinary and home care (thanks again to all those who helped to defray the costs!), she recovered from all illnesses and now lives happily with her human companion. She runs, plays, washes, cuddles and eats well—in short, she does all the things that healthy cats do. And she gets lots and lots of love.
The Lady in Red is not young. We figure that she must be at least thirteen years old by now, since we knew her for roughly ten years when she was still living in the park and she was fully grown when we first met her. She’s a bit white around the muzzle, but as far as I can tell, that is the only sign of age that she has. I have it on good authority that at least several times a day she plays with her toy mice, leaping and pouncing and catching them between her paws like a kitten. I also hear that she can leap to some pretty high places.
I am privileged to be able to visit her and take pictures. The one above shows her in her blanket nest, giving herself a bath—something she could not do when she got so sick a year ago. But I’m told that since her recovery, she washes so much that she needs regular doses of hairball remedy—a minor problem, yes, but a “healthy” one.
There is just one sad note in all of this. My dear friend Bev, who died suddenly last Saturday morning, followed the Lady in Red’s progress regularly and provided a lot of helpful advice during the more difficult points. Last week, I planned to celebrate the Lady’s first anniversary in her forever home with Bev somehow, even if only with a phone call. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
But I hope that wherever Bev is, she knows, and I hope it makes her smile.