The Honourable Miss Dixie

Today, I would like to take a moment to celebrate my feline daughter, Dixie. Eight years ago today, the Laird Hamilton and I brought our little cat home from the RSPCA. On the car ride back, he lectured her on her future behaviour and the fact that he expected her to not die. Ever. It was a very good chat and I think the information would have been well-received if we hadn’t just adopted a deaf cat.IMG_0922

She was deaf from birth, and so her previous family gave her to the RSPCA to be rehomed. We were told that they lived on a busy road, and so they were worried about her getting hit by a passing car. I know I will probably never meet the people whose cat gave birth to mine, but I hope they know she’s well looked after. Or at least as well as she will allow, being of a fiercely independent nature.

At any rate, the adoption process wasn’t terribly easy, but it’s probably intended to put off those who aren’t completely serious. There was a waiting period as well as a house inspection from the RSPCA, then two checks at three and six months. It would seem we were considered safe pet parents. Prior to that, though, as soon as I opened her travelling box after our drive home, she was out and suddenly nestled in with my shoes. She stayed hidden for the first three days and didn’t want us near her.IMG_0371

Slowly, though, she grew to used to her surroundings. It took her about two years to be affectionate, though, and she still doesn’t enjoy being held. I suppose she’s just being a teenager – it’s probably very uncool for you parents to hold you. However, she will sleep next to me these days, and has been known – once or twice – to get on the sofa. As yet, laps are off limits. One of her favourite things at present is to chase around my pattern pieces as I cut out fabric. Most pieces are now held together with lots of tape.

Though it seems like just yesterday that we brought our cat home, I am rather taken aback to announce that today is my cat’s eighth birthday! Well, adoption day. I hope that introducing people to my lovely cat will encourage others to consider adoption when looking for a companion animal. Though some people seem to think that animals from such agencies are mangey or abused, I can assure you that this is not strictly the case. Most are well adjusted, and many are young, having been given up for adoption when their original family had an unexpected litter.

Since then, we have adopted two dogs from the same centre, and all get on very well. By which I mean that, if the dogs are unruly, the cat bops them on the head. Order is restored. IMG_1191

As I write this, Dixie is actually face-first in my vanity drawer, trying to get at a bottle of perfume. This is typical grown-up cat behaviour, and I hope that it never changes.

2 thoughts on “The Honourable Miss Dixie

  1. What a darling Miss Dixie is, happy birthday and adoption day to her and your family! This incredibly sweet post made me so emotional, I’m so glad that Dixie has such a loving home with you, Laird Hamilton and the pups (and I love that she keeps them in line! LOL!). She’s such a lovely cat and I also really loved reading about her playing with your pattern pieces while you try to cut out fabric – my cat does the same, and likes to dive into the fabric as I’m laying it out, causing complete chaos!

    When I was growing up my family pretty much always had cats and as a very shy, introverted and often bullied child, I relied on my feline sisters for comfort and companionship. To this day, I still have an easier time relating to and trusting cats more than most humans, which is probably weird, or at least a weird thing to admit. My cat Cali is truly one of my best friends and she has helped me get through so much, I don’t know what I would do without her!

    I (and my family) have always adopted cats from either the Humane Society in our city or the local cat rescue, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of my favourite cats was an older gal my family adopted when I was about 18. She had clearly had a rough life, but was one of the sweetest, quirkiest and most loving creatures nonetheless and she brought so much joy to all of our lives. When she passed away about five months after my mom did, it was absolutely heartbreaking. They had been very close as well and I truly think that at least part of the reason for her rapid decline was due to grief. I’m glad I was able to hold her and comfort her in her last minutes, though it still makes me cry. All of that grimness to say, I think that cats are incredibly special beings and their ability to connect, bond and empathize with us never ceases to amaze me.

    There I go once again, rambling away in your comments! I really loved this post and it definitely struck a chord with me (obviously from the long ramble!). Dixie is such a lovely girl and she’s lucky to have you as her mom!

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    1. She really is such a sweetheart, and I got emotional writing about her! I think that the thing about pets is that they give of themselves completely. There’s no filter. All their love, all their pain, all their joy. And we agree to take that on. She’s my first cat, and she’s always teaching me what it means to live with one!

      I’m actually glad to hear that someone else’s patterns are being destroyed by cat claws! Well, maybe not glad, but relieved, anyway. Chaos is definitely the word for it!

      With regards to trusting cats over humans, I think that’s strange to admit but normal to experience. They aren’t greedy or intentionally hurtful; they just get on with being cats.

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom and your cat passing away. Words fail me, but it sounds like you all shared a lot of love.

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