Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lucy Jane Brown and Stray Cat Wassam

I would be a bad pet parent if I neglected to say how grateful I am for my sweet puppy and kitty.  Lucy Jane came home with Jen and I back in 1999 when we lived in the 'hood.  Folks were telling us to either get a gun, an alarm system or a big dog that barks.  Instead we got Lucy (well she is big).  Lucy's barking was directed mainly at the telephone ringing, the hair dryer, or sirens (which, living in the hood, we heard LOTS of).  She was terrified of the coffee grinder and kept us awake all night when her "blankie" was left in the dryer.  (She couldn't sleep without it and therefore she wouldn't let either of us sleep.  She kept pacing back and forth between our rooms acting very anxious.  About 3 AM one of us figured it out.)

Once we brought Lucy home, all the neighborhood cats who hung out in our back yard scattered except for one, horrifically abused, mite of a thing (we weren't sure if it was a cat, a rat or what at first).  Lucy and this THING were inseparable.  As a matter of fact, the first time I laid eyes on it was when Tall Paul called and told me to look in my back yard.  There was my Lucy Jane sleeping in the sun with this THING curled up on top of her.  Later we realized it was a cat that had been so abused that it would literally bring tears to your eyes.  Jen and I refused to touch her without plastic baggies on our hands.  But shine, she was a sweet thing.  And MAN did she love her puppy!

For months we referred to her as the sweet kitty.  Being allergic to cats (and, well truthfully, a disliker of all things feline), actually having her as a pet never was really an option - at least that's what I told myself (and Jen). 

About 3 or 4 months into our happy co-existence, Lucy attempted to jump out our front (closed) window (at least this is what we think happened).  Whether it was to get out to her cat, or to someone who may have been attempting to get in, we'll never know.  But the result was a nearly severed paw and a house covered in blood.  I was on vacation in DC (yup - lived there for nearly 10 years, but I saw more on my vacation than I did while living there) and Jen came home to a horrible sight.  Jen called me, FREAKING out (understandably) and was rushing Lucy to the Vet ER.  After our 2nd or 3rd call, my cell phone died and I wasn't even close to being someplace where I could charge it.  Jen's instructions to the vet was to save her, but not to anything heroic (???).  They saved our girl but sewed her paw on crookedly (which Jen FINALLY admits is true).  Since this was Lucy's first real visit to a vet, she was registered as Lucy Jane Brown.  I've never changed her last name, even through 2 moves.

Sweet Kitty (it never occurred to us to give her a real name) healed from her abuse and is now one of the most beautiful cats you'll ever see (and, as I tell her daily, the ONLY cat I'll ever own and love).  Since she was a stray and was never going to be a pet, Jen and I opted to not worry about taking her to the vet (she really is one of the healthiest cats you'll ever meet).  But our WONDERFUL vet down in Orlando allowed us to purchase stuff for her and had her registered as "Stray Cat Wassam."  Once I moved her to Florence with me, Tall Paul declared that she could no longer be called a stray cat.  And, truthfully, she spends more time sleeping on my bed than I do, so yeah, she's not a stray.

My Lucy Jane acts every bit her age (which we guess to be somewhere near 14) but at times she's just like she was 10 years ago.  Often I look at her sleeping peacefully on her bed in front of my fireplace and I cry because I know she won't be with me forever.

They are my girls and I love them with all my heart.  I have no clue where the future may take me and I'm realistic enough to know that they won't always be with me, but for now, wherever they are is home to me.


  1. Oh Alice, what a perfectly wonderful account of your girls, they do bring such joy into our lives! Thanks for sharing them with us. Hope you're having a great week.