On Friday morning, my grandmother passed away.
It isn’t any sort of tragedy. She was a very old lady with no regrets, and she died painlessly, in her sleep, at home with my parents. I’m as sad as any grandchild would be, but by no means am I heartbroken.
Instead of doing a long post about the person that Grandma was, I’m going to give you one of her stories. I transcribed this a few years ago, while she sat on the couch, watching the birds swarm around the feeder on the back porch. It goes like this:
Well, I’ll tell you about one cat we had, although I don’t think we could ever really truly say we had him. It was when we were out in Riddle, in that little house, I don’t think you’ve ever seen it, and here we had a backyard with a big tall fence and some little bushes here and there, and in this backyard there was a big orange cat.
Now, we didn’t see him much at first, but we HEARD him. My, he had a VOICE! At night we would be in the house and outside we would hear this outside, this ‘MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!’. He was sitting out on the fence, you see, and telling all of these other cats in the neighborhood, he was saying, “Here, this is…my yard. This is…my house. This is…my fence, and if you come on my fence near my house, I will BITE you!”, and all of the other cats, they just heard him and went phoo! and they stayed away.
See, this cat, he was a wild cat, and I didn’t think he would ever be tame. I got him some food and I put it on the back step and I named him Ezra T. Ezra for the prophet that cried in the bushes and T for Tomcat which he certainly was. Every night I would put some food on the back step and I would wait there and I would hear him out there but he never came up. In the morning the food would be gone.
Now we lived in that house for a good while, and every day Ezra T would come just a little bit closer. Sometimes he let me pet him, but he always told me, every time, “Look here, I am A Cat. I am not Your Cat, but you can feed me if you like, and that will be okay.” And in return for the food, he kept our backyard safe from all those other cats that might have come over that fence.
Now here it came time for us to move…we were moving over to that Radcliffe house, and I thought that maybe I could get Ezra T in a box and bring him with us, but he wasn’t going to stand for it. And this was just The Way It Was. I left a big bag of catfood for the next people to live there and I hoped they would feed him, although I’m sure he was a ratter, just like Maudie (you know how she likes a Hot Lunch) and he would have been just fine without it.
So we left and time went on and I wondered sometimes what happened to that Ezra T Cat and whether he was alive. The people in the house seemed like nice people, but you know there are some decent folks who will not feed a cat. But here we got a letter about a year on from these people. Here was the daddy on the couch, and here was his daughter, and here on the daughter’s knee? Here was Ezra T, and he was fat as a king and had a grin about this wide, and here he was looking at the camera and saying: