Lucy the Cat - April 24, 2009
It saddens me to report that our dear cat Lucy, in the words of one of my favorite authors, came to the clearing at the end of the path on Friday, April 24, 2009.
Lucy developed an incurable upper-respiratory condition that progressed steadily over several months before taking a sudden turn for the worse at the end of April.
Lucy passed away gently in my arms in the calm and compassionate setting of the Dove Lewis facility in Northwest Portland, Oregon.
We adopted Lucy in 2004 from our veterinarian, who took her in when one of his clients rescued her from the streets of Portland, where she had been abandoned.
Possibly as a result of having lived on her own out of doors, Lucy wasn't the least bit interested in going outside, unless it was to sun herself on warm and windless days on the safety of the deck or the stern of our boat.
Lucy had an endearing quirk of not eating any kibbles if any part of the bottom of the food bowl was visible. Instead, she'd sit staring at the bowl until one of us came along, noticed the problem, and topped off the bowl for her. This, too, might have have had its origins during the period when Lucy didn't know where her next meal was coming from.
Lucy was a good, gentle and loving cat who enjoyed snoozing in the sun, getting chin and ear rubs, playing with string, munching on kibbles and visiting her other Dad at all hours of the night for more chin and ear rubs. Being a Manx, a breed that developed on the Isle of Man in the cold and stormy Irish Sea, Lucy had a wonderfully warm and thick coat.
As Senior Boat Cat, Lucy took her responsibilities seriously and spent many long and sunny hours with us in the pilot house of our boat, Salvation II. Lucy had good sea legs, and when conditions turned rough she retreated to her nook between the aft wall of the pilot house, the side of a locker, and a huge, soft pillow. When the seas were really nasty, I'd tuck Lucy into her storm berth on the master bed (one side of a fleece-lined notebook computer case), and she'd go to sleep until things calmed down. Lucy logged more than 4,000 nautical miles with us. That's 4,600 statute miles, and virtually to the moon in back in cat miles.
You could always tell when Lucy was thinking or annoyed, because her little stub of a tail would rotate this way and that. We saw a lot of this when Lucy crossed paths with the new cat, Dot but, if the truth be known, they enjoyed each other's company, especially at a respectful distance. Dot enjoyed teasing Lucy by sneaking up on her and batting Lucy lightly with a paw, and Lucy was particularly adept at cornering Dot so that I'd have to come to the rescue.
We will miss Lucy's calm and quiet presence and her soothing purr, but we feel fortunate we were able to give Lucy a safe and loving home for a number of years.