Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet Dreams, Keats.

Dear Keats,

You know how much we loved you, and we thank you for the joy and the love that you brought us.

When we "rescued" you, you were eight months old, and a kind person, who already had too many cats, had brought you to Dr. Best in hopes of finding you a home. It was Christmas time, and my family was in town. My niece Nora and I went to see you, and we both approved of you and noted that you were such a "sweet kitty." You were sleek and long and feisty. When our hands came near you to pet you, you were already pre-purring. :)

We decided to adopt you.

When David brought you home, you lay on the dash of his car, purring and happy to be out of the cage at the vet. We were amazed at the immediate happiness you brought us. Kitty Moose, who was 14 years old, had died two weeks before, and we had a hole in our hearts; we needed you to love - and you gave us that love and more.

You came to us and you called us home. The first night here -- we showed you around -- you looked, but then you purred a greeting, raised your tail with its crooked little tip, and went back and forth between us till you were worn out. You chased a feather duster, your favorite toy, and then you sought out a lap. Later that night, you curled at the foot of the bed, as if you had always laid there, and then during the night, you moved up between us and snuggled in tight.

We named you Miss Keats [shortened to Keats and made other folks think you were a boy], and then you answered to every variation: Baby Keats, Keater, Keats Keats, Keatee, the Keaster.

You held our heart in your paws and then trained us to be perfect for you. You knew you had us --- and you did.

You liked to be fed at 4 in the morning. You liked that time, so you sat on the floor by our bed and let out your signature meow.

Feed me. Now. Purr.

You liked to drink from of our drinking glasses, your head, ears squeezed down in them before we could catch you.

But, you liked your water best from the bathroom tap. If we went in the bathroom, you had to have water -- and you used the sink, the shower, or the tub to get it. You would sit by the sink and wait, and when we turned the corner to the bathroom, you would cock your head and meow.

You hated thunderstorms. Loud noises. Motorcycles.

You hated most other cats.
[Tallulah was okay, but not a favorite as you hissed and swattered at her when she was little, then you began to tolerate her better.]

You loathed the ones who dared to come on the deck or the porch. Loathed. You hissed at them, howled at them through the window or door, and puffed up like a blow fish over their trespassing.

You hated Stumpy and Lumpy, the cats across the street who taunted you with their outside freedom.

You loved an open window. An open front or back door. You loved a full view.

You loved the deck. The screen porch at the mountains. The basement with its nooks and cranies. You would return from the basement with cobwebs on your nose, whiskers, and tail.


You rode back and forth to the mountain house in the car with us like a dog, sitting on the console like a princess and watching the road.

Then after you tired of that, you napped.

I'll never forget the first ride to the mountains with us; you curled up in my lap and slept, your warmth and heat so comforting -- you had been adopted by us less than a week.

You like to get under the covers. You loved an afghan A fire. A good brush. The ottoman. The heated laundry from the dryer.

You loved food, especially canned, and the sound of one opening would raise you from your reverie and bring you flying into the kitchen with your tail up.

You loved a warm lap. You loved your ears and neck rubbed. You loved watching birds or chipmunks. You loved chewing on the plants on the porch.

You loved to curl up and sleep next to us, your back or your paws against us in trust. You wished to be near us, against us, and with us.

You didn't like strangers.

You hated to see our friends come over to visit, but you loved to see our friends leave. When we had company, you hid or eyeballed them suspiciously and let them know that they were "sitting on [your] sofa."

You didn't like for me to grade papers. When I sat at the table to do it, you swatted at my red pen or lay full length across them. I didn't like to grade them either. :)

You didn't like my nephew, Andrew or Sarah, my former student, who took care of you when we went on vacations. You would meet him or her at the stairs, see who it was, and then take off and hide under the bed. You hissed at Dr. Jim.

But one time, you let Sarah [pictured below] see that you were the best cat, but only if you know, we weren't out of town.

But you loved us. We loved you.

We thank you for that unconditional love [based on tap water and food, but, you know, we were at your service]. You never failed to greet us when we came home. You never failed us as a pet.

You, my precious Keats, blessed us. We will miss you so.

Thank you for giving us all that... thank you for being our cat. Our baby Keats.

Sweet Dreams, Keats. We hope you have the sweetest of dreams.

December 2004 - May 26, 2011

ETA: I wrote this yesterday when I knew her death was imminent. Thank you to all of my friends who have been so kind and understanding.


  1. Oh, Keats :( You and David are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Oh I have been dreading this post, I just knew it would come, I have been checking every day and now it is here....very heavy sigh....Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture of Miss Keats life. She had a very blessed and happy life. Please know that I understand in every way how your hearts feel right now. I love the one of Keets in the car :-)

    Prayers and purrs from Me and Briggs and Syddie too. Lori

  3. :-( Prayers for you! I love all these pictures, Keats was such a great Cat!

  4. We put our spaniel down last October. He had lived a long good life but was in increasing pain. I still look to the area where he slept in the laundry room every time I come in ther back door. They're family, too.

  5. I'm so sorry, Mrs. Gillham. I can't imagine.

  6. I am so SO sorry, Mrs. Gillham. This post is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It made me cry. You and your husband and Tallulah will be in my thoughts.

  7. I cried when I read this post. I never had the opportunity to "meet" Keats and be snubbed, but anyone who has had a pet understands how hard it is to lose such a special part of the family. You are in my thoughts.

  8. Oh TT, I'm so sorry to read this. I know you loved your Keats like I love my babies. It appears that my Mimi has such a similar personality. I haven't used the bathroom or taken a shower without her presence for a year now...dang tap water!! :)

    I hope you and David are well. Miss you!