You know, Miss Ruth was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave. (Fried Green Tomatoes)
Four months shy of her eighteenth birthday we said so long to our beloved kitty Gertrude. Gertrude was a beautiful, spunky, bright-eyed tortoiseshell cat-dog with just the right mix of ‘tortitude’, generous love and affection, a kitty vocal range of historic proportions and a soul you would only expect an angel to have.
My sweetheart Jennifer raised Gertrude (known as: Miss. Rude, Rude, Gert, Gertie, Gert-girl and champion log roller) since she was an itty bitty kitty. She was born in December 1993 and in her almost 18 years was sick only once with a small cold. Gert was the epitome of a cat dog, those of you who have known one will understand what that means immediately. For those of you who don’t, it’s just as it sounds, Gertrude lived in a cat body and had a dog heart.
Gertie was a New England lady, just like her late sister Petunia. She was rescued free from a pet store in Massachusetts and resided in 13 different homes in her lifetime. She loved dogs, her best friend forever was a scruffy pup I never had the pleasure of meeting, my beloved’s “Dickens”. She ruled the roost in our home and our tribe of animals all had a silent respect for her.
Ms. Rude came into my life in October 2006 when I went to visit Jennifer for the first time in Oxford, Massachusetts. Jenn had warned me that Gert was a ‘champion log roller’, meaning that when she wanted to be on your lap, there was no way you were ever going to get her off of you. That being said, sitting on your lap was never really good enough for her, Gertie loved face time; she wanted to be right in your face, on your chest sharing heartbeats together. She loved to be loved and loving her was such an easy thing to do
We arrived home from vacation last Sunday to a very tired kitty. She had been ailing just a bit, declining because of her age – getting old is hard, you know? Unlike her sister Petunia, Gert’s departure was very quick and though the decision to ease her suffering was easy – the loss is just so hard.
For a tiny cat she had a big presence and she will be missed very much, more than words could possibly express.