Natasha's beloved, beautiful cat died a few days ago after a long (but still too short) and happy life. Here is a picture of him in all his furry glory that she sent to me a few years ago.
I started thinking about the cats we have now and the cats that came before them. A new cat never replaces the previous cat, but it fills up part of the hole left when a cat dies.
I've noticed some interesting thing. Winston filled up part of the hole that Panther left in our lives and hearts when she died. Of course the two never met, but we always say that Winston has Pantherisms. He loves to sit or sleep on the back of any of the motorcycles in the garage, just as Panther did. He's very vocal, especially in the morning, when he wants his breakfast, just as Panther was. There is one huge difference; Winston loves the dogs and loves curling up with them. Panther hated the dogs and loved to torment them even when they hadn't done anything to her.
Then there's Princess, who filled up part of the hold that Shadow left when she died. She has Shadowisms. When Ron is reading in bed, Princess loves to get up on the bed and plop down on the magazine or book he's reading, just as Shadow did. None of the other cats have ever done that. Then there's the fried chicken; Shadow loved fried chicken, to the point where she would try to take the piece out of our hands while we were eating it! Princess loves fried chicken, too, although she isn't quite that rude. She just tries to take the piece off of the plate when we put it down. She's more "chirpy" than "yowly" in her meows.
Cats are so great! I'm so glad they share their lives with us; it would be so empty without them.