About this time of year 9 years ago, DH and I were getting to know one another. He invited me to dinner and I met his cats, who at first treated me with distrust. His queen, Scute, actually set in DH’s lap (on the family jewels), and glared at me. ‘He’s mine and I’m not going to let you hurt him.” Little did she know, that only endeared her to me.
Noaa, his king, was a little aloof at first. His heart had just been broken (divorce) and he wasn’t sure he was ready to make a new girl friend. The next time I came to dinner, though, Noaa decided to charm me.
I had to girl cats at home and had never known a boy cat. Or a yellow cat. I don’t remember what we had for dinner that night, but I do remember taking this picture and beginning to fall in love.
Over the next several months, Noaa and I became good friends. He continued to charm me and I continued to fall in love. DH and I decided we needed to take a bit of a break from one another and most of the tears I shed at the time were for Noaa, not the possibility of losing DH. I was pretty sure I loved DH, but my heart broke for Noaa. He had just started to trust me and give me his heart.
But DH wasn’t stupid after all listened to Noaa and within a few weeks our relationship was back on track and Noaa and I continued our courtship.
For a few years, DH and I had a pattern for ‘dating.’ I visited on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Noaa got the pattern and started watching for my car to pull up in the drive and he always greeted me at the door.
And if I showed up on a Saturday after shopping, Noaa immediately made what was mine, his. One particular visit after a day of shopping, Noaa decided he was just as important (more so, in my thinking) than anything I could bring home from Nordstrom’s – so he hopped n the bag and made it his.
And life went on. Noaa became my dance partner on Saturday nights and we’d put on some funk or blues. Noaa dearly loved the music of Prince, John Lee Hooker and Etta James and quite often, I’d scoop him up in my arms and we’d dance and dance. And if I started to dance without him (a couple of glasses of wine + just about any song by Prince, and I’m on my feet), Noaa would stand on his back legs and ask for a dance.
Noaa was dearly loved by all the cats in our household, most especially by Gilbert. And the two of them especially loved curling up or stretching out in a sunbeam. I loved lazy Sunday mornings and where the cats knew we weren’t going anywhere and were very happy. So happy they’d sleep the morning away. Here are Noaa and Gilbert – a little sunbeam induced sleep drunk.
And a few years later, DH and I adopted two kittens. One a pure-bred seal-point Siamese, Tag. The other, an on-his way to be euthanized abandoned kitty – Fergus. We adopted them within days of each other and Noaa became their adoptive ‘father.’ He especially took to my baby Fergus, which gave me great joy. It was like Noaa, who was beginning to show his age, was giving me his blessing to love another cat.
Noaa continued to be king as his strength began to weaken, as it will in geriatric cats. His leaps from one end of the room to the top of the mantle became a thing of the past. But his amazing love for me never faded. On the days I worked from home, he’d invariably show up in my office, demand some lap time and purr his ass off.
Noaa taught me much in the too short time I knew him. How to love. How to live. How to die. Yesterday afternoon, he came to me and let me hold him and one last time he gave me his heart. And I his. During the night, with DH at his side, he slipped away from us during his sleep.