Yes, we had a Tortie cat named Portia. Or maybe I should say she had us. Because can you really ever own a cat? I think it's more that they own their people.
At first I wasn't going to blog this nor share as it's really hard to do. But maybe I need to even if it's just for myself. It's no secret to most that we own many cats. Some we chose and they stayed and some chose our house and they stayed. We love them, feed them and take care of them the best we can. But Portia was special. If you've ever had a Tortie that loved you, I think you'd understand. She was unique. Possessive. What was hers was hers including her people. Mischievous. Adventurous. And so many times we could have lost her because of her adventurous nature. She had stowed away in the bed of my husband's truck and ridden over 20 miles to the airport on the highway through many red lights and stop signs and never jumped out. She made herself known once he got out of the truck that she was there with her meow. That time she got to spend the entire day in the hanger with all the guys laughing that she'd be lost forever. Not true. All you had to do was call "Portia, let's go" and she was there ready for the return ride home (in the cab of a truck) and a quick stop at Dairy Queen for a shared ice cream cone. She stowed away in our construction Bobcat Tractor, sitting happily in the seat while the Bobcat was on a trailer being towed to a job site. Again, through many stop signs and red lights to end up looking innocently at my husband as he went to unload the equipment. She spent that day in the cab of the work truck. She stowed away in the fishing boat as it was towed to the lake. There she was standing on the deck of the boat as my husband backed it into the lake. She spent some time riding along and "fishing" until someone arrived to pick her up and take her home. Portia stowed away once again in the trash trailer, hidden down under the junk that was being taken to the dump yard. Causing quite a commotion when it was thought that she was a big rat. She was saved and brought back home.
Portia could open closet doors so she could spend quiet time in the dark alone away from all the other cats. She could also open cabinet doors for her weekly if not daily "cabinet meetings." Water. If she heard you turn on an outside faucet she'd suddenly be there waiting for you to fill her water can so she could drink and drink and drink. Ice. As much as she loved water, she loved water with ice even better. Your drink was never safe. Many times we'd turn to see a Tortie's head stuck way down in the glass drinking away. Or she would demand fresh water in her bowl along with a couple of cubes of ice. Portia. A kitty with a loud purr when cuddled in your lap or lying next to your head at bed time. Soft whiskers in your face late at night to check on you or maybe to let you know you were snoring a bit too loud.
Portia. She would have been 17 years old this coming September. Four weeks ago she came inside and my daughter noticed a bubble of blood on her lip. We immediately took her to the vet only to be told she had a tumor on her jaw. Surgery would have been costly and difficult for her to recover due to her age. So we brought her home and cared for her and watched her carefully. Allowing her to roam when she wanted, sleep where she wanted and provided her with liquid type cat food and lots of ice water. We gently washed her mouth and even washed her fur with a damp cloth. She would sleep for hours lying on my chest or on Eddie's lap in the recliner.We allowed her to spend time in our camper because it was one of her favorite places as she was the only cat allowed to go camping with us. She spent hours in the shop while my husband worked as that was a favorite place too.
Friday night, March 17th while I was away at a crafting retreat 2 hours from home. She began to bleed more and we knew it was time because we didn't want her to go into severe pain from the tumor breaking her jaw or to choke to death on the knot in her throat that was getting bigger or the blood. My daughter and her husband took Portia to the Emergency Vet Hospital. They were her first "human parents" and wanted to be there. (The story on how she became "ours" is a whole other story.) But we all loved her. They called me at the retreat and put on the speaker phone and I talked to her and told her I loved her and how good a kitty she was. She was purring and rubbed the phone. Our Portia. Now she's gone and buried under a big pecan tree on our property behind our house with Ava (Brandy & Brandon's Chocolate Lab) who had to leave in August and Piper cat who left us last month plus others--Jules, G.W. and a couple of unknown cats that we feared were ours.
I miss her. Portia. Our Tortie cat. There's a poem about the loss of a dog. In the end it says "a heart bent by a dog." My heart has been bent by a cat.