Saturday, March 16, 2019

Claire Bear

Brushy was a very spooky feral cat who, years ago, would sneak up on the back porch late at night to eat cat food we'd set out for Eli.  I spent weeks trying to tame him down.  He was so hungry that he'd let me stand next to him while he ate, growling, but would never let me touch him.  

One night, instead of trying to touch his hip, I reached up and touched his head.  He immediately bumped his head up into my hand, as cats do, and from that second on was completely tame.  I took him to the vet for a check and 'tutering and when I brought him home the next day I didn't hesitate to turn him loose.  I knew he'd not run off.  

But he did...sort of.  He disappeared and then reappeared a couple days later with a small black kitten in tow.  Claire Bear was always Brushy's cat and she may have actually been one of his kittens as they had a similar body shape.  Where he was very friendly though, she preferred to be left alone and spent most of her life tucked away in the barn and most never saw her.

Oh, she'd come out and talk to us some, but if we tried to pet her or pick her up, she darted or squirmed away.  God forbid if you had to take her to the vet.  Yearly vaccinations became a farm call rather than an office visit.  She was an odd cat, but we didn't care.  She was Brushy's cat and that was enough.

And yet...as socially awkward as she was, if we left town for a couple days, she was always the very first cat to meet us at the gate when we got home.  We always had a farm sitter, so we knew it wasn't because the food bowl was empty.  She actually seemed excited and happy we were home and we knew, in her own way, Claire Bear loved us.

A couple weeks ago she started asking to come into the house.  She'd walk around the kitchen, eat some of Betsy's food and then curl up on one of the dog beds and go to sleep.  She'd lost a little weight and looked like her teeth might be causing her some trouble so I got up my nerve and took her to the vet.  

Yes, her teeth were bad, but her bigger issue was her kidneys.  She stayed in the ICU at the clinic for several days and we hoped when they sent her home that she was rehydrated and stabilized enough that she might have some good months left, but it was not to be.

Interestingly, for those last few days, Claire Bear loved to be petted, followed us around the house, slept on the bed one night, was really happy if I'd sit on the floor with her and once even crawled into my lap.  

Was she making up for lost time, both giving and receiving?  Was she just looking for some comfort because she didn't feel well?  I'm not sure.  What I do believe, as she sat watching at that gate one last time, that Claire Bear knew she was loved and knew we knew she loved us as well and I think that was important to her.


Claire Bear 

2005 - March 14, 2019


22 comments:

Shirley said...

Awwwwww dang! She sounds like a pretty neat cat, and I love that she chose to spend her last days cuddled up to you. Her way of saying thank you?

JaneJMtl said...

How lovely that this last photo is of her snuggling up to you. RIP Claire Bear.

Grey Horse Matters said...

She sounds like a cat who had a lot of personality. She also knew she was loved and loved you back in her own ways. I think it's so sweet that she chose to spend her last days with you because she trusted you and knew you loved her. RIP sweet Claire Bear.

Anchor Cottage said...

Another chapter in your book!

Jean said...

So sorry Sara
RIP Claire Bear

Unknown said...

What a sweet and sad story at the same time. But it was both her and your lucky day when Brushy brought her to her forever home. He knew you’d be a great mom to his little sidekick.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am so sorry. Kidney problems can make animals fuzzy...and confused...she knew you were going to take good care of her and you did. :(

June said...

Sara, what a heart wrenching story. Thank you for sharing with us.

June

I need orange said...

Awww. What a lucky girl she was that Brushy brought her to you. She had an excellent cat life, lived on her terms, with as much love given and received as she wanted, when she wanted.

I'm glad she had such a good life.

Sending much sympathy to everyone who loved her.

Unknown said...

Thank you for her lovely life story. Those cats are such a treat.........

Michelle said...

Oh Sara, your obituaries are the best/worst! I can't not read them, but know they are going to shatter my heart nearly as bad as if it was about one of my own. Hugs and tissues.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

You were woven into the fabric of her life and she knew you were there for her - And when she needed you the most, you truly were. A beautiful and independent soul has left this life for next knowing she was always loved and knowing she will be remembered. God speed to Claire Bear.

Nburrill said...

So sorry to hear about Claire Bear - it’s never easy. Sounds like she had the best life! And love her way of showing how much she loved and trusted you.

knitski said...

I know she knew what place was safe and where she was loved. Claire Bear is in good company and pain free now.

Cheryl West said...

It was a gift to all of you for Claire Bear to spend her final days sharing so much love,
It is so hard losing one of your family after all the years of being part of daily life. My sincere sympathy.

Terry and Linda said...

I knew it was going to be sad just by the title. Darn it! But I'm so glad she had you and you had her. Still, I'm weepy, for losing a fur baby is hard, hard, hard. Hugs, Sara! You and Tim are the best!

sophy0075 said...

I think she was thanking you, and giving you her last share of herself before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

While I am glad she is not suffering, I am sure you are. I am so very sorry for your loss, Sara.

The Dancing Donkey said...

I'm sorry for you, but glad that Clair Bear had you there for her all these years. She was one of the lucky ones.

Benita said...

I am so sorry about Clair Bear. Good kitty.

Laura L. said...

Oh,I'm so sorry to read this. There's never enough time with our beloved pets (whether they are in the house ones or outside ones).

The Odyssey Farm said...

I'm so sorry about Claire Bear. She knew she was loved. You're an awesome mom to all your critters, and her spirit will never leave the farm. Peace and blessings.

Delrene said...

She loved you all so much. What a sweet and kind good-bye. Its always just plain awful, no matter what. She will always live on in your heart and your blog. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

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