My Mother, Beatrice Love Kaukonen, passed away on May 8th, 1998… on Mother’s Day sometime around one PM. My brother and I had just gone to town to get her a bouquet of flowers and she picked this moment to slip away. She was fortunate to be able to die at home and I was fortunate to be able to be there with my Brother for her last days. When I returned to Ohio after her passing, I had with me her two kittens, Mimi The Cat and Doodie. Shortly after returning to Hillside Farm, Doodie took to the hills. I like the thought of him hopping a freight over in Carpenter with a bindlestiff over his shoulder. The country life was not for him.
It was, however, for Mimi. At the time, we had three full grown English Bull Terriers, A Chihuahua, and Jack Russell/beagle mix and a micro terrier of some sort. She joined the gang and ruled the roost for the next thirteen years. Bruce Wagman gave those cats to Mom, and in a way they helped occupy her life in the year she lived after Dad passed.
Animals come and go here at Hillside Farm. Cats in the woods know that the good buffet is here at our place and we have had as many as six regular dinner guests at a time. Over the last couple of months, Mimi was aging rapidly… losing weight… just getting, well, old. She used to like to sleep on the hood of my Jeep when I came home. When I would get ready to drive out, she would hop off, give me an affirmative nod and head for the back porch and a sofa she particularly liked. Anyway, she was on my hood a couple of days ago and when I got ready to drive, she wouldn’t jump. I stopped the car and gently took her off the hood and put her on the grass. She looked into my eyes and didn’t move as I drove over to the Fur Peace Ranch. Later that night when I got home, I found that she had gone to sleep under another car with her head under the wheel. This was so unlike that queen of survivors that it almost seemed architected. This was one moment she did not survive.
It was hard to imagine that after all these years with us that she was finally gone. Coyotes couldn’t get her, she hissed at racoons… It was just her time. I got up early the next day and dug her grave.
Vanessa gently wrapped her in one of my Mother’s old cloths and I lovingly carried her to to her final resting place.
I put her on the hillside overlooking Izze’s swing set and the porch where she loved to sun herself. What an excellent cat she was!
The night before, after the accident… Vanessa came into the kitchen and on the floor out of nowhere, was a picture of me as a kid. Mimi channeling Mom? Coincidence? Who knows? Mimi… The Cat, was the greatest. We’ll miss her and this passing closes another one of life’s chapters. Mimi is survived by Eli… The Dog, and Zami… a fine cat in his own right.
Mimi has found her Door Into Summer where she now plays with Marlo, Zola, Vinnie, Glory, Napoleon, Hazel, Flauber and her other friends… perhaps Doodie is there too. She sits again on my Mother’s lap, looks up… and purrs!