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Mimi The Cat Finds Her Door Into Summer

September 13th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

the drive at Hillside Farm

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.

final resting place

Vanessa gently wrapped her in one of my Mother’s old cloths and I lovingly carried her to to her final resting place.

gone but not forgotten

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!

she will watch silently

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.

in an unwritten time...

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!

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  1. joe in dc
    September 13th, 2011 at 17:42 | #1

    Wonderful stuff Jorma. I have had cats for many years. Still have 2. Aren’t they the best?

  2. Dolores
    September 13th, 2011 at 18:21 | #2

    Jorma…You are a poet! <3

  3. Cyndy Consentino
    September 13th, 2011 at 18:40 | #3

    RIP , Mimi . If you feel so inclined please introduce yourself to Jim, my sweet westie, gone 13 years, and Diller, the wonder poodle, gone 5 years. I am sure they would love to meet and welcome Mimi!

  4. Richard
    September 13th, 2011 at 19:10 | #4

    Heartfelt condolences..I will miss mimi as well bro.You have been such a good provider for your parents pets and children alike.I am proud to say that you are my favorite guitarist and a beautiful person as well.And when I say favorite guitarist I mean worldwide.Longlive J.L.K… Dickie..

  5. Bill Van Iden
    September 13th, 2011 at 20:27 | #5

    Jorma, that brought a tear to my eye. I need animal now. Bill

  6. Tommy Lee in St. Louis
    September 14th, 2011 at 09:11 | #6

    Rest in peace, Mimi.
    I haven’t been able to get another cat since Kanga the Supercat passed away several years ago. I used to take her for walks around the neighborhood-no leash, she would just stay close to me and tell me when it was time to go home.

    Thank you for the rememberance, Jorma. Thanks also for the “Door Into Summer” reference, those who aren’t familiar with this terrific story by Robert Heinlein should look it up. Especially cat people.

  7. Dave Millard
    September 14th, 2011 at 09:55 | #7

    My sympathies as well. We’ve been cat people since I was a kid, they are good friends, even if a little aloof..sounds like Mimi lived a good life. Hope Miss Kitty at the Ranch is doing well…

  8. Brett E
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:27 | #8

    Sorry to hear about Mimi Jorma….

    VERY nearly lost our “Cat Dog” Merle this Summer…long story short…..he ate some thread….dumbass!!!!

    All now good…..The Pack is still intact…Merle, Mile (Black Lab), and Maybelle (Peek…..a….pooo….er something like that)…..

    C U at Carolina!!! Tribute to the REV!!

  9. Brett E
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:31 | #9

    Da Black Lab = Miles…..not Mile….(I can fingerpick a bit now thanks to you Jorma, but I SURE can’t type)…..

    PS: Izze lobbying for a kitten yet??

  10. Michael
    September 14th, 2011 at 11:09 | #10


    Thanks for the fun over the years going back to the Academy of Music and Bananna fish Gardens in Brooklyn

    We lost this year our 8 year old 90 pound Golden Retriver Buddy. He passed away in our arms on mothers day. Buddy had a tumor. When we walked Buddy in town everyone would stop to pet him. Buddy always loved the attention. My son and I buried Buddy in the back yard on the morning of Mothers day. That was really heart breaking. My wife call my two sons in college and we all cried together. It amazing how much joy a pet can bring.

    We miss you Buddy

  11. Eaglesteve
    September 14th, 2011 at 11:25 | #11

    Sorry for your lose. I know how tough it is. Mimi joins my Dalmatian, named Jorma, in the Great Beyond. It took me a few years to get another. He’s now a four year old 95 pound mutt I named Jack, brought to me in NJ from GA. I love that dog.

  12. Cyndy Consentino
    September 14th, 2011 at 17:30 | #12

    @ Michael,
    OMG! Banana Fish Gardens! I remember that place! LOL! I grew up in Bay Ridge!

  13. Andy S
    September 14th, 2011 at 20:07 | #13

    Very sad indeed. Just two weeks ago my cat Booker T met the same fate in the neighbor’s driveway. When my wife brought him home from the shelter 15 years ago, he was only 4 weeks old and his eyes hadn’t opened yet. Booker T & the MG’s were playing on the stereo and it seemd like he was destined to be Booker T Kitty. That little kitten who fit in the palm of my hand grew to be the friendliest cat I’ve ever known.

  14. September 15th, 2011 at 10:43 | #14

    My condolences Jorma. We lost our 16-year old daschund last year, and that was really tough. My wife and I miss “pretzel” dearly, but time has healed a little bit of the wound.

  15. Buzz
    September 15th, 2011 at 17:56 | #15

    So sorry in your loss, cats maintain a connection with the people and places from whence they came . It sounds like Mimi had lived her nine lives well . Thanks for sharing this life lesson w/ us .

  16. Rob Weber
    September 16th, 2011 at 10:06 | #16

    Cats are cool and never cease to make my day. I’m sorry to hear about Mimi, may she rest in peace.

    Rob Weber

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