If you haven't read Part 1 go here. When we left Mommy last week she was preparing for the Great Halloween Party of 1977. It was a costume party and she and her roomies had invited about a squillion people over for the night. Everything was ready. They had plenty of food (they called it "munchies" back then), plenty of music and a keg - hey it was her college years, lighten up! Anyway, people started arriving and a good time was underway. One of her friends from home decided to give Mommy a big surprise. He drove 175 miles dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. He even brought a basket of goodies! He rang the doorbell and when Mommy answered he handed her the basket and said "I have a little surprise for you." Mommy opened the basket and there he was. A little bitty ball of fur curled up fast asleep in a picnic basket complete with a red gingham blankie! It was one of Mew's kittens! He looked up from his nap and meowed at Mommy. That was it. Mommy was in love. Her friend had thought of everything! He brought a litter box, kitten food and some little bowls. The only thing the little kitten lacked was a name. Mew's son spent his first night as Mommy's boy safe and sound in her bedroom. He made himself right at home and was a perfect cat right from the start. He went without a name for a few days. After seeing what a handsome gray Tabby he was and how he played like a little Tiger, Mommy decided on T-Gray. It fit. T-Gray and Mommy were the very best of friends. Everywhere Mommy went during her younger years, T-Gray came along. They lived in many places (7) and states (3). T-Gray flew in airplanes and rode in cars. He never complained. As long as he was where Mommy was, that was home. He would wait for Mommy to return each evening from hunting and would greet her at the door. He had what Mommy called a "come what may" attitude. He slept next to her head, sat on her lap and was a wonderful companion for a young single gal. He was a great pal to the still young married Mommy, he was a comfort to the sad, divorced Mommy. He was a confidant that Mommy could share all of her hopes and dreams with. T-Gray never judged or never criticized, he was pure love covered in fur. T-Gray came from healthy stock and only had one bout of illness. He had crystals in his urine and had to have surgery to get that fixed. It never was an issue again. T-Gray had a lot of human friends who loved to visit him. If Mommy had to travel, her friends would fight over who got to stay with T-Gray while she was gone. T-Gray seemed to bring out the "happy" in everyone who met him. Even beans who claimed to not like kitties thought T-Gray was cool. Mommy was 19 when T-Gray came into her life. Mommy was 39 when he crossed to the Bridge. Mommy doesn't talk too much about that day. All she told us was that he told her when it was time. She took him to the vet 'cause he was sleeping more than usual and wasn't interested in his food. He had also started to drool a little bit. The vet thought it could be a tumor near his throat, but said that T-Gray was too old and frail for surgery. He said to take him home and keep him as comfy as possible. He told Mommy that T-Gray would either pass on gently in his sleep or he would let Mommy know that it was time. Mommy worked 1/2 days for almost a week so she could keep a close eye on T-Gray. One afternoon when T-Gray tried to get up from his bed, he could not walk. He looked at Mommy very peacefully and gave her his "love eyes." He was telling her it was time. Mommy told him that it was OK and she promised him that she would be there and help him cross to the Bridge. And she did. She was the last thing T-Gray saw, she was the last thing T-Gray heard and felt. He went to the Bridge knowing how dearly he was loved. Because Mommy says that's what best friends do. She also tells us that T-Gray is the reason we have her love today. T-Gray taught her how to do that. And that is why we have nothing but love and respect for Ones Who Came Before. They teach our humans all about love and compassion so that when we come along their hearts are open to sharing that love and compassion with us.
I hope you have enjoyed T-Gray's story. I am thinking about telling you about another One Who Came Before sometime during this holiday season.