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December 17, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge



Little Match Girl looking at Christmas tree. 1889 illustration by Baynes (USPD., artist life/


Through no fault of their own, some end up very much like that barefooted little girl in Andersen’s story. The elusive Forever Home never found; no Realm of Heart ever opened the gates. For them, only a myth – as they battle to survive – wistfully gazing through warm, lighted windows puncturing their cold, darkness. No matches for them.

As I worked, RC Cat, as is her habit, lounged on her sunny window seat. Supervising. Quality control “The Realm does have a reputation to uphold.”

RC Cat: “Those won’t hold up to wear, you know.”

Staff: “Yes, but as these are designed to be comfort blankets, not kennel bedding,it won’t matter. If it offers even a moment of kindness and gentleness to one poor waif who has never experienced it before when they lay down for the last time, then that is enough. Some arrive at the shelter when it is just too late to be helped.”

RC Cat: (Eyes wide with recognition, she stretched over to the table in order to sample the cloth) “Ah, as soft as dandelion fluff – Wait We recognize this. The repeatedly patched, puckered, and restitched lap blanket. Once so fine a wrap; now Frankensteined. Phiff. Foolish dogs and their idea of play.”

Staff: (Sighing) There was little use in trying to salvage it after The German and Molly played tug of war with it. We never found anything close as a replacement. It was such a miraculous luxury find at Steinmart.”

RC Cat: ” You could sew it on the machine which is faster. No one would know – if it even makes a difference to them. Then there would be more time for me Realm duties. It’s a myth, you know. That ‘as each stitch was done, a wish, hope, or dream was sewn in by the maker’ ”

Staff: “Oh, the concept comes from somewhere – maybe wives desperately hoping to keep their husbands safe in battle with a blessed garment. A young girl hoping her fine needlework for that hope chest isn’t for naught. A mother hoping to heal, or at least comfort, a sick child. There’s bound to be a source. Besides it’s a simple stitch quickly done and hardly worth the bother of dragging out a sewing machine. Much quieter without the machine noise. More peaceful. Seems right. Funny, though, how objects sip up and seem to retain essence of those who handle them. You can feel it sometimes, right, RC?”

RC Cat: (As she studied the small pile of softness. Then, carefully, reached out with one claw to pull the second blanket closer.) “This one seems exceptionally fine. No puckers or pleats on the white fluffy side. This little scar on the grey side hardly felt at all. We should like to keep this one.”

Staff: (Quietly) “As you wish, RC. But…”

RC Cat: “Hush, hush. Do not fret. Simply wish to hold this cloud of angel hair softness in reserve. All royalty arranges such things before it is necessary. No one wants to be a bother.

Is it getting close to dinner time? We would appreciate a small snack to hold us over….

Now what is that Molly barking at this time? More deliveries?

So much for the luxury of quiet sunny contemplation. Purrhaps a bit of Yoga with Mousies. We do not comprehend the fad of yoga with goats. Goats. Catnip mousses offer so much more insight to life.”

Staff watched RC strut off muttering to herself. The sun had shifted to another location anyway. Light was dimming and it was getting close to dinner time. 

Elegant queen standing. Sarah Bernhart photo by Otto Wegener, 1880. (USPD, pub. date, artist life/

Sarah Bernhart? Only a pale shadow by comparison.(USPD/


On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, at 3:30 p.m.

RC Cat reached out and pulled her chosen Blanket of Comfort under her chin.

Then awarding one last tiny smile, she slipped quietly away from us.

Fare-thee-well and adieu, RC.

You were and are truly matchless, little girl.


Sky view of blue and clouds. Dec. 14, 2021 (Image ©copyrighted, no permissions granted. All rights reserved)

So blue without you. Dec. 14, 2021 (© Image)







Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Dec 17 2021 6:45 am

    Nothing here but a sigh, some tears, and a smile as I remember one lesson she reinforced for me: ice cream always wins.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. cat9984 / Dec 17 2021 8:29 am

    I’m so sorry. It’s hard to lose a furry family member.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. easyweimaraner / Dec 17 2021 8:30 am

    hugs to you… and a kiss to heaven for your girl… we will watch the stars tonight… and maybe we get a kiss back from her…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Littlesundog / Dec 17 2021 8:51 am

    (Gulp), while I was preparing for this news, I find I wasn’t quite ready after all. A bit tearful now, I’ll reflect on the leadership and high standards RC set for all of us. Love and hugs being sent to soothe and heal aching hearts. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pied Type / Dec 17 2021 9:39 am

    Sending hugs and understanding for the loss of one so dear. I’ll keep these tears to myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. pensitivity101 / Dec 17 2021 10:38 am

    I am so very, very sorry. But at least she went on her terms wrapped in a favourite blanket ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. disperser / Dec 17 2021 10:48 am

    Sorry and commiseration for your loss. They become part of our families and leave a great void when they depart.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Kate Crimmins / Dec 17 2021 11:10 am

    I was getting a funny feeling as I started to read this and not in a good way. I’m so sorry. I will miss RC. She was a true cat, full of snart but in a good way. Fly free sweet kitty!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. babsje / Dec 17 2021 11:39 am

    What a lovely and loving tribute! It brought tears. My heartfelt condolences to you and all who loved RC.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ally Bean / Dec 17 2021 12:38 pm

    My condolences. A finer cat shall never be. [And I’m sure RC would agree with me.]

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Susie Lindau / Dec 17 2021 9:33 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about RC! Sending virtual hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mohawkvalleygirl / Dec 18 2021 5:56 am

    That was lovely. So sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Spinster / Dec 18 2021 7:47 pm

    Sorry to hear this. Wishing you comfort and solace.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. SilverTiger / Dec 19 2021 6:03 am

    That is vey sad. Condolences.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Beth / Apr 25 2022 5:19 pm

    All the realms silently bow their heads at the passing of one so beloved. A soft cheek pat sent from my realm, to yours and apologies for these belated condolences.
    She was an inspiration, a muse, and a beautiful soul. I will miss hearing her voice as brought forth by her loyal staff/her herald. I’ll leave a candle next to the can of tuna as our realm bids adieu to her majesty.



  1. Fur does not a cat make | Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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