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April 25, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fur does not a cat make

I felt her touch as I reached for the remote. Heavy on my wrist.

“Please,” She said quietly. “Just a few minutes more.”

Her face was wistful. Distant.

I glanced at the screen. “It’s not her, you know. Just an image of a cat in that YouTube beachy restaurant video.”

“Yes, but somehow it’s comforting. To pretend.” Molly Malamute rearranged herself on the couch to face me directly. Such a sad doggy face.

Quietly – with kindness – I tried to comfort her. “I know you miss your buddy RC Cat. We’ve seen you dash in after being out somewhere  – first checking out the sunny bedroom, then hurrying with hope to the closet to search her loft quarters. I know you got quite a shock seeing that faux fur parka trim coiled up on her closet shelf. Such a bark. “

“It. Looked. Just. Like. Her. All curled up asleep.” 

Cat curled on basket (From Tale of Benjamin Munny. Beatrix Potter, 1904 (USPD, artist life/

I swear that faux fur trim hastily tossed on the shelf looked just like a sleeping cat. Freaked me out for a moment. You know you keep thinking you see them in the shadows for a while. (Beatrix Potter/USPD/

“Startled me, too. But she’s not coming back, you understand. We all miss her.”

“Well, sometimes they do. Sometimes The German would get picked up by Person, but after a bit she’d return for a good long sleepover holiday. Or We would drive to see her.” Then she dropped her head and seemed to melt flat. “I’m lonely. I need a pet. Screen cat only does so much good. Besides, that pesky Prissy cat across the street has started lounging on the porch and even pressing her face against the front door window. RC always said to bark her away – that she already had a home.“

“Maybe Prissy is trying to help and offer what companionship she is able. Prissy is afraid of dogs, you know. Something about her former life on the streets probably.”

Molly snorted. “I’ve seen her parallel us when we walk down the block at night. Forget that. An Uber-style cat-on-call doesn’t count. She’s probably demanding, on behalf of all pets-without-forever-homes, why the “No Vacancy” sign is still out front when obviously….” She put her nose very close to mine and glared full into my eyes. “I could use a trainee.”

Oh how to explain? “Of course we’d love to welcome a new resident, but practical matters are holding us back. Realistically, you love to have friends over…for a little while, then you want them to leave. I know there was a treaty with RC over who got to sleep on the big bed and when and how long. You think you are up to negotiating with a wild, young puppy or kitten who never listens to anyone? Right. And you like to sleep late. You even got really cranky when The German was up and ready to romp and play at 5:30 A.M. You being more of a 7:30 riser. Then there’s always the fact we have to run before hurricanes sometimes…Remember being crammed in the car for hours with supplies and RC stuck in the cat carrier? – if you even accidentally got close fluff near her favorite cat toy jar she’d jab her little paw out between the bars and start swinging wildly at you as she growled. 

Dog sitting in jam packed car. ( image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

“Of course there’s room somewhere to put a furious, mad swatting cat in this car…up there under your feet perhaps? She’s spitting at me. Mom, tell her to stop spitting at me.” (© image)

Molly shivered at the memory. “You said that was it and we were probably moving out of hurricane country.”

“I know but things have happened. We have to stay here while Sr. Staff goes through treatment. Presently we know we can pay for that, if necessary, and for all your special doggy food, treats, doggy playtime in field and pool – and vet visits.”

“I volunteer not to get my teeth cleaned! Or bumps looked at. Waste of money. I can just hide those with my fluffy coat.”

Hugs around that furry neck given. “Nope, we plan on getting all residents of The Realm appropriate health care as needed. Unfortunately, that “No Vacancy” sign has to stay up. You and Prissy are not to encourage any wanderers to stop here for more than a sip of water, and some shade in the heat.”

“Maybe you could curl that faux fur coat trim back up in the closet – just for old cat sake. You get The Look without The Mess!” She grinned. I swear she winked.

“And maybe a little more YouTube Bossa Nova Beach Cafe by the sea with white cat? 

“Ha! Get the one with the tiger cat on the beach cafe table that every once in a while looks like she’s coughing up a hairball. Ah, the memories. There are some advantages to having a virtual cat.”

That’ll have do for now.

Phil. The Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Molly Malamute sprawled on hotel bed. ( image copyrighted. all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

“Mine. All mine. How I love hotels with two queen size beds. What? Share? Any companion cat could have the ‘special guest accommodations’: in the bathroom with the litter box. HAHA! Oh, just stuff her back in her crate in there and she won’t shred the wallpaper.”(© image)


  1. disperser / Apr 25 2022 7:21 am

    Bittersweet . . . and nice.


  2. SusanR / Apr 25 2022 9:05 am

    Nobody likes “no vacancy” signs, even if they are sometimes necessary.


  3. Kate Crimmins / Apr 25 2022 9:33 am

    Sounds like someone needs a buddy and it’s not just Molly. I have sworn to start downsizing as my friends die but so far I haven’t been successful. The dying cat always makes me promised to give another sad cat a good home.


  4. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Apr 25 2022 10:37 am

    So many need homes, but are willing to wait. Molly is a sensitive soul. Fostering? For one who is already dog-savvy? One who needs a safe place to land for a bit? One who would be grateful for kind words, friendly tail wags, regular meals and clean water, and the possibility of a lap or blanket or sunny spot to safely nap? Most agencies cover vet care and food, right? (Hershey was in a cage for over 6 months before he adopted me – had a foster break during that time that helped his spirits– he says it was a good thing) Maybe?


  5. pensitivity101 / Apr 25 2022 11:15 am

    I know pets grieve for their companions. A bitter sweet post.


  6. Ally Bean / Apr 25 2022 1:17 pm

    A lovely way to remember RC while shining light on the many animals in need of forever homes. ‘Tis bittersweet on many levels.


  7. Anne Mehrling / Apr 25 2022 9:22 pm

    Loneliness is a hard thing. I miss RC, too.


  8. shoreacres / Apr 26 2022 5:57 am

    Deep sighs. Even the best substitute is only a substitute; there’s nothing like real companionship.


  9. cat9984 / Apr 30 2022 12:26 pm

    There’s definitely a hole, and no way to explain it to the other animals.


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