I first met Lighting in the fall of 1994, i was playing basketball with my brother (in a time i actually went outside!) Though the bouncing of the ball i heard a loud cat’s meow. At first i dismissed it, but it persisted. I decided to explore where this sound was coming from, so me and my brother followed the sound until we arrived at my neighbors house. There on top of a pile of logs was this small white turtle shelled kitten. I reached out for her and she came to me, holding her in my arms we did approach the neighbors whose yard she was in, only to discover that the cat was not his. Excited me and my brother brought her home to my parents shock, they didn’t want another cat. At the time only a year prior the last of the four cats my parents had started out with had passed away. We still had two at home, 2 female tabby’s. I remember driving around the neighborhood that night looking to see if this new stray had a home which she did not. By the end of the night i think my parents were resigned to the fact this little cat was going to stay with us.
i got the honor of naming this cat, my brother had named the last two (Tippy and follow) After careful debate and noticing a white streak down her back were her gray parts separated i decided to name her lightning. I was so excited to have a new kitten, my cat Tippy However was not so happy. For the first time i had known her she hissed, and Tippy hissed at everything and everyone that night. I eventually relented and put the kitten in the bathroom that night so Tippy could return to my room.
The weeks past and we all adjusted to the new cat in the house, Tippy calmed down a bit, reserving her hisses just for Lightning now, Who was admittedly a ball of furry white energy. She loved to play and get herself into all sorts of mischief, what i see now is typical kitten behavior. On my birthday we were all sitting around enjoying my cake, when she leaped off the top of a chair and dive bombed my brothers piece stealing it for herself. I think we were all a little surprised by that one.
it became clear to me around December thought that this new little cat preferred to hang around my mom over me. Sleeping in my mom’s lap. Cats maybe part of the same household but each one creates a bond with their human.
A few years later when my parents decided we were finally ready for a dog, Lighting was no longer a baby. she Adjusted better to the new dog then the older cats did, she still put this new thing in her place hitting her on the head when she got two close. When thunder (The dog) found lightning one day on a pile of newspapers, she was eager to play, the cat however was not. So thunder grabbed a hold of the newspapers and proceeded to drag both paper and cat along the fire place, until lightning got upset and ran off.
i remember fondly the times Thunder would chase lightning around the house, Lightning would jump up on something high, and thunder would stick her nose in her face. Lightning would spin around box the dogs nose between her paws then chomp down on. This would would normally send the dog off and leave the cat victorious.
The years would pass and we would loose follow, once again bring our numbers down to two. My mom who had taken up caring for stray cats around the church would bring home three tiny 4 week old kittens. Sadly we would loose one shortly after, but two little male kittens would survive. Lightning was the first of the two cats to check out these two little kittens, Soon as they grew bigger they started to join the main house hold and bounded all over the place as two little cats would do. They tried to get the older cats to join them, Tippy again was not happy about this and kept her distance. Lightning on the other hand sort of awkwardly joined with them. While not friends with them, they did on occasion hang out. While it was thunder that eventually became friends with the kittens, the dog mothered them. Lightning sort of accepted them into her house hold.
When Tippy passed away, Lightning who at that point had always been a little shy around strangers, started to become more social. Coming out more when new people came into the house. Even hanging out with people in the family more, Its funny in a backwards kind of way she is the reason me and Blizzard (one of the two male kittens brought home) she had made a habit of visiting me nightly after Tippy had passed, for an evening cuddle before heading to my parents for the night. Blizzard had made it a habit of sleeping on my clothing piled up around the room. (he still does this) She hopped off the bed and the next thing i hear is this cat tearing around the room at full speed. I turned on the lights and fond the Blizzard huddling under my desk in a panic. My guess is is she landed on him when jumping off the bed causing him to go into a panic jolt around the room, I picked him up and comforted him, until i grew tired. he refused to move so he end up spending the night with me, and the funny thing is he had never left my side since then. i think she landed on him on purpose, but i think she would deny it.
When i would come home from college with friends, lightning made a point to come out and visit, i remember being so surprised the first time she jumped up on one of my friends. She had the loudest purr as well you could hear it if you were in the same room as where she was perched.
I am writing this today because yesterday after 19 wonderful years with her, she passed away. Lighting was a good cat and a warm cat. As she grew older and our family changed, whether going off to college, family moving out, New pets added, pets lost she was a constant. She was a companion for my mom at night, and a pest to my dad in the morning. She liked to be fed as soon as possible, She would purr happily by my dad until he got up to feed her. There is not a doubt in my mind that she left a gap in the hearts of my family, and we will grieve for her loss. For me at least just like every pet i have lost the pain will dull and i will be left with the happy memories that she left me. and the lessons she taught me as well,
one trust my instincts. i trusted my instincts the day we found her and i think we both were better off for it.
two every cat…no pet is special in their own way. each one brings their own unique personality to the table and find away to effect the owners.
three: the pain of a loss like all pain is temporary, the joy that pet brings to ones life can never be erased. While i will miss her, i know she is safe now and no longer in pain.
I hope one day i can help more cats along the way that are stuck and need a family. because at the end of the day, i am better person for knowing her.