It poured rain today, and other than a little bit of housework, I spent some time looking at sites on-line. This photograph of Tasha Tudor and her tabby cat instantly transported me back to my childhood. My grandmother, who resembled Tasha, would often be spotted in the field next to her clap-board house with her Maggie close by. Maggie was her cat. A cat that had the perfect cat life; outdoors all day hunting and sleeping in the warmth of the sun and inside at night almost disappearing in her owner's apron lap next to the old wood-stove.
I can picture my gran rocking with her tea in her hand. "Oh she can be such a nuisance" she would be heard saying as she struggled to move her from her lap to stoke the fire.
Then the instant she would sit back down in her rocker, Maggie would leap up and settle once again on her lap. My grandmother's hand would pat her on her head and then settle on her back.
That memory is very vivid in my mind all these years later.
Maggie could have been called a gardener with all the hours she spent helping my grandmother keep her hollyhocks, geraniums, gerbers, pansies and peonies looking beautiful.
I imagine my grandmother would accuse her of being a nuisance then, too, but nonetheless, she always had a smile and a pat for her cat.
Even though I had been owned by a few cats already in my young life, I think seeing my grandmother and Maggie together really left an impression on me. One that grew with the years and led me to wanting to work with cats.
It was a quiet joy they shared just being together.
And even as a very young child I understood it.
My grandmother, Mary.
(2nd from the left)