Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Tazzie Time

My Tazetta
From time to time my neighbor will come across an old cat collar belonging to one of my three cats, Tazzie, Kia and Rocky (aka Rachmaninoff). Tazzie and Kia died in 2003. Over the years, they all lost a ton of these break-away safety collars, making their way through thick brush and doing God knows what else in the garden and woods. I wondered if they had a special place where they yanked them off because of the many bells I always attached to each collar in an effort to botch their success in hunting.

Whenever I find one of these old collars hanging on the front door knob, I know my neighbor has been doing yard work or walking through his woods. This week, he unearthed, quite literally, one of Tazzie’s collars, which is probably a decade old.

I lost my orange and white striped Tazzie girl to diabetes. She died on a beautiful spring day in May, which made her death all the more heartrending because spring was Tazzie's season.

I named her Tazetta after a species of sweetly
scented orange narcissus. She was only eight weeks old when I adopted her from a shelter and she lived with me until she was 16. I’m sad to say that I didn’t fully appreciate my Etta until I lost her.

In spring, Tazzie loved her grasses, special wild ones that grow only along the edges of the woods. She relished the taste of these early grasses and sought them out year after year. They became a much anticipated harbinger of the season, and in the years since her death I always think of her when I see them sprouting.

Tazzie was the only cat I have ever known who rushed to reassure me when I became upset or cried. In many ways she kept watch over me.

I miss you my Tazzie, my girl, my friend.

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