Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obituary for a Farm Cat

Obituary for a Farm Cat

Jacobs Farm is grieving a great loss with the passing of Whiskers, their 5-year old black & white, tuxedo farm cat. Though not the eldest, Whiskers was upheld and regarded as the Matriarch of the Farm’s feline pride.

Born in the early spring of 2004, she was adopted by the Jacobs family along with her 3 littermates in May of 2004. Affectionately known as “Ma` Ma”, she was the quintessential farm cat. While lovingly devoted and loyal, Whiskers was fiercely independent and the open pastures remained her preferred domain; she was never to be a house cat.

A proud mother of two litters of kittens and skilled as a master huntress, Whiskers was best known for her tenacious mousing. She took great pride in her work – all too often sharing her prized kills with her beloved humans. She lost the first of her nine lives to a mad swarm of wasps that had nested behind a window shutter on the Jacobs’ front porch requiring three days of Benadryl treatments that would eventually see her closed eyes and softball sized head returned to normal. The next of her nine lives was taken by the Jacobs’ garage door resulting in a fractured tail. The 3rd loss was a narrow escape from being locked inside a parked vehicle on a long, long hot summer’s day along with the 4th life being taken from a possible coyote or wild dog having treed her resulting in rear leg injuries. But it would be an untreatable and fatal blood parasite that would ultimately claim what remained of her lives and now having left a huge hole in the hearts of her human family.

On May 26, 2009, Whiskers was laid to rest in the shade of the Oak and Pecan trees that cascade over the large granite outcroppings on the upper 26 acres of Jacobs Farm where she so loved to watch and hunt from. She was buried alongside her first born son, Oscar-Duke of Meyer. She is predeceased by her sisters Misty and Diva, her brother, Professor Button, her daughter, Possum and her son, Oscar as well as other nieces and nephews including the Brer Brothers: Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit, triplets born to her sister, Misty. She is survived by her two daughters Miss Georgia “Peaches” and Savannah Lucille (“Lucy”), nephews St. “Simon” La Rue and Rev. “Billy Bob” Clyde, nieces Skidaway and Charlotte, great nephew One-eyed “Rowdy” and great niece Princess “Patches”. Max, the eldest of the Jacobs Farm cats and of no familial relationship to the deceased, remains indifferent to the passing of Whiskers.

She will be greatly missed seen frolicking and pouncing in the upper pastures as well as hearing her raspy mews expressing thank you’s for an early morning’s saucer of milk. This writer will deeply miss her all too familiar, gentle rubs against her legs while gathering eggs in the hen house – the comfort of her purring companionship while weeding the garden. But I know that somewhere her spirit lives on here along the Dirt Road and while on my early morning walks, I will likely feel her presence woven within the breezes that surround me along my trodden path.

And just beyond my footsteps in the earliest morning sunlight, perhaps I’ll catch a glimpse of a distant silhouette of an elegant cat sitting proudly atop an aging fence post and it will likely bring a renewed sense of comfort reminding me of a farm cat’s lifelong devotion and unconditional love for me.

Post Script:
Following the burial of Whiskers on the upper 26 acres of Jacobs Farm, the writer was driving the Farm’s truck back to the house and, due to an unprecedented amount of recent rainfall, miss-navigated the pasture and became stuck in an all too wet low area that required a long walk back to the house and having to have the Gladiator pull her out with the tractor.

It just wasn’t her day.


Harriette K. Jacobs

South of the Gnat Line

Copyright 2009