8
   

Holli -- Cat in Mourning

 
 
Seizan
 
Reply Sat 19 Aug, 2017 08:01 pm
Holli (pronounced “Holly”, and actually short for "Holiday") is a large male (neutered) black and white tiger striped cat who came to us some years ago as a very feral kitten. One eye had become damaged and was infected badly. The eye had to be removed. The person who brought him to us paid for the surgery and all shots, etc.

For a long time, Holli was wild. He would let no one touch him except me (only occasionally). He would hide when anyone (including me) came in the door. And he unconditionally loved Anna and Heart.

One day when he was about 2 years old and I was really tired of mopping up his musk oil and wiping down everything he could mark as his territory, I managed to trick him into a cage and brought him for neutering.

Within two weeks, he was docile and purring to get scratched and petted. He came when his name was called. I took to calling him “Holli” rather than “Holiday” because he and Mayday (another large grey cat) both came when they heard “-day” at the end of their names. Plus, I could then introduce one-eyed Holi by saying “This is Holli – that’s “Holli” with an eye (i)”.

Holli loved Anna and Heart. He was like a kitten in front of them – he’d lie on his back and wait to be groomed, he would head-butt them both, he would run to see them when they awoke, he’d follow them around the lounge (he was strictly an indoor cat). He endured their swats and hisses, their disdain when he proved to be too attentive, and when they walked away from them, he would watch carefully then run to one or the other and perform a groveling obeisance as if he worshipped them. I believe he knew they were very old and regarded them both perhaps as his mothers (if it is possible for an animal to feel he has two mothers).

Holli is now six years old, and has known Anna and Heart since before he was one.

When Anna passed away, Holli grieved. At first he spent a long time searching for her then settled down believing he was just outside and would soon return as she always did at night. He finally realized she had not come into the house for several days, and went into mourning. He went from chair to piano to cabinet, looking in, around, under, and behind, trying to find her.

For solace, Holli turned his attention to Heart. He accompanied her wherever she went, sat by her, watched her carefully from across the room, and when she stopped to sit, he was beside her in a second. He waited while she ate before he took a bite, waited patiently for her to drink before he did, and even say outside the litter box until she was done. He paid little attention to the other cats during this time.

Just about the time he seemed to be coping with Anna’s absence, Heart went away. Again, Holli waited for her to return – she never stayed out at night, other than for a few minutes to sniff the air and nibble some grass. But she would not return. He went into near-panic mode and he frantically searched for both of his beloveds, at one point howling in a corner and trying to claw his way through the solid concrete wall...

Their resting places are in sight of the sliding glass patio door but off course he wouldn’t know that, or understand it. They are simply gone. He has several companions to be with, to play and chase with, to sleep among, but his goddesses have departed.

Holli seems to have settled down again, mostly. He still searches for Anna and Heart at least once a day, but stops after about 10 minutes. He makes regular rounds to and from certain points, as if inspecting the lounge in order as found on a checklist. He spends most time on and behind the piano, as Anna’s favorite resting spot was on top of the upright piano, and Heart liked to lie between the piano and the wall, where it was cool and comfortable (and too narrow for most of the other cats to bother her).

When he gets into a howling stage of his search, I call him to me and scratch his ears, pet him, sometimes groom him with his brush. He calms down, but resumes his grieving after a few minutes.

I wanted to share this because many people who don’t share their lives with animals (or don’t pay them enough attention) believe that animals do not feel emotion or loss as humans do.
 
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Aug, 2017 08:14 pm
@Seizan,
I know they do... we had neighbors who had a duck, Foxy, who used to be pals with their cat. When the cat went under our house and died, Fox mourned at length. I forget the details now, but remember the distress.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Aug, 2017 08:37 pm
We don't give animals enough credit for emotions and intelligence.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  4  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 05:00 am
Holli sounds like a treasure.
My 17 year old cat Joe has always been very vocal. He has always had episodes of just wandering about, meowing. I learned it was just his way, after consulting with vets and friends. But since I had to put down his brother George this past June, he has begun to vocalize louder and longer. Sometimes in the middle of the night he'll make the most plaintive sounds - I really think he's feeling the absence of his brother who was his and my constant companion through thick and thin, through jobs and relationships and moves to different states. Joe has never been very touchy-feely, but since George left Joe has become a little more willing to be close. I believe he misses his brother as much as I do.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 05:19 am
There is a cat up the road from us called April, and she sits at the front of her house and meows at every passer by. She does it in a way that sounds very plaintive and sad (if you are inclined to anthropomorphise, which I am, a bit), like she is in a play and the director is saying "Give me sad! Give me desolate!". You could imagine that she is saying, in cat-speak, "My owner never feeds or strokes me, and I am so lonely! Won't you have pity on me?". She is a tart for strokes and makes loud purring sounds during them. I thought it was just me that heard her that way, but last week there was a notice put up which said "This cat is very well fed and looked after! Whoever is leaving food for her, please stop!"

My feeling is that April knows exactly what she is doing.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 06:22 am
@centrox,
Cute but kind of non sequitur in this context
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 08:22 am
@snood,
snood wrote:
Cute but kind of non sequitur in this context

I just felt like sharing my cat story.

snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 08:34 am
@centrox,
centrox wrote:

snood wrote:
Cute but kind of non sequitur in this context

I just felt like sharing my cat story.



Well of course we must do what feels good at all times.
0 Replies
 
Seizan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 04:38 pm
Centrox,

Yes -- cats will meow and/or even howl for different reasons. The cat in your neighborhood really likes the attention, and of course most cats are greedy when it comes to food. So if howling or plaintive meows are the tools used, and they work on humans, a cat will meow and look as cute and inviting as possible to get extra tidbits and attention.

Holli also wants something (his companions) and is searching. The noises are perhaps different from a cat that only wants to be petted - they are long and drawn-out, and (I believe) express genuine loss.

We are coping.

Thanks for your story, I hope the cat gets fed and loved by all passersby for the short time it is here, despite the sign asking folks not to...

Snood, I feel sorrow for your loss and for your cat who is without his brother. We had two large Siamese cats, Hope and Peace. Hope died first at age 13 of kidney failure and resultant organ shutdown. We did our best for her. Peace developed a throat tumor and passed away from his cancer about 2 years after. He had spent the remaining 2 years seeking his sister. Ultimately, they came together again.

They rest side by side by the oceanside garden wall beneath a papaya tree.

I miss cats (and human friends) who passed away decades ago. All are missed when they leave us.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Sun 20 Aug, 2017 11:34 pm
@Seizan,
One of mine did that when his sister died. I thought he would die.

I had to get him a kitten! The kitten took two months to get to us and poor Oscar was as bad after that time as he was at the beginning.

The kitten filled the hole in his heart to some extent, but he still tried to play the games with her that Maggie and he had played and cried when the new cat did not respond as Maggie would have.

It's heartbreaking to see.

My love to Holli and you.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Companion Robot Owners - Discussion by wizardcally
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Holli -- Cat in Mourning
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/16/2019 at 02:03:52