home . index . videos . instagram

Inheriting an Old Lady Cat

Cliff May Ranchos
March 2019

< < previous | next > >

As Nicole's grandmother, Betty, faded, Jen, Nicole and Pam spent days by her bedside. Also there was Mitsy, Betty's 16-year-old cat. Jen and the others came and go, as meals and sleep times demanded, but Mitsy stood by vigilantly. And Mitsy was the one who was there when Betty passed.

Mitsy was a favorite, but no one in the family would take her, owing in large part to her voluminous hair that looked sure to bring out the allergies in even the healthiest of cat lovers. Jen was not daunted: impressed by Mitsy's calm vigilance, she volunteered to take her home -- and just like that, we were back to having five pets.

And taking on a 16-year-old cat! We get her for all the fun years, I thought.

But in just a few days, Mitsy came alive. She had been cooped up inside Betty's senior apartment for 7 years. But with the doors open to the outside, she ventured out, began to walk and even sprint! Able to eat fresh grass from the yard, she no longer needs to eat her daily furrball medicine. And she hardly seems like an old cat. She may last another 16 years.

After Betty's graveside service, we joined the family for a memorial lunch at Dal Rae in Pico Rivera. Just about every woman there came up to hug us and thank us vigorously for taking Mitsy. One of the guys at our table told us his mom had been a server here in the 1960s, met and married a regular customer whose office was across the street. That's how he joined the family that was here today. The guy sitting next to him was that customer's son, so the two had grown up as step brothers. It was complicated. I don't normally drink a Manhattan at a funeral, but I didn't want to visit this vintage, red-leather-boothed LA restaurant without having one.