stigma blog–in memory of a feline friend

Diesel was a feline professor of love. I miss him so much.

When I would arrive at the Ranch, he would come and greet me with his incessant meows, wanting to be fed, yes, but he loved attention. I am not a particularly lovable person to other people. I know that and I accept that as a reality. I can live with it.

I have a deep mistrust exacerbated by extensive trauma and no doubt people pick up on that fact. Somehow, Diesel saw past that and made sure he said hello to me every day. I tried not to become too close to him at first because I still carried the grief of losing my feline friends in a horrible barn fire from the past. I used to give them fresh water every day and switch out the frozen water for that which was room temperature from the heated office. They would greet me and meow for the water. I really loved them.

I could not handle losing them and so many others. I really could not.

My doctor at Warm Springs State Psychiatric Hospital said I would only really mourn the devastating loss fully with another horse. That was true. I only came close to dealing with the grief with another person who was half horse himself–a veterinarian/chiropractor who knew my beloved equine partner well. I broke down in front of him but never around any other human being.

It took Mel coming into my life to have a partner in grieving because he was so saddened by the separation of no longer living and racing with his friend. He’d lost his last race, too. I just hung out with him at his off-season home for a while. And I was able to cry. He understood.

Where we were going had no cats because the Akitas at the barn killed cats. It was only much later at a Ranch where I encountered Diesel. He really was the best-natured cat I have ever known. When he was with the vet, he would just purr and be sweet no matter what she would do to him. We could spray medicine in his eye to treat it and he would not claw or bite.

He was a fantastic mouser and even caught mice just to give them to the pregnant cat Premium who was always hungry. He was totally gregarious and loved attention, except he would leave if small children came around. I was sure he’d been harassed by one at some point.

He had gotten quite portly because he’d convinced people that he was famished when they would come in the tack room and they’d feed him. Sometimes five people would feed him in a day. He was quite the operator.

One day he almost was caught by an eagle, I was told. I decided to take him to the vet and have him evaluated and prescribed a regime that would get him to an ideal weight where he would survive and thrive and be able to get out of eagles’ crosshairs quickly.

He did and he moved beautifully and was able to jump up on fence posts easily once again. Dr. Tierney thought he was 13 years old. He’d been diagnosed with a heart murmur before but then she said after his new regime she could barely hear the murmur and that most vet school students would not be able to detect it now.

I fed him some Wachter’s Sea Meal, too, when his coat started to looked washed out and it grew back fully black and shiny again. Others remarked to me how well he looked.

He used to follow me around as I was doing chores at the barn. He loved to hang out in Mel’s paddock, too. When I would go into Mel’s shed and pray the rosary, Diesel liked to sit on my lap and be petted with his Diesel engine purring.

When I left, I had premonitions of something bad happening to him, but then I was not in my right mind and had been wrong about Dr. Mark in my living, waking nightmare, too. I wished I was wrong about Diesel, also.

They said he disappeared when I left. The rosary I said each day with Mel must have helped him, too. I would never have thought that I mattered that much to him. I wish there was something I could do now. He’s gone perhaps forever, but the Lord knows where he is and I know He cares. Diesel taught me with his incessant meowing to persevere in praying. I know that his feline heart is loved by the Sacred Heart and I hope he is on His lap purring because the Lord could use a faithful friend now. They don’t come any better than Diesel. He bore witness of his Creator,  and professed that God of Love, truly.

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