It’s time to say a proper good bye to Dusty Noel our cat of 11 years. She’s been missing for about one month now and given the deep woods which are located behind our house and the variety of creatures which live in those woods, the likelihood that she was caught as prey by one of them seems high. It’s been a sad thought for us these last few weeks. Dusty seemed to have had more than 9 lives. She was an indoor/outdoor cat and did pretty well herself catching the mice, moles, and unfortunately birds around the neighborhood.
She came into our life very shortly after our previous cat Rachel had passed away of old age one weekend. If I remember correctly Amber’s friend Claire Guidry knew someone who had young cats or kittens out behind their house and the family wanted to find a home for them and Claire was the temporary caregiver of Dusty. A cat was the last thing I wanted after our other cat died but Lauren and the girls decided to “surprise” me after work one night and picked me up with our “new” kitten in the car. It’s not easy arguing with daughters who want a kitten. So Dusty became part of the family.
Over the years Dusty and I built a symbiotic relationship where early in the morning mostly just before dawn (if it wasn’t cold and raining) Dusty would rustle around letting me know she wanted to go outside and my bladder said you might as well, you need to pee anyway. So that’s how it worked many a morning. She related to each one of us in the family a little differently. I think we all agree she seemed to like Amber the best maybe because Eva’s music was a little LOUD during those days. Dusty was a well travelled cat and when we moved to California she flew out in cargo and adapted to the life style of big apartment living in San Diego. She remained an indoor/outdoor cat there and when we lived at The Villas of Renaissance it was on the fourth (top) floor, so we would walk down the hallway, open the door at the fire escape and she would walk down the four flights of stairs and hang outside in the tropical shrubs and landscaping at The Villas all day long. Sometimes when we were at the pool or hot tub she would know and come around to visit us. At the end of the day I would jingle my car keys at the top of the fire escape stairway and she would come up and in for the night. We lived in three different apartments in San Diego and each one she adapted to quite well. One night Lauren saw a coyote chase her up a tree upon which I climbed up later to get her down from the tree.
When we left San Diego this past winter she ended up being my sole travelling companion in the cab of the Penske Truck for more than 3,000 miles and a full week of driving. At night she would let me know if the hotel/motel room was to her liking. She preferred the Hampton Inns over the Motel 6 and so did I.
When we made it to Massachusetts we left her there in Magnolia with Amber, Tommie and Maya (and Frank and Joan) for a few months until we were able to go back down to pick her up and bring her to her “new” home here in Bethel. It didn’t last long….three weeks…and the last time I saw Dusty she was out behind the Barn with me around 8:00 PM as I was gathering kindling wood for a campfire we had.
Ah Dusty….we all miss you, you little bugger. Rest in Peace.