The Dying House

OK, I wasn’t going to write about this but I find I must, so please forgive.
About a year and six months ago a major life force came into our lives, through the back door. She had to. We had steeled ourselves against this sort of thing. We knew this would complicate our lives.


It’s funny thinking of her as a major life force. Tiny, shy, frightened of her own shadow. Trembling with exhaustion and fear, nearly crushed beneath an SUV in Trader Joe’s parking lot. As Marce held this filthy trembling puff of fur to her heart she seemed to melt into ours. It was already too late. Izzy Katzenbaum was part of our life. There would be no more impromptu road trips. What would she do on a boat? Taking an animal into foreign countries is a problem. She was terrified of shoes, unusually sensitive to light, and hid under anything she could get under. But when you held her close, she calmed down and melted into you in a way that you just knew she felt safe. This is a compelling trait.

Slowly she came out of her shell and is the funniest, most spirited cat we’ve ever had.

She knew something was up when all of her furniture started to disappear. You could just see the disturbing effect of all this was having on her. The old fears started to creep back into her behavior.

Izzy doesn’t travel well. She hides her head in the crook of Marce’s arm and tries not to look up. It’s all too much input. The car trip to my brother’s house went well enough, but as soon as we put her down she did four small quick circles and hid behind the dryer. We had to leave her cowering there and return to our dying house. It never felt so empty and foreign. The life force is gone. Even pizza on paper plates with “Survivor” didn’t help.

Hang in there, little Izzy, we’re off to buy you a boat.


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3 Responses to The Dying House

  1. carole

    What a beautiful and compelling story; one that makes me rethink earlier assumptions regarding her character. That you, despite all other considerations gave her the security she needed to bloom is the beautiful part. Now this furry life force will hang in there until held close once again. A perfect friendship metaphor.

  2. We’ll miss Izzy, too! She is, by far, the best cat ever in our family!

  3. Terry

    Izzy is adapting very well. Maybe its the two bird feeders that bring a constant stream of birds for her enjoyment – our low window sills and chairs placed beside the windows make for great bird watching. Maybe its Bethia trying to make a cross stich with Izzys help. She didn’t make any noise for sevral days but now is making these cute little squeaks. I think we have been getting up a little late for her tastes the last couple days, so she would come into our bedroom and make a few squeaks – when we got up she would go to the door and look back, turns out she was training us to go down stairs and feed her. She seems to like our open balconey and has been out on the top of the half wall between the family and dinning room.

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