Cat Lady Mary and her special friends Phoebe and Bentley are thinking about someone special in their hearts today and every day. Here is their story:
"Bob and I had just moved to Asheville, NC when Phoebe showed up on our front porch in August 2001, a starving, beat up, tick infested, most pitiful skeleton of a little kitten. Bob, a retired physician, immediately opened a can of tuna and started feeding her out on the porch. She was in such bad shape that I didn't think she would live through the night. But he fixed a box for her to sleep in and soon Bob had her nursed back to health.
"Bob began luring her inside with food and eventually got her tame enough to pet, but she was still an outdoor cat. Then one day we captured her and took her to the local spay and neuter clinic. They told us that due to her surgery we must keep her in for at least a week. Well, she's never again been outside. Phoebe quickly grew to be a beautiful blue and apricot dilute tortie, which is a fancy name for a gray and orange calico.
"I am a fiber artist; a spinner, knitter and weaver. Bob used to brush Phoebe everyday and save the brushings in a zip lock bag, telling me that he wanted me to spin all this cat hair into yarn and knit something for him. And I did.... I spun enough to knit a hat for him, his Phoebe Fur Hat.
"A couple of years after Phoebe found us Bob became ill, and I thought a new kitten might brighten up both his and Phoebe's life. I called a local safe-for-life animal welfare organization called Animal Compassion Network. I was put in contact with some wonderful people who were foster caring for a mama kitty and her half grown litter of kittens. Bob, almost instinctively, picked out a long and tall tuxedo kitty whose name happened to be Bentley. This was just delightful because for many years Bob and I had an on-going joke that someday we would own a Bentley (meaning the car, of course).
"During the next four years as Bob's health continued to decline, Phoebe and Bentley were his constant companions. While they basically ignored me, the cat person in the family, they brought so much joy and comfort to him. Since Bob's death in August 2007 the three of us have become very close as we have grieved together for him. This cute portrait will hang next to a photo of Bob as my loving tribute to him. Thanks so much for letting me share my story."
See Mary's beautiful knitted lace scarves, shawls, and toys at this link: http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/marynichols/