China, the good little cat.

One day, sitting under the bushes in our front yard was a small black ball of fluff. She was so small she could fit in your hand. At that time we only had 3 cats, so taking her in was easy. We named her China, fragile and beautiful.

She grew into a plump friendly good-natured cat that loved to be around people. At that time our cats were allowed to go outside and all the kids in the neighbourhood loved her. She would sit with them for as long as they wanted.

Her first job of the house was being the receptionist. She greeted people when they came over and if the phone would ring she would make a little merp as if she was answering it. She would make the same merp when someone sneezed as if to say “Bless You”.

I also called her the little housemother. I could never do housework without her trying to help. She truly wanted to be involved in whatever was going on.

Everything about her was good. I can’t remember her ever catching a bird, getting in a fight, or sticking her nose up at what was served for dinner. Even when I found her nose-to-nose with an opossum and I screamed, she just looked at me as if to say “everything’s fine.” Of course the opossum took off and I grabbed her and rushed her inside.

She grew into a beautiful mature lady. Her mane changed to a warm sable brown that looked like a shawl across her shoulders. She spent her days basking in the sun and chirping to the birds outside the window. Taking life a little easier, she still wanted to be with people.

In her golden years she was always waiting in the kitchen first thing in the morning hoping Gary would sneak her a little of the cream he put in his coffee. The day would end with her curled up on the couch to watch a little TV before we headed off to bed where she would occupy the foot.

Two nights before she died I woke up in the middle of the night hearing a scratching noise. I flipped on the light and looked down the stairs to find her three quarters of the way up. I picked her up and she spent the rest of the night sleeping with us. After that she was never out of our sight. Even though her body was failing her spirit was very strong. It was sheer determination that she climbed the stairs so she could be with us.

China lived with us for 18 years and now that she’s gone I keep thinking the same thought - China was a good little cat that just wanted to be part of our lives, and she was, a big part of our lives.

Laura Dumm (Cleveland, Ohio)


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