Geneva was my Momma’s cat. She had two cats, Geneva and Charlotte, she got as kittens from sister Gilly back in 2004, a few months before sister Charline died of cancer.
Charlotte liked being outside and would sometimes disappear for months at time. Geneva, not so much, and mostly was an inside cat.
Geneva wasn’t a very social cat when she was with Mom. When other people were around she would hide under the covers in Daddy’s bed. Occasionally though, she would come and snuggle up with me if I was visiting. She could be a bit of a nuisance, as I was not as much a cat person but more of a dog person.
Daddy died in 2015 and we lost our Momma in April 2017 in a terrible accident. We were all overwhelmed with decisions afterwards and one was what to do with Momma’s animals.
Sister Beth inherited the property and her son moved into the house with the understanding that he was to take care of the animals. He said he was allergic to cats and put them out of the house.
GENEVA FOUND ME
One night I was getting ready for bed and my dogs started raising a fit outside. I went to see what was going on and found a cat sitting in the darkness on a chair on the patio, In the dark I couldn’t see and believed it to be a stray. I didn’t know if it was a wild cat that might scratch if I picked it up, so I got the dogs out of the way and with the broom tried to shoo it away. It wasn’t budging and the dogs are not helping. So I got the dogs in the house but before I could get the door shut the cat darted into the house with the dogs on her tail.
They cornered her in the utility room. I got the dogs corralled and moved them to the bedroom and went back to get the cat. I turned the light on and found the cat scared and cowering in the corner behind the sewing machine. It’s Geneva, momma’s cat.
I picked her up and loved her. She was thin and hungry and scared. I wasn’t sure what do. Since it was late, I fixed her some food and a bed in the computer room and kept her there for the night. I wasn’t aware that she had been put out.
The next morning, I opened the door and Geneva went out and I assumed she would go home. However, a few days later Beth came by and told me about her son having put her out and how upset she was with him for it and they had no clue where she was. I told her about her coming to me. It was as though Momma had sent her… Go to Susan, she will take care of you. We decided if we found her I would take her though I wasn’t real thrilled at the idea. A few days later Beth found Geneva in the ditch and brought her to me.
I didn’t want her. I’m not a cat person and I know nothing about taking care of them…and I have four dogs that also are not cat lovers. But she was Momma’s cat…someone had to love her.
It took over a month for the dogs to accept her, especially Moses. Everytime she made a moved he would bark and go after her. Gradually she begins to come out of the computer room and took refuge in the utility room. Then one night she got brave enough to move through the kitchen and living room and cautiously climbed into my lap and worked her way to my chest and layed her head in the crook of my neck. This became a routine with her, every time I sit in my chair, there was Geneva on my lap to cuddle. She wormed her way into my heart.
She then became brave enough to join us at night. She wanted to be right in my face, and would drive me crazy We finally came to an agreement that she could lay behind me and lay her head in the crook of my neck, and this is how we slept at night.
THE HEALING CAT
She seemed to know if I was hurting or when my heart was sad and had a special way of soothing my sorrow. I started calling her my healing cat. She would wrap her paws around my neck and hug and nuzzle me sometimes so hard that it would cause her to grunt. It was a though Momma was alive in her, and it reminded me of the love my mom always had for me and eased the loss of Momma to a degree.
I couldn’t sit at the computer without her constant attention. She would walk in front of my computer screen and stop and stretch on her way by so I would have to stop and wait for her. I would get so irritated with her. She would sit on my desk and rest her head on my hand disrupting my movement of the mouse until I would push her away. Within seconds she would be back. She was insistant.
Unlike when she was with Mom she became quite social and greeted visitors with overwhelming affection. If there were more than one person, she made the rounds making sure everyone got their share of her attention.
Every morning she would greet me with cries of hunger the minute I got out of bed and would lead me to the computer room for breakfast. She insisted on her breakfast before my coffee. I came to develop a unique fondness for her. Even Moses, who had the hardest time learning to accept her, became the best of friends with her. I would find them often cuddled together sleeping. At times they would nuzzle each other and clean each others faces. She became one of the family and when the dogs would beg there was Geneva sitting in the half circle begging right along with them.
When summer came she learned to use the dog door and would come and go just like the dogs. She liked being outside in the sun but never left the yard. She would often join us in the grain bin, again, showing affection to everyone there.
She has been a part of my life now for almost two years and offered me only love an attention.
Geneva died this morning on route to the vet.
I am so very thankful that she chose to come to me that night. She somehow knew that I would care for her as Momma did, and that I have, but how was I to know how she would care for me. My heart is so overwhelmed with sadness that it aches. Such comfort she gave me in my grief for Momma, and now I greive for her. Another piece of Momma has joined her in heaven, of this I’m sure.