It's a miracle Lucy ever saw her first birthday.
When she first came to live with me in Los Angeles, she had some strange disease that they never could diagnose. It caused her to run high fevers, she would become almost fatally congested, her hair fell out, and I needed to feed her via syringe. After countless trips to the e.r. and several hospitalizations that first year, the disease -- whatever it was -- disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived.
She was the last surviving cat of those who made the trip east with me in 1995, when I moved to be with Karen.
For 16 years she was a gentle spirit of grace in our home.
Sometimes she would nap tangled up in one of the dogs. Here she is napping with Emma, a blind and deaf dog:
She had some special friends among the other cats: she would groom them and then they would groom her.
Here Winter, a cat with lymphoma, grooms Lucy:
Here she is with her brother, Leon:
Here she is, about to be discovered by Homer, a blind cat:
At night, once the house had grown dark and quiet, she would come up on my pillow, cuddle against my head, and purr gently.
It was a miracle also that she was alive these last two years. She spent that time balanced between heart failure and kidney failure, and it was only because of the wonderful care she received from a team of experts, particularly a cardiologist at Tufts to whom we took her once a month, that she survived this period with a wonderful quality of life, trotting around the house, hopping up on the window sills, tables, and wherever she took a mind to go.
When one of us would be sitting, she would go up on the chair or couch back, lie down, and rest her head on our shoulder.
When I first saw Lucy, she made a home in my heart before I could lift her out of the cage.
And now, 16 years later, having breathed her last breath, she continues to live there and always will.