Mems: The Cat Who Raised Our Kids

We shared our home with a wonderful cat for 15 years. We called him Mems, because he strutted into our house one Memorial Day, meowed, “I’m here to stay”. He didn’t say words, of course, but his every meow had a clear meaning to his human family.

Mems often walked our kids to the corner for the school bus in the morning, and was back there precisely at 3:30 when they got off. We don’t know how he knew the exact afternoon times, and was usually about five minutes early. When he saw the kids at 3:30, he’d meow, “About time you got here!”

He went on walks with us like …. no, not a dog … as a member of the family. He strolled wherever he chose, expecting we would follow like a pack of … no, not dogs … felines. If we wandered too far off his chosen track, he’d stop or walk over to us and meow an impatient, “C’mon. I haven’t got all day.”

When one of the kids was sick, he snuggled in bed with the patient, giving his love and warmth, and we called him Dr. Mems. We like to believe it healed better than all the doctors and medicines in the world.

He never walked on the forbidden kitchen counter, except at night when he thought he’d never get caught. We’d find cat hairs there in the morning, but he’d just look at us with a “who, me?” stare.

After his daily outside roaming, he often brought presents for his family. He must have wondered why his stupid humans were never thrilled with the generous gift of a dead bird, mouse, half of a squirrel or other bloody prey.

Our kids, as all kids do, grew up and left. Mems looked a bit lost for awhile, wandering around the house wondering why there were just two aging family members there. Then, I retired, we put the house up for sale and held a week of garage sales.

Mems was confused on the morning when he was shooed off his favorite couch as it was being carried away. Shortly before we left for our retirement home more than 2,000 miles away, and worried what to do with our 15-year-old cat, he was adopted.

For several previous years, Mems had been pals with our mailman, who often parked in front of our house at noon to eat lunch in his truck. The friendly cat would show up to share a sandwich. When we sold our house, the mailman asked for Mems go home with him and his young kids.

When we left, we said tearful goodbyes to our old friend. Of course, Mems is now in cat heaven. But we’re content to believe his communication skills and medical expertise went on for 15 more years to help raise the kids of another grateful family.

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